The Sports Matrix: Thursday 22 November 2012


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Benitez takes reins as Di Matteo latest to feel Chelsea axe

The former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was last night placed in charge of Chelsea after another chaotic day at the west London club. Predecessor Roberto Di Matteo was sacked earlier in the day following a poor run of form, which culminated in Tuesday's 3-0 defeat at Juventus, a result that leaves Chelsea in severe danger of failing to reach the last 16 of a competition they won last season.

Benitez, above, will take over at Stamford Bridge initially until the end of the season, with a chance of staying longer should he prove successful. MORE

Man City tumble out despite draw

Manchester City crashed out at the group stage for the second season running, despite holding Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw. Requiring a win to stay in contention, Roberto Mancini's side fell behind to Karim Benzema's early goal, before Sergio Aguero equalised from the spot. MORE

Wilshere helps put Gunners into last 16

Fine second-half goals from Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski earned Arsenal a 2-0 victory at home to Montpellier to confirm their place in the last 16. Wilshere tucked home his first goal in almost two years just after the break before Poldolski volleyed in the second. MORE

Lazio failed Gazza, admits assistant

Paul Gascoigne's former personal assistant admits Lazio failed the player during his spell at the club in the 1990s. "I don't think many had Gazza's best interests at heart," Jane Nottage said. "We let him down." The player will attend Lazio's match against Tottenham tonight. MORE

AVB: Another day at office for Chelsea

Andre Villas-Boas has compared Roberto Di Matteo's sacking at Chelsea to "just another day at the office". "It's their decision," said the Portuguese, sacked by owner Roman Abramovich from the west London club last March. "It's what they believe will take them forward." MORE

Trott: England felt pressure of No 1

Jonathan Trott admits England may have suffered from the pressure of being world No 1. "A lot of attention goes on you," the batsman said. "The pressure is on you. But if we win a couple it will be forgotten. In a month of cricket a lot can change." MORE

Corbisiero primed for England return

Alex Corbisiero believes he is ready for a return to the England side for Saturday's visit of South Africa. "I feel pretty confident that I'm ready," the prop said. "It's never easy after a long lay-off but I'm fitter than at any time in my career." MORE

Meyer preparing for a tough test

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer is expecting a tough match when his side take on England on Saturday. "England will put their bodies on the

line for their country," he said. "I have a lot of respect for their scrummaging power." MORE

Dettori suspended ahead of hearing

Frankie Dettori yesterday had his licence temporarily suspended by the French authorities as investigations continue into his failed drugs test. The Italian, 41, now awaits his disciplinary hearing, which is expected in the next fortnight. MORE

Poulter slams 'boring' baseball

Ian Poulter has criticised the sport of baseball, so popular in his adopted country. "I've never watched a full game," he said. "I walk out after five innings. It bores me tearless. You want me to sit for four hours? Come on." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

If Roberto Di Matteo had to go less than six months after winning the Champions League what fate his compatriot Roberto Mancini, left, for failing to reach the foothills in two years? MORE