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