The Sports Matrix: Thursday 6 December 2012


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The Independent Online

Celtic progress as holders bow out despite heavy win

There was joy and despair for the British clubs as the group stage of the competition culminated last night. Celtic saw out a nervy 2-1 victory over Spartak Moscow to reach the last 16 for the third time in their history. A Gary Hooper strike and a Kris Commons penalty took Neil Lennon's side through. MORE

Holders Chelsea crashed out despite a resounding 6-1 win over Danish side Nordsjaelland, which saw both sides miss a penalty. Fernando Torres, above, scored twice to give interim manager Rafael Benitez his first victory at Stamford Bridge but it was in vain as Juventus won at Shakhtar to take both teams through. MORE

Manchester United, long confirmed as Group H winners, surprisingly went down 1-0 at home to CFR Cluj. MORE

Anderson puts England in control

Three wickets from James Anderson helped England take command of the third Test against India after the opening day in Kolkata. He took 3 for 68 as the hosts ended on 273 for 7, with Monty Panesar also taking two wickets. Sachin Tendulkar scored 76. MORE

Stadium work 'still a year away'

Despite West Ham United yesterday being named as "first-ranked bidder" on the Olympic Stadium, work on converting the site is unlikely to begin for another year. The stadium will not be ready to host matches at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. MORE

Mancini given five-month deadline

Manchester City's manager Roberto Mancini has been given five months to prove to the club's owners he can revive the club's fortunes and take them to the next level. City were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage this week after failing to win a match. MORE

AVB content to let players celebrate

The Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas does not believe allowing players to celebrate Christmas will derail their League ambitions: "It is part of our group spirit. We will have dinner and go from there. I don't think results are related to the Christmas party." MORE

Lydiate the latest to head out of Wales

Newport Gwent-Dragons have announced the departure of Wales international Dan Lydiate. The 24-year-old is likely to follow the current trend and move to a French side. "We are very disappointed," rugby director Robert Beale said. MORE

Rosicky calls on fans to keep calm

Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky has called on the club's supporters to remain patient during the club's poor run of form. "I can understand the frustration," the Czech international said. "But we have to stick together and fight." MORE

Eriksson holds talks with Ukraine

Former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson has held talks with Ukraine over the country's managerial vacancy. The Swede could succeed Oleg Blokhin, who resigned in September. Harry Redknapp was linked with the job earlier this season.

Rodgers refutes Reina rumours

The Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dismissed suggestions that the club are looking to sell Pepe Reina. "I have two very good goalkeepers," Rodgers insisted. "Any areas that we look to improve will be in other areas of the team." MORE

Dettori determined to return stronger

Frankie Dettori's lawyer has backed the jockey to come back stronger from his six-month drugs ban. "He is determined to rebuild his reputation when he returns," Christopher Stewart-Moore said. MORE

James Lawton

In their most perilous hour, where could Chelsea and besieged manager Rafa Benitez look for a touch of certainty? You would have given long odds against David Luiz and Fernando Torres.  MORE