The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 10 May 2011

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The Independent Online

Rodriguez scores hat-trick in rout

Maxi Rodriguez scored a hat-trick as Liverpool thrashed Fulham 5-2 last night. He scored twice early before Dirk Kuyt fired the third. Moussa Dembélé pulled one back before Maxi struck again and Luis Suarez made it five. Steve Sidwell added a late consolation. MORE

Belgian rider killed on Giro

Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt died yesterday after injuries sustained in a bad crash on the Giro d’Italia. He was the first rider to die in a major tour since Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France. Weylandt had taken two stages in grand tours. MORE

Djokovic can go to No 1 in Rome

Novak Djokovic can go to the top of the world rankings on Monday. If he wins his seventh successive tournament at the Rome Masters, and Rafael Nadal does not reach the semi-finals, the Serb will overtake him. MORE

Villas-Boas in mix to replace Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti is highly unlikely to survive the summer at Chelsea after failing to retain the title this season. Andre Villas-Boas, Porto’s 33-year-old coach, is currently being assessed, though Chelsea prefer Guus Hiddink, who is now manager of Turkey. MORE

Troubled Henson given Wales spot

Gavin Henson has been selected in the 24-man Wales squad for the game against the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium next month. The centre has not played for Wales since the 2009 Six Nations and was recently suspended by Toulon. MORE

Sky wants Neville for Barcelona final

Sky Sports hopes to use new co-commentator Gary Neville for Manchester United’s Champions League final against Barcelona on 28 May. They want to start him on Saturday against Blackburn, where United could seal their 19th league title. MORE

Brown charged over comments

The Huddersfield coach, Nathan Brown, has been charged over remarks made after their recent defeat of Leeds. Brown said that he would encourage his players to take the law into their own hands if the Giants’ players were not better protected by referees. MORE

Holloway upset by fighting players

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway had to intervene in an argument between D J Campbell and Charlie Adam on Saturday night, after they disagreed over penalty-taking duties. “It is a little bit upsetting for me,” he said “but that is how much they care.” MORE

Canford odds-on for the Lockinge

Canford Cliffs was yesterday installed as 4-5 favourite for Saturday’s Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, ahead of his Richard Hannon stablemate Dick Turpin. “He has done exceptionally well from [age] three to four,” Hannon said yesterday of the colt. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Carlo Ancelotti has been left in the same place as Avram Grant once was at Chelsea. He is rendered desperately exposed to the worst the game can do, a lonely figure with little prospect of changing his quick-fix club. MORE

City one win from Champions League

Manchester City have the chance to leave Tottenham in their wake tonight, after being frustrated by them at the same stage last season. Champions League football has been the goal at Eastlands since the takeover 982 days ago, and City can secure it with a win tonight. Even a draw would put them in a very strong position. Spurs denied City, taking fourth, with a 1-0 win last May. City and Roberto Mancini are already planning for next season, as chief executive Garry Cook watched Udinese’s Alexis Sanchez last weekend, while City may also look to add Napoli’s Edinson Cavani and Bolton’s Gary Cahill. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp has rued the funds at City’s disposal. “They’ve got a strong squad which is only going to get better,” he said. “They’ve got unlimited funds to buy anybody, and can pay the wages. They’ve got players earning £200,000 a week. It’s crazy, isn’t it?” MORE

Warnock: Players cried at promotion

Neil Warnock writes in i about the feeling when he heard QPR would not have points deducted, and when he told the players. “The relief was unbelievable,” he writes. “They were all jumping up and down and hugging each other, half of them were in tears.” MORE

New TV deal gives clubs more money

The Premier League will pay out record sums in TV money this season, with the bottom club guaranteed at least £37m, and the champions earning £57m. The new overseas deals mean clubs will earn on average nearly £5m more than last season. MORE