The Sports Matrix: Thursday 26 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Di Matteo little closer to Chelsea job in long term

The Chelsea caretaker manager, Roberto Di Matteo, is far from guaranteed to earn the job on a permanent basis, even if he wins the club's first Champions League on 19 May.

Di Matteo orchestrated a 3-2 aggregate win over Barcelona in the semi-final but the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, wants the Barça coach, Pep Guardiola, who is yet to sign a new contract with the Spanish giants.

None of the Chelsea players on Tuesday night gave Di Matteo unequivocal support and the chief executive, Ron Gourlay, was non-committal on Di Matteo's future in a radio interview last night. Di Matteo is thought to have been interviewed by the technical director, Michael Emenalo, but is still an outside bet, despite taking Chelsea to two cup finals. Frank Lampard said: "It's a hard call for me to make [on Di Matteo] because it's a club decision."

John Terry will be unable to lift the cup should Chelsea win it because of Uefa rules regarding players suspended for violent conduct. Centre-back pair David Luiz and Gary Cahill are both expected to return from injuries in time for the game, though. MORE

Bayern triumph in semi on penalties

Bayern Munich will meet Chelsea in the Champions League final after beating Real Madrid 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out last night. Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the decisive kick and Manuel Neuer saved twice after the tie ended 3-3 on aggregate. MORE

Manchester fans warned by police

Fans of both Manchester clubs will be warned by police that anyone under the influence of alcohol will be refused entry to Monday's derby match. Over 600 officers will be on duty in the city and publicans will be asked to help in preventing disorder. MORE

McAnuff: Follow the Swansea plan

The Reading captain, Jobi McAnuff, tells i he hopes his club follow Swansea's example by sticking with the squad that earned promotion to the Premier League. "That's the blueprint, really," he says. "It's not wholesale changes." MORE

Wenger accepts three-game ban

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, has accepted a three-match Uefa ban and will be in the stands for the next three European games. He did not appeal the punishment, for a rant at the referee Damir Skomina earlier this season. MORE

Strauss 'should not play county game'

Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes current incumbent Andrew Strauss should not be playing for Middlesex as he struggles for form. "I don't read anything into his failures," said Vaughan. "I don't think he should have been playing." MORE

Ramprakash close to bad-language ban

Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash has been given a three-point penalty after being reported for "obscene, offensive or insulting language" by umpires in a county match. The 42-year-old is now only three points away from a suspension. MORE

Tindall latest to leave Gloucester

Mike Tindall has announced he is to leave Gloucester at the end of the season, joining a host of other names in departing Kingsholm. Captain Luke Narraway, Alasdair Strokosch, Scott and Rory Lawson and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu are also on their way out. MORE

Wiggins takes fine road stage victory

Bradley Wiggins yesterday took the lead in the Tour of Romandie after giving Team Sky a second victory in as many days after breaking clear 250m out to win the first road stage. "It's great to win," he said, "because I only ever win in time trials." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

There is no doubt that Johan Cruyff, himself a Barcelona great, would have been more of a threat to Chelsea than Lionel Messi was on Tuesday. Messi seems to lack the ability to change a game when his team is struggling. MORE