The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 11 December 2012


Rodallega heads Fulham to victory against Newcastle

Hugo Rodallega's header helped Fulham to a first victory in eight matches as they beat Newcastle 2-1 at Craven Cottage last night. The Colombian guided home Damien Duff's cross just after the hour mark to register his second goal of the season.

Newcastle, who hit the woodwork through Fabricio Coloccini, had earlier equalised thanks to Hatem Ben Arfa, the winger's shot from the right clipping John Arne Riise before looping over Mark Schwarzer. Steve Sidwell's opener for Fulham was also deflected, off Mike Williamson, after 19 minutes. MORE

Gooch: Cook has perfect ingredients

Graham Gooch has tipped Alastair Cook to break his record of Test runs for England. "He's got his best years in front of him," the England batting coach said. "He's not the most eye-catching player, but gets the job done. You know the old saying? It's not how, it's how many." MORE

Bantams confident of Arsenal upset

The Bradford manager, Phil Parkinson, says his players are confident of upsetting Arsenal in tonight's Capital One Cup quarter-final meeting. "I couldn't get the players off the training ground this morning," he said. "There's a good feel about the place." MORE

Jagielka: Toffees' sweet spot in sight

Everton defender Phil Jagielka believes Sunday's last-gasp victory over Tottenham Hotspur can help the club improve in the second half of the season. "We have given ourselves a great platform now," he said. "We have to perform well for the rest of season." MORE

Hart takes on Manicini after loss

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart exchanged angry words with manager Roberto Mancini in the aftermath of Sunday's defeat against United. The Italian blamed Hart for the perceived mis-positioning of City's defensive wall for Robin van Persie's late free-kick winner. MORE

Hartley cited for striking Best

The Northampton forward Dylan Hartley was last night cited for alleged foul play during last week's Heineken Cup defeat against Ulster. The England hooker was reported for striking Ulster's Rory Best with his arm last Friday.

English sides face uphill struggle

Premiership clubs continued their poor record in the Heineken Cup last week, with only Harlequins confident of making the knockouts. Halfway through this season's group stage, half the English challenge has been all but quelled. MORE

Rees to depart Integrity post

Former Metropolitan Police detective Jeff Rees is to retire as head of the Tennis Integrity Unit at the end of the month. He will be replaced by another former officer, Nigel Willerton, who has worked as an investigator with the unit. MORE

Khan reaches career crossroads

Amir Khan faces unbeaten Carlos Molina this weekend in his first fight under new trainer Virgil Hunter. The 26-year-old Briton has lost his last two fights and a third consecutive defeat would send his career into a tailspin. MORE

Long Run poised to take limelight

Free of Kauto Star's shadow, Long Run is the favourite for the King George VI Chase, although the jury remains out. "The Gold Cup he won might have taken a lot out of him," owner Robert Waley-Cohen said. MORE

James Lawton

No one is saying Sir Alex Ferguson cannot be out-thought. Only that second-guessing appears to be an entirely different matter. The latest facts suggest it might be entirely out of the question. MORE