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The Sports Matrix: Thursday 19 May 2011

Porto edge out rivals to win final

Porto won the Europa League last night with a 1-0 win over Portuguese rivals Braga in Dublin. Falcao scored the only goal, a header just before half-time. Porto coach Andre Villas-Boas is the youngest ever to win a Uefa competition at just 33. MORE

Bopara set to play ahead of Morgan

The England selectors met yesterday to discuss their squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Cardiff and Ravi Bopara looks likely to be chosen to bat at No 6 ahead of Eoin Morgan, who has played just one first-class match since last summer. MORE

Watson closing on British No 1 spot

Heather Watson, who won her opening match in qualifying for the French Open yesterday, could be the British No 1 within weeks. Already No 119, Watson, who is 19 today, is hoping to make her French Open debut. MORE

Tevez no closer to committing to City

Carlos Tevez is no nearer to committing his future to Manchester City, despite the optimism of his manager Roberto Mancini this week. Tevez is in fact no closer to resolving uncertainties over his future and there has been no contact from the club. MORE

DeGale and Groves have tense history

James DeGale and George Groves, who fight on Saturday, started in the same gym but are not close. “I never really liked him and he never really liked me,” said DeGale of their youth. They last fought at Brent Town Hall in 2007, and Groves won.

Cardiff to decide on Jones next week

Dave Jones’ future as Cardiff City manager will be discussed at a board meeting early next week. Jones’ job is on the line after Cardiff lost in the Championship play-offs for the second successive season, going down 3-0 to Reading on Tuesday night. MORE

Tuilagi banned by RFU for five weeks

Manu Tuilagi received a five-week ban from the RFU yesterday for his punch on Chris Ashton. The minimum 10-week sanction was halved because of provocation from Ashton. Tuilagi will be able to push for a place in England’s World Cup squad. MORE

Beckham can play in Neville match

David Beckham will be given permission to skip Los Angeles Galaxy’s Major League Soccer game against Houston Dynamo next Wednesday in order to play in his friend Gary Neville’s testimonial against Juventus the day before at Old Trafford. MORE

Worcester up after beating Pirates

Worcester beat Cornish Pirates 25-20 at Sixways last night in the Championship final second leg, giving them a 46-32 aggregate victory. This confirmed Worcester’s promotion to the Premiership, and Leeds are now relegated from the top flight. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Paul Scholes soon has to ask himself the hardest question for a sportsman: when does the great performer say that it is time to go, that he can no longer muster much more than the faint echo of a thunderous past? MORE

Holloway: League wants us relegated

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway angrily responded yesterday to suggestions Sir Alex Ferguson might field a weakened Manchester United team on Sunday against his side and be punished for it. “They [the Premier League] will be relieved if we lose and get relegated,” Holloway said. “Then I [will not be] badgering them. I am so annoyed. Sir Alex Ferguson is a winner. That man deserves to pick whatever team he wants to pick. No one should question it. Look at his record. Those people running the game, what planet are they on? They must have beamed down from Planet Zarf.” MORE

Arsenal likely to have hard summer

Arsenal face the possibility of playing in the Champions League playoff round in August after losing control of third place. This would possibly mean having to play Udinese at the end of a summer in which a squad clear-out and new recruitment is likely. MORE



McIlroy positive about Masters

Rory McIlroy said he often thinks about his collapse at the Masters, but is staying positive about his game. “It’s in the past,” he said. “I’m very happy where my golf is at the moment and looking forward to the stretch coming up, starting here.” MORE

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Day In a Page

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Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

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Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

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Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

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Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

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Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

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From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

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The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
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Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

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Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape