The Sports Matrix: Thursday 17 March 2011

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The Independent Online

Ferguson handed five-game ban

Sir Alex Ferguson has been given a five-match touchline ban for his criticism of referee Martin Atkinson. He will miss the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City and the crucial league encounter against Arsenal at the Emirates. He was also fined £30,000. MORE

England consider picking Tremlett

If England want to make the quarter-finals, they must beat West Indies today. They have lost two games they should have won and may drop Jimmy Anderson for Chris Tremlett. “All the bowlers will have question marks,” said captain Andrew Strauss. MORE

Australia openers bludgeon Canada

An opening stand of 183 from Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, the highest in Australia’s World Cup history, led to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Canada. Chasing 211, Australia reached the target with more than 15 overs left.

Keep cool, Dalglish tells striker Carroll

Kenny Dalglish has told Andy Carroll to seek revenge in the right way against Braga defender Kaka tonight, after the Brazilian elbowed Carroll in the first leg. “The best way for him to respond,” Dalglish said, “would be to keep his composure.” MORE

Pietersen set to be fit to face Sri Lanka

Kevin Pietersen is expected to be fit for the Test series against Sri Lanka which starts on 26 May, after confirming that yesterday’s hernia operation was successful. The batsman left the World Cup for surgery and will undergo rehabilitation with Surrey. MORE

Viana: England spell ‘wasn’t easy’

Hugo Viana, back in England with Braga tonight, tells i how he struggled during his spell at Newcastle United. “I went through a lot of changes,” he says, “and it wasn’t easy for me.” He describes Sir Bobby Robson as “very important in my career”. MORE

Irish toast more success on day two

The second day at Cheltenham was as much of an Irish triumph as the first. Sizing Europe won the Queen Mother Champion Chase, with three Irish horses behind, while Carlito Brigante and What A Charm took the number of Irish winners so far to nine. MORE

Kompany admits City complacency

Vincent Kompany conceded that Manchester City underestimated Dynamo Kiev in the first leg, which they lost 2-0 last Thursday. “None of us had expected Dynamo Kiev to be such a good team”, he said, ahead of tonight’s second leg at Eastlands. MORE

Big Buck’s ready to go for hat-trick

Today’s racing should be better than Thursdays of previous festivals, with the Ladbrokes World Hurdle the obvious highlight. The energetic Grands Crus will seek to prevent the in-form Big Buck’s from winning the race for the third consecutive year. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

The depth and competitive rigour of Ireland’s jump racing was demonstrated yesterday by the 22-year-old Andrew Lynch, who rode beautifully to seize the great prize of the Queen Mother Champion Chase. MORE

Stalemate enough for Ancelotti

A 0-0 draw at home with Copenhagen was enough to send Chelsea through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Having won 2-0 in Copenhagen in February Chelsea’s job yesterday evening was simple, and they rarely looked in danger of being knocked out in the last 16 for the second consecutive year. Fernando Torres was rested by Carlo Ancelotti, who reunited Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka up front. The hosts were the better side, and Anelka twice went close in the first half, forcing Johan Wiland into some impressive saves. Copenhagen, though, came close to scoring when Dame N’Doye’s free-kick hit the post. Chelsea continued to create in the second half, with Drogba and Anelka missing more opportunities, and John Obi Mikel hitting the bar. Torres came on, and although he could not find the goal he needed, Chelsea progressed comfortably. MORE

Real finally reach quarter-finals

Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Lyons at home sent them into the quarter-finals for the first time since 2004. Marcelo opened the scoring, and Karim Benzema and Angel di Maria scored in the second half to send the nine-times winners through 4-1 on aggregate. MORE

Ireland choose Sexton over O’Gara

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has picked Jonathan Sexton over Ronan O’Gara at outside-half, a preference England’s Ben Youngs has said points to a tactical decision “to run it” in Dublin on Saturday, a game the visitors must win to claim the Grand Slam. MORE

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