The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 03 January 2012


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The Independent Online

Wenger furious with referee after defeat at Fulham

Arsène Wenger was irate at referee Lee Probert after his Arsenal side surrendered a lead to lose 2-1 at Fulham last night. The visitors had Johan Djourou sent off before Steve Sidwell headed the equaliser, with Bobby Zamora volleying home an injury-time winner. Laurent Koscielny had given Arsenal a first-half lead. "The referee influenced the game in completely the wrong way in my opinion, and we cannot influence that," Wenger said following the defeat, which left Arsenal out of the Champions League places. "In the last 10 minutes we lost because we were down to 10 men. The first yellow card was not a yellow; the second was a foul for us." Wenger also claimed his side should have had a penalty. MORE     

Lampard leaves it late for Chelsea

Frank Lampard scored in the final minute to secure a 2-1 victory for Chelsea at Wolves and take Andre Villas-Boas's side back into the Champions League slots. Stephen Ward appeared to have earned the hosts a point after equalising Ramires' opener late on. MORE

Barton sent off as QPR lose at home

Joey Barton opened the scoring and was also sent off as Queen's Park Rangers went down 2-1 to Norwich. The midfielder was involved in an incident with Bradley Johnson before QPR's lead was wiped out by Anthony Pilkington and Steve Morison. MORE

Rovers brought back down to earth

Two first-half Peter Crouch goals gave Stoke a 2-1 win at Blackburn as Steve Kean's side failed to build on the weekend victory at Manchester United. David Goodwillie hit a late consolation but the hosts were unable to move out of the bottom three. MORE

Dyer leads Swans to first away victory

Goals at the start of each half from Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge helped Swansea beat Aston Villa 2-0 to record the Welsh side's first away win in the top flight for 30 years. The victory took Brendan Rodgers' side up to 11th, above the Midlands side. MORE

Suarez to play as Reds ponder appeal

Luis Suarez is expected to feature in Liverpool's side at Manchester City tonight as the club decide whether or not to appeal against the eight-game ban issued to the forward for racially abusing Patrice Evra. The club have until Friday week to appeal. MORE

Ablett dies after battle with cancer

Tributes have been paid to former Liverpool and Everton defender Gary Ablett after the 46-year-old passed away following a battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The centre-back won two league titles and two FA Cups, and also managed Stockport. MORE

Strauss keen to keep it clean

England departed for the United Arab Emirates yesterday with captain Andrew Strauss hoping the matches with Pakistan would be played in the right spirit. "If we approach it in the right spirit that should be good for relations bet-ween the teams," he said. MORE

Fit-again Woods ready for 'fast start'

Former World No 1 Tiger Woods believes he has fully recovered from his recent leg injuries as he looks forward to the new season. "I am feeling healthy again and building week on week," he said. "I am looking to get off to a fast start and keep building." MORE

Kumbeshwar to go after Festival bonus

Alan King has admitted his horse Kumbeshwar is unlikely to be risked against Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle Trophy as he chases a £60,000 bonus. "We'd like to win the bonus," the trainer said. "That money is not to be sniffed at." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Wayne Rooney's latest failure of will and discipline is still another invitation to review the huge gap between the promise of his talent – and his own projections of it – and the reality of his current record. MORE