The Sports Matrix: Thursday 11 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Let the game go on, says Redknapp

Harry Redknapp wants Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League opener on Saturday to go ahead, despite security concerns. “Hopefully it will be OK,” he told i. “It is different if all the games are off but there is nothing worse than being left behind.” MORE

Federer enters his thirties with win

Roger Federer enjoyed a clinical 7-5, 6-3 victory over Canadian Vasek Pospisil at the Montreal Masters last night.“It felt good,” Federer said, when asked about his first game since his 30th birthday. “I’m still able to move [but] I didn’t play so well.” MORE

Woods hopeful of USPGA victory

Tiger Woods remains confident of victory in the USPGA Championship, which starts today in Atlanta. The former World No 1 is 25-1 to win, but his troubles are mounting, with another sponsor dropping him this week. MORE

Neville: Wenger is man for Arsenal

Gary Neville believes Arsène Wenger is still the best man to manage Arsenal. “I wouldn’t begin to even think about losing Wenger,” he said. “They wouldn’t have done any better under any other manager. He is still doing an excellent job.” MORE

Long bows out to work as coach

Scrum-half Sean Long has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 34. The Hull player has struggled for fitness in recent seasons, but enjoyed success earlier in his career with St Helens, winning the Lance Todd Trophy three times. MORE

Fabregas closer to Nou Camp transfer

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas was last night close to joining Barcelona in a deal reaching €40m (£36m). The midfielder has been the subject of protracted interest from Barcelona, but the saga seems to be reaching its conclusion this weekend. MORE

Hernandez out of England match

England’s World Cup prospects have received a boost with the news that Juan Martin Hernandez, the Argentina full-back, will not recover from a knee injury in time for the tournament. England face Argentina in their opening match. MORE

McCourt shines in Windsor Park rout

Northern Ireland kept their Euro 2012 qualification campaign afloat last night with a 4-0 home win over the Faroe Islands. Aaron Hughes put Northern Ireland ahead before a Steven Davis strike and two quality goals from Pat McCourt settled it.

Midday faces her high noon at York

The country’s best mare, Midday, will slug it out with the big boys in next week’s International at York. Her Henry Cecil stablemate Twice Over will also contest the Group One race, sponsored by their owner Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte stud. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

MS Dhoni remembered who he was and what kind of team he was supposed to be leading yesterday. His innings of 77 called up a little pride and a little fight, both of which the team that he leads have lacked this summer. MORE

Seamers supreme again for England

England put themselves on top of the first day of the third Test, bowling out India for 224 yesterday before finishing the day just 140 runs behind. Andrew Strauss won the toss and decided to field, and India were reduced to 75 for 4 by lunch. Virender Sehwag was out first ball, while Sachin Tendulkar scored only 1. The key wicket was Rahul Dravid, bowled by Tim Bresnan with the last ball of the session. In the afternoon MS Dhoni led an Indian recovery, scoring a swift 77, and putting on 84 with Praveen Kumar. But even Dhoni could not drag the total up towards 300 and India were bowled out soon after tea. Tim Bresnan finished with 4 for 62, while Stuart Broad took 4 for 53. England’s openers batted serenely for the rest of the evening, finishing on 84 without loss; Andrew Strauss closed on 52, Alastair Cook on 27. MORE

Bresnan: We can build a big lead

Tim Bresnan says the Test pitch is good enough for England to build a lead. “It didn’t do as much as we thought it would. To put them in and bowl them out for 224 is a very good day for us. Hopefully it will flatten out even more and we can get a decent lead.” MORE

McKenzie helps Hants to recover

Durham reduced Hampshire to 77 for 3 after a rain-delayed start to their County Championship game. Callum Thorp removed Liam Dawson and Michael Carberry at the start but Neil McKenzie led Hampshire’s rebuilding and reached 46 by stumps. MORE