The Sports Matrix: Monday 5 March 2012


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The Independent Online


Villas-Boas pays price for poor performances

The Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, yesterday told his squad what he expected of them at a private meeting at the club's training ground, minutes after he had personally sacked the manager Andre Villas-Boas. The Portuguese paid the price for a poor run of form. Roberto Di Matteo, the assistant who was imposed on Villas-Boas, was asked to take charge to the end of the season. The club enquired about Rafael Benitez taking a similar role but were unable to come to an agreement with the former Liverpool manager. pages MORE

Man United 'carry luck' to win 3-1

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that Man United rode their luck in their 3-1 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane yesterday: "We certainly carried a lot of luck. Tottenham are a very good team. It was a massive performance from our defenders." MORE

Adlington secures Olympic place

Rebecca Adlington has expressed "relief" after booking her spot in the British Olympic swimming team after an excellent display in the 400m at the national trials. "So much relief, happiness, excitement. An amazing feeling – after four years of training." MORE

Pogrebnyak in line for a new deal

Fulham manager Martin Jol has talked about extending Pavel Pogrebnyak's contract after the loan signing scored a hat-trick in yesterday's 5-0 win over Wolves, "We're talking about new deals. You want to keep your best players and Pavel is one of them." MORE

Grand Slam dream over for France

Ireland held out to secure a 17-17 draw in Paris, ending France's chances of a Grand Slam. Two tries from Tommy Bowe had given Ireland a 17-6 half-time lead but France stormed back in the second half, only to miss a series of drop goal attempts. MORE

Pardew blames catalyst Cattermole

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew blamed Sunderland's captain, Lee Cattermole, for an "ugly" Tyne-Wear derby which ended in a 1-1 draw. Two red cards and eight bookings overshadowed a scrappy match. "Cattermole set the scene, it was ugly," said Pardew. MORE

Wiggins off to a flyer in Paris-Nice

Bradley Wiggins' chances of becoming Britain's first Paris-Nice winner in more than four decades got off to a near-perfect start as he took second place in the race's opening time trial yesterday, one second behind Sweden's Gustav Larsson. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

If Roman Abramovich retains much of an appetite at Chelsea, what does he do? The most  persuasive option screams out. It is to own up to his folly, and accept the return of Jose Mourinho. MORE