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The Sports Matrix: Thursday 24 November 2011

 

Van Persie the man again for Arsenal

Robin van Persie took his 2011 record to 38 goals in 41 matches as his double helped Arsenal overcome Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at the Emirates. Arsène Wenger's side won Group F and qualified for the last 16 with a game to spare. MORE

London finals face tax threat

The Lawn Tennis Association faces a battle to keep the World Tour Finals in London beyond the end of the existing four-year deal next year. Leading players are unhappy at being forced to pay tax on endorsement deals while they stay in Britain. MORE

England regime's failure is laid bare

The leaking of World Cup reports highlights how poorly prepared Martin Johnson's side were in New Zealand. Archaic coaching practices, confused selection and unclear strategic and tactical thinking played their part. MORE

Barça edge Milan as Apoel celebrate

Barcelona edged out Milan 3-2 at San Siro to secure their place in the last 16 as winners of Group H, Xavi scoring the winner on the hour mark. Elsewhere, Apoel Nicosia became the first Cypriot side to make the last 16 after drawing at Zenit. MORE

'November used to be a time to recover'

Middlesex players are being trained by a cage fighter as they return to training ahead of the new season. Managing director and former cricket journalist Angus Fraser tells i how the off-season has changed since he was a player. MORE

Napoli president taunts beaten City

The Napoli president has suggested Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour could look elsewhere if the club fail to deliver success. "Mansour wanted to build a toy," Aurelio de Laurentiis said. "If he does not win in four or five years, maybe he leaves." MORE

The rise and rise of British handball

Great Britain's inclusion in next year's women's handball event at the London Games will be the culmination of a remarkable rise in interest in the sport in this country. When the Games were awarded to London in 2005, GB did not even have a team. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Martin Johnson's coaching squad are not so much criticised as professionally dismantled. The players say coaches produced a regime that created not the possibility of hope and progress but the certainty of despair. MORE

Tottenham look to £9m Hoilett move

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is closing in on a move for Blackburn striker Junior Hoilett, with the Ewood Park side resigned to losing the Canadian forward. A fee of £9m could tempt Blackburn's owners into accepting a January bid. MORE

Westwood wants 'fresh approach'

Lee Westwood has announced that he is to ditch the European Tour in favour of its PGA equivalent. "Watching Luke [Donald] do so well made me want to try it out too," the world No 3 said. "You need a fresh approach every now and then." MORE

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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

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

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Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

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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

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
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