The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 17 January 2012


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The Independent Online

Dzeko heads City back to three-point lead at the summit

Manchester City regained their three-point lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League last night with a hard-earned 1-0 win at Wigan Athletic.

Edin Dzeko scored the only goal of the game, a near-post back-header from David Silva's free-kick after 22 minutes.

Wigan had earlier had a penalty appeal when Gareth Barry appeared to push over Jordi Gomez in the box. City had chances to extend their lead, and Ali al-Habsi had to save well from both Dzeko and Sergio Aguero, including one excellent diving stop from the Bosnian forward.

The hosts put City under pressure in the second half, and Joe Hart had to save well from James McCarthy. In the final minutes, Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa handled the ball as Sergio Aguero ran towards goal. He was booked, to the displeasure of City manager Roberto Mancini.

City last night appeared to moving closer to ending the Carlos Tevez saga, as Internazionale bid £20.7m for the Argentine striker, not far from City's £25m asking price for the player who has been absent since October. MORE

Spurs warned off pursuit of Rémy

Marseilles have told Harry Redknapp that he will not be able to sign Loïc Rémy this month. The Tottenham manager went to see Rémy play on Sunday, as the France striker scored twice. But club president Vincent Labrune will not sell him to Spurs. MORE

Liverpool consider Swansea's Allen

Liverpool have targeted the Swansea midfielder Joe Allen for a possible summer move. The 21-year-old Wales international has impressed this season, as has his Swansea team-mate Nathan Dyer, whom Tottenham Hotspur have watched. MORE

Cahill departs and Coyle wants Ream

Gary Cahill completed his £7m move from Bolton Wanderers to Chelsea yesterday, saying that Chelsea were a "massive club" whom he "could not turn down". Owen Coyle hopes to replace Cahill with the New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream. MORE

Samba hands in transfer request

The Blackburn Rovers captain Christopher Samba is determined to leave the club, and handed in a transfer request yesterday after meeting with club directors. Samba favours a move to Paris St-Germain, although Spurs and QPR are also interested. MORE

Disaster for Brits on opening day

Five of the six British players at the Australian Open were knocked out on the tournament's opening day. Laura Robson, Elena Baltacha and Heather Watson all lost in the women's singles while Anne Keothavong retired ill. James Ward also lost. MORE

Strauss demands England focus

Andrew Strauss is demanding total application from his England team, who start their Test series against Pakistan this morning. "We're not treating it any differently to other series and I don't think we should do." Stuart Broad and Ian Bell are fit to play. MORE

Misbah: Pakistan repairing image

The Pakistan captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, hopes that his team can improve their reputation with good play against England: "You can get your image back only by playing good cricket and by your good conduct on the field. I think we are on the right path." MORE

Injuries affect Six Nations plans

Scotland called up Ed Kalman yesterday after prop Moray Low was ruled out of the start of the Six Nations with a knee injury. Italy left Mirco Bergamasco out of their 30-man squad after shoulder surgery, while Wales will be without Luke Charteris. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Arsène Wenger is a great football man but he increasingly resembles someone in denial. The Arsenal manager has to accept that the cycle of renewal has not worked. If he does not he is at increasing risk of ridicule. MORE