The Sports Matrix: Thursday 14 April 2011

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The Independent Online

Chelsea ‘set to sack Ancelotti’

A senior Chelsea figure believes Carlo Ancelotti will be replaced in the summer, following Wednesday’s elimination from the Champions League, with Frank Rijkaard, Marco van Basten and Rafa Benitez among the favourites for the post. MORE

Somerset aim for first championship

After narrowly missing out on last year’s County Championship, Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick believes his side should relish being favourites this season. “That brings a little bit of pressure – we are aware of what we have got to achieve.” MORE

Tendulkar takes Wisden award

Wisden has announced Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar as its Leading Cricketer in the World for 2010. Tendulkar scored more than 1,500 Test runs last year and seven Test hundreds, including an unparalleled 50th.

Ferdinand: We don’t sulk at United

Rio Ferdinand has said that sulking at being substituted – in the manner of James Milner’s reaction for Manchester City on Monday – does not happen at Manchester United. “You don’t see people coming off shaking their heads at this club,” Ferdinand said. MORE

Murray back to winnning ways

Andy Murray rediscovered his winning touch yesterday, beating Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-4 in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters. “I played well,” said the 23-year-old Scot. “For my first match [of the season] on clay that was perfect.” MORE

Mancini: Balotelli could be a ‘hero’

Roberto Mancini has said that Mario Balotelli can be a “hero” if he scores during Manchester City’s remaining league and FA Cup runs. Balotelli will have to play more given Carlos Tevez’s injury. “That would change his year,” said Mancini. MORE

Phillips ready to leave Ospreys

Ospreys have revealed that scrum-half Mike Phillips is on his way out of the club. It is believed the Wales international wants to follow compatriots Lee Byrne and James Hook to France, with big spending Toulouse potentially interested. MORE

Messi’s 48 goals break Barça record

Lionel Messi broke a Barcelona record by scoring his 48th goal of the season on Tuesday night. With as many as 11 games left to play this season, he could well break through the modern-era records in the 50s and even reach beyond 60 goals for the season. MORE

Khan can be a ‘global superstar’

Oscar de La Hoya believes Amir Khan can be “a global superstar” after signing him to his company Golden Boy Promotions. Khan defends his World Boxing Association light-welterweight title against Paul McCloskey this Saturday in Manchester. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Gareth Bale was stupendous at times last night, providing an image of a player capable of bursting through any obstacle. With him an empire could be built, though it is unclearwhether Spurs will resist overtures to sell him. MORE

Ronaldo shoots Spurs out of Europe

Tottenham’s European adventure ended last night with a 1-0 secondleg loss to Real Madrid at White Hart Lane. The only goal came when Heurelho Gomes spilled Cristiano Ronaldo’s powerful shot into his own net in the second half. After losing 4-0 in the Bernabeu, Spurs needed a big victory to reach the semi-finals. They started brightly, with Gareth Bale running at and repeatedly beating Sergio Ramos. Tottenham had three penalty appeals in the first half, the best of which came when Luka Modric was felled by Xabi Alonso in the area, but all were waved away. Roman Pavlyuchenko missed their best chance, shooting over the bar after Aaron Lennon’s cross. Despite this, the one goal came when a shot by Ronaldo was turned in by Gomes. Madrid were comfortable, and meet Barcelona in the semifinals MORE

Schalke set up United meeting

Schalke progressed to a semi-final with Manchester United thanks to a 7-3 aggregate win over Internazionale. They won the second leg in Gelsenkirchen 2-1, with goals from Spanish veteran Raul and Benedikt Howedes. Thiago Motta scored for Inter. MORE

Judd looking to Trump Robertson

Rising star Judd Trump has been called “the next O’Sullivan” after winning the China Open earlier this month. The 21-year-old from Bristol will next play world champion Neil Robertson in the first round of the World Snooker Championship. MORE