The Sports Matrix: Thursday 20 September 2012


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The Independent Online

Oscar shines but Chelsea squander lead to draw 2-2

Chelsea relinquished a two-goal lead as they began the defence of their Champions League title with a 2-2 draw against Juventus in their opening Group E game at Stamford Bridge last night. Oscar made his full debut and dazzled by scoring twice. The first of Oscar's two goals, in the 31st minute, took a deflection off Leonardo Bonucci on its way past Gianluigi Buffon. His second, two minutes later, was superb. With his back to goal, Oscar swivelled and hit a curling shot with his right foot into the top corner. Juve struck before the interval, through, Arturo Vidal firing in a low strike from 18 yards, and Fabio Quagliarella, above, equalised in the 80th minute, sliding his shot past Petr Cech to frustrate Roberto Di Matteo and his side. MORE

Kompany absolves Hart from blame

Vincent Kompany absolved himself and Joe Hart from blame after Cristiano Ronaldo's goal earned Real Madrid a 3-2 win over Manchester City in Tuesday's group D match. Kompany said: "Joe thought I might have been able to get it. But there was no chance." MORE

Europa League is important: AVB

Andre Villas-Boas said his Spurs players must value the Europa League more ahead of the first game against Lazio tonight. Villas-Boas said: "The most important thing is to change [the mentality] of the players so this midweek game starts being important once again." MORE

Carrick's early goal claims United win

Michael Carrick's seventh-minute goal handed Manchester United a 1-0 home victory over Galatasaray in their opening Champions League game in Group G. The Turks appeared to be denied a clear penalty, though, when Nemanja Vidic fouled Umut Bulup. MORE

Messi shines as Barça battle back

Barcelona came from behind to beat Spartak Moscow 3-2 in Group G at the Nou Camp. Cristian Tello put Barça ahead before Dani Alves scored an own goal and Romulo gave the Russian side a shock lead. But Lionel Messi struck twice to give the home side victory. MORE

Briggs shines as England prevail

England defeated Pakistan by 15 runs in their final World Twenty20 warm-up game in Colombo. England batted first and were dismissed for a meagre 111, but reduced Pakistan to just 96-9 in reply, spinner Danny Briggs impressing with 3-15. MORE

Watson shines in Australia victory

Shane Watson was the star as Australia overcame Ireland by seven wickets in their World Twenty20 match in Group B. The all-rounder helped limit Ireland to 123-7 by taking 3-26 before hitting 51 off 30 balls as Australia eased to 125-3. MORE

Robshaw already targeting World Cup

Captain Chris Robshaw knows England must maintain their fourth-place seeding ahead of the 2015 World Cup. "We are aware of the top four seedings. All we can do is go out and perform," said Robshaw. MORE

England Women reach Euro finals

England qualified for the Women's Euro 2013 finals after beating Croatia 3-0 at Walsall's Banks's Stadium last night. Goals from Jill Scott, Eniola Aluko and captain Casey Stoney secured the victory for Hope Powell's side. MORE

India labour to win over Afghanistan

India defeated a dogged Afghanistan team by 23 runs in their opening match at the World Twenty20 in Colombo yesterday. India posted 159-5 before Afghanistan began the chase well at 75-2 before eventually being bowled out for 136. MORE