The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 1 November 2011


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The Independent Online


Wenger: Chelsea win lifted players

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger feels Saturday’s win at Chelsea represented a breakthrough for his team. “There was an uncertainty about whether they could win a big game,” he said. “It was important to see if we were capable of playing well and winning.” MORE

Cup final hero ready for Bath time

Stephen Donald made the decision to join Bath before his surprise role in New Zealand’s World Cup victory last month. “Being left out, I didn’t anticipate the outcome,” he said. “When I was told I wasn’t wanted, I made the decision to make a fresh start.” MORE

Harrison looks for one more fight

Audley Harrison needs a shoulder operation but then he will return to the ring. “I will fight again because I’m not yet finished with boxing,” he said. Harrison has not fought since losing to David Haye a year ago. MORE

Kroenke speaks up for Glazer family

Stan Kroenke has proved an unlikely voice of support for the Glazer family’s running of Manchester United. “They have increased revenues by a huge amount,” the Arsenal majority shareholder said. “ If I was a fan, I would sit there and go ‘wow’.” MORE

London side look to increase support

Harlequins will today relaunch themselves in an attempt to garner new support. “We went through a consultation and one thing that came through was [to] change our name,” chief executive Gus Mackay said. “We wanted the word ‘London’ in it.” MORE

Ferdinand breaks silence on Terry row

Anton Ferdinand has spoken about the incident with John Terry during QPR’s victory over Chelsea last month. “I have very strong feelings on the matter,” he said. “I thank the Club and my fellow professionals for their unwavering support.” MORE

Button’s success ‘riles Hamilton’

Lewis Hamilton’s recent clashes with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa have been blamed on Jenson Button’s sparkling form. “Lewis, great exciting driver that he is, will not like being beaten by Jenson,” said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

If there is something in the way a team plays, it is certainly no hardship recognising Spurs as English football’s team of the moment. They brought more than a breath of sweetness to some rancid football air. MORE

Ba hat-trick a treat for Newcastle as they climb to third

A second Demba Ba hat-trick inside six weeks helped Newcastle United to a 3-1 victory at Stoke to extend the Magpies’ remarkable unbeaten start to the campaign and move them above Chelsea into third place. The Senegalese striker (pictured left celebrating his second with team-mate Steven Taylor, who sported a facemask to protect a broken nose) took his tally to eight goals in five league games as Stoke were consigned to a second successive home defeat. Ba opened the scoring after 12 minutes, heading a superb Gabriel Obertan cross past Asmir Begovic, and doubled the visitors’ advantage before the interval, tapping home after another right-wing cross, from Leon Best. Jonathan Walters then scored from the spot for Stoke with 15 minutes remaining before Ba completed his treble with a penalty of his own to confirm victory. MORE

Why has the game gone goal-crazy?

Last weekend’s results continued the high-scoring start to the season, with the Premier League averaging more goals per game than leading European leagues. Is this because of strikers at the top of their game, or are defences on the wane? MORE

In-form Garcia opts out of Shanghai

Sergio Garcia has opted to miss this week’s world championship in Shanghai, deciding to rest rather than try for a third successive victory. The 31-year-old Spaniard has returned to the world’s top 20 but cedes his place in Shanghai to American Jim Furyk.