The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 1 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Kompany beats United to send City back to top

Manchester City won the crucial derby with Manchester United last night, to go back to the top of the Premier League on goal difference, with just two games left.

Vincent Kompany's header at the end of the first half was the only goal in a game in which City were superior.

Sir Alex Ferguson played with Wayne Rooney up front on his own, bringing Ji-Sung Park, Ryan Giggs and Luis Nani into midfield. United had a good first 10 minutes but City were the dominant team in terms of possession and chances. Sergio Aguero shot wide from close range before Kompany converted David Silva's corner kick in first-half added time.

United started the second half better but produced little threat, and did not have a shot on target all game. Roberto Mancini brought on Nigel de Jong, whose foul on Danny Welbeck led to a heated argument between Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Yaya Toure had two shots go narrowly wide in the final minutes, and Samir Nasri delayed too long before shooting, but City managed to hang on to record what could be a decisive win. MORE

England hope to tie up Hodgson today

The Football Association hope to appoint Roy Hodgson as the new England manager today after four hours of talks with FA chairman David Bernstein yesterday. The plan is for a press conference with Hodgson and Bernstein at around 2pm tomorrow afternoon. MORE

'Top-class' Podolski signs for Arsenal

Arsenal confirmed the signing of Lukas Podolski from Cologne yesterday. The 26-year-old Germany forward joins for roughly £11m. "We are delighted," said manager Arsène Wenger. "He is a top-class player, a very good finisher and a proven performer." MORE

Coyle keen to see Muamba at Reebok

Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle believes tomorrow's visit from Tottenham Hotspur could be a "wonderful opportunity" for Fabrice Muamba to attend and see the fans for the first time since his collapse: "We would love it if Fabrice was fit to come." MORE

Liverpool players in Final audition

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has called on his players to use tonight's visit of Fulham as an audition for the FA Cup final. "We want the strongest possible squad we can for Saturday," he said. "[Every player] is capable of playing in a Cup final for this club." MORE

'Pietersen law' brought in by ECB

Players migrating to England after their 18th birthday will have to wait seven years before they can play for the country, the ECB announced yesterday. "There was a feeling that we wanted a team that was a product of our own system," a spokesperson said. MORE

Cipriani ends Melbourne stay

England fly-half Danny Cipriani has ended his Melbourne Rebels contract early, ahead of his move back to Sale. Despite signs of a return to form, the 24-year-old will now head home to prepare for his quest to resurrect his international career. MORE

'Hysterical' BOA loses drugs case

The Court of Arbitration for Sport have freed David Millar and Dwain Chambers to compete this summer, ruling the BOA's attempt to protect a bylaw barring drugs cheats invalid and criticising their defence as "hysterical and inaccurate". MORE

Trump plays down Carter rift reports

Judd Trump has denied reports of a rift with Ali Carter after losing to the 32-year-old in the last 16 yesterday. "Me and Ali have always got on," last year's beaten finalist said following Carter's stunning finish. "There's just a lot of pressure out there." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Harry Redknapp had a case for becoming England manager, and some exciting achievements. At the very least he was due was a decent and respectful hearing – his treatment has been nothing short of abysmal. MORE