The Sports Matrix: Monday 7 February 2011

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The Independent Online

Di Matteo sacked by West Bromwich

Roberto Di Matteo has been relieved of his duties as West Bromwich Albion manager and placed on gardening leave. After losing to Manchester City on Saturday West Brom are 17th, with only goal difference keeping them out of the relegation zone. MORE

ICC: spot-fixing was an ‘isolated case’

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that match-fixing had been “curtailed” and that the recent spot-fixing case was “a very isolated case”. He was speaking after Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif received long bans. MORE

Bjorn aims high after win in Qatar

Thomas Bjorn hit a three-underpar 69 yesterday to win the Qatar Masters by four shots. The win should give the 39-year-old a chance of qualifying for the Open at Sandwich in July. “It’s a big win”, said the Dane. MORE

Zigic sends West Ham to the bottom

West Ham moved back to the bottom of the league table after losing 1-0 at home to Birmingham City. Nikola Zigic headed in a free-kick in the 65th minute, while Demba Ba hit the post for West Ham as a late substitute. Birmingham move up to 16th. MORE

Morgan gets a bad break in Perth loss

Eoin Morgan broke the middle finger of his left hand to make him a doubt for the upcoming World Cup, as his England side fell to a 57-run defeat to Australia in the final one-day game of the series, which ended in a comfortable 6-1 victory for the hosts. MORE

Brown goal takes Old Firm to replay

Celtic forced a replay against Rangers thanks to an excellent Scott Brown goal. Jamie Ness had put Rangers ahead before Kris Commons equalised. Steven Whittaker then put Rangers back in front from the spot but Brown made it 2-2. MORE

France’s defence off to a good start

Reigning champions France began their Six Nations defence with a 34-21 victory over Scotland on Saturday. Maxime Médard, Imanol Harinordoquy and Damien Traille all touched down for France, who were also awarded a penalty try. MORE

Cole deserves more than abuse

Ashley Cole’s unexpected visit to Leicester City to provide moral support for Patrick van Aanholt underlines why he does not deserve the opprobrium heaped on him. He has had a great career which merits a standing ovation. MORE

O’Gara’s late kick denies brave Italy

Ireland recorded a narrow 13-11 win over Italy in Rome thanks to Ronan O’Gara’s late drop-goal as the Azzurri were denied their first ever Six Nations win over them. Brian O’Driscoll got a try and O’Gara’s crucial kick arrived with just three minutes left. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Kenny Dalglish still may have half an idea of how to win football matches. With help from assistant Steve Clarke, this was a defensive masterclass. Caretaker manager? The owners should end this joke as soon as they can. MORE

Meireles winner sours Torres debut

Raul Meireles scored the only goal as Liverpool recorded a surprise 1-0 win away at Chelsea. Fernando Torres, making his Chelsea debut after his £50m departure from Liverpool, was largely anonymous against his former club and was substituted after 66 minutes. Liverpool successfully stifled Chelsea for most of the game, thanks to Kenny Dalglish’s 3-4-1-1 formation, and there were few chances for Torres and Didier Drogba. The best chance of the first half came to Maxi Rodriguez, who missed from close range. Meireles scored the only goal in the second half, volleying in at the far post after a defensive mix-up. MORE

Gerrard ruled out of England game

Steven Gerrard will miss England’s friendly with Denmark on Wednesday with a groin problem. This leaves Fabio Capello with neither of his first-choice captains, given the absence of Rio Ferdinand. Frank Lampard is likely to wear the armband. MORE

Kubica injured in rally accident

Robert Kubica fractured his right arm, leg and hand yesterday in a rally crash in Italy. The Renault driver underwent surgery in a hospital near Genoa and is unlikely to be available for the new Formula One season that starts on 13 March in Bahrain. MORE

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