Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Data Administrator

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of this mu...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - £40,000 - £70,000 OTE

£40000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: (Senior) IT Business Analyst - London - European projects

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful & reputable global business is l...

Recruitment Genius: Engineering Project Manager

£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

The Sports Matrix: Thursday 29 November 2012

Hammer blow as Van Persie strikes early for United

Manchester United maintained their one-point lead at the top of the Premier League last night after defeating West Ham 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Robin van Persie gave Sir Alex Ferguson's side the lead by scoring after 33 seconds – the fastest goal in the Premier League this season, minutes after Theo Walcott had scored the previous fastest with his effort in the 51st second in Arsenal's 1-1 draw withEverton at Goodison Park.

Van Persie took a pass from Michael Carrick, above, on the edge of the area, produced a delightful, first-time flick to loop the ball over Winston Reid's head and the Dutchman's follow-up shot took a cruel deflection off James Collins and over the stranded Jussi Jaskelainen.

United's lead was vulnerable, though, as Sam Allardyce's side had good opportunities. Andy Carroll's first-half effort flew narrowly over the crossbar, before Matthew Taylor failed to convert Nolan's inviting cross after the interval. Substitute Modibo Maiga cut in and flashed a shot over the crossbar, and goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard denied Carlton Cole, but the hosts held on. MORE

Westwood hopes to retain title

Lee Westwood begins the defence of the Nedbank Challenge Trophy in South Africa today before heading to Bangkok next week. "I'd love to be the first to win three Nedbank titles in a row," Westwood said. "Coming back and defending a title is very satisfying." MORE

England give Giles limited-overs role

England have separated Test and limited-overs cricket. Andy Flower will continue to guide the Test squad but Ashley Giles, director of cricket at Warwickshire and already a selector, has been appointed as head coach of the one-day international and Twenty20 teams. MORE

Tredwell called up as spin cover

Kent off-spinner James Tredwell is joining the Test tour to India on Saturday in case Graeme Swann or Monty Panesar is injured. The move confirms that England intend to play two spinners in the remaining Tests to try for a rare series victory on the subcontinent. MORE

Woods backs plan to ban anchoring

Tiger Woods has backed the decision of golf's regulatory bodies on both sides of the Atlantic, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and the United States Golf Association, who have moved to ban the anchoring of a putting device to the body from 2016.

Robshaw could miss Lions Tour

England captain Chris Robshaw could miss the Australia tour because the British & Irish Lions head coach, Warren Gatland, will pick a specialist breakaway forward for that Test series rather than a multi-purpose all-rounder like Robshaw. MORE

Charteris praises retiring Sharpe

Wales' Luke Charteris praised Nathan Sharpe ahead of the Australia captain's final Test on Saturday. Charteris said: "He really is one of the standout second-rows of the last 10 or 15 years, and if it is his last game he has earned his rest."

Van Commenee left to make point

Charles van Commenee resigned as UK Athletics coach after missing medal targets to help create "a culture of no excuses". "I wanted to make a clear statement about these things," said the Dutchman. MORE

Lewis Moody

Stuart Lancaster will be feeling the pressure but I believe he will come through it. This is a grounded guy, not someone who will get above his situation. He knows what is required of him. MORE

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness