The Sports Matrix: Thursday 5 January 2012


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The Independent Online

Magpies in Toon to consign Ferguson to successive defeats

Manchester United lost successive league matches for the first time in 10 months as they missed the chance to close the gap on neighbours City at the top of the table. Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and a Phil Jones own goal gave Newcastle a 3-0 victory at St James' Park, with United offering only limited opposition. Wayne Rooney was taken off early following his falling out with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson last week, the Scot having dropped the England striker from the side for the New Year's Eve visit of Blackburn, which United surprisingly lost 3-2. Ba put Newcastle ahead just past the half hour last night, volleying in from a Shola Ameobi knockdown, before Cabaye's free-kick and Jones' own goal at either end of the second half confirmed victory. MORE

Howard scores but Everton lose at home

Tim Howard became only the fourth goalkeeper to score in the Premier League as the American's clearance surprised Bolton's Alex Bogdan at Goodison Park. The visitors recovered to win 2-1, however, thanks to goals from David Ngog and Gary Cahill. MORE

Suarez apologetic over racist taunt

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez last night apologised for using the term "negro" toward Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a league match last year. The Uruguayan has begun serving an eight-match suspension following the October incident. MORE

Inter join Milan in race to sign Tevez

Internazionale have joined the tussle to sign Manchester City's Carlos Tevez but the club remain behind city rivals Milan in negotiations with Roberto Mancini's side over a move for the striker. The Argentine has not featured for City since September. MORE

How O'Neill turned Sunderland around

Martin O'Neill's reviving of Sunderland can be attributed to his moulding of the club in his own energetic style. Martin Hardy examines the reasons behind the dramatic reversal of fortune at the club since the appointment of the Ulsterman last month. MORE

Ponting and Clarke  have India on rack

Ricky Ponting's first century in almost two years and an unbeaten double ton from Michael Clarke helped Australia take complete control of the Second Test against India in Sydney. The hosts ended the second day on 482 for 4, 291 runs ahead of the tourists. MORE

England give Care the cold shoulder

Danny Care will play no part in the forthcoming Six Nations championship after being arrested in the early hours of New Year's Day for drink-driving. The scrum-half has been told he will not be considered when the 32-man elite squad is named next week. MORE

Murray recovers to reach quarter-final

Andy Murray again recovered from a lost first set to beat Gilles Muller 4-6 7-6 6-0 and reach the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International. The Scot saved break points at 5-3 in the second before securing a last eight tie against Marcos Baghdatis. MORE

Bolt to run 400m in Olympic warm-up

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt will open his 2012 season with at least two 400m races on home soil next month as he prepares to defend his 100m and 200m titles at the London Olympics later in the year. "I always run quarters before the season," he said. MORE

Mann: I knew it was going to be big

Pippa Mann has spoken of the moment she was involved in the IndyCar crash that killed fellow Briton Dan Wheldon last year. "I said to myself 'this is going to hurt'," she told i. "I knew it was going to be a big one." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

This, as the disciplinary panel acknowledged, was a difficult case, demanding the most rigorous effort to get to the truth. Luis Suarez's partial apology for the language he used thus amounts to some considerable reward. MORE