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The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 18 December 2012
Santi brings early cheer for Wenger with hat-trick
Arsenal bounced back from their humiliating defeat at Bradford City last week with a 5-2 win at Reading last night. Arsène Wenger's side raced to a 4-0 lead from a Santi Cazorla hat-trick and a strike by Lukas Podolski, above, before Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kébé sparked hopes of a Reading comeback. Theo Walcott then sealed the win with an 80th-minute effort. MORE
Cook: Victory was on par with Ashes
After the final Test ended in a draw yesterday, securing a 2-1 series win for England, captain Alastair Cook said that the success was equal to winning the Ashes. “I think it was on par with the Ashes [victories] he said. “It has been an incredible tour.” MORE
Pardew cancels Christmas party
The Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has cancelled the club’s planned Christmas party because of their poor form this season. “It’s out of respect to our fans, and what we’ve served them this year,” he said. “There’s no party for us, and the same for the staff.” MORE
City risk lengthy Balotelli battle
Manchester City are taking a risk by going outside disciplinary guidelines to fine Mario Balotelli £340,000, resulting in a legal case which could drag on into next year. City have fined the Italian two weeks’ wages because of his accumulation of cards. MORE
Rodgers doubtful on January buys
The Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, said it is doubtful that he will strengthen his squad in the January transfer window “We want to bring in goals,” he said. “But there won’t be too many top players moving about in January because clubs want top money.” MORE
Wiggins' aim – two tour wins in 2013
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Bradley Wiggins has set a new goal for next season, winning both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. "People said it can't be done – winning two tours in one year – so let's have a go," he said. MORE
Houllier: Henry return is unlikely
Gérard Houllier dampened hopes for Thierry Henry's proposed return to Arsenal on loan from New York Red Bulls. Henry recently became a father again. "I think he will want to enjoy the holidays," Houllier told a French TV station. MORE
Byrne sidelined with back injury
Wales full-back Lee Byrne faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after his club revealed that he has suffered a significant back injury. The Clermont Auvergne player was hurt during his team's Heineken Cup win over Leinster last weekend. MORE
Chilton the newest Briton on the grid
Max Chilton has been promoted from reserve driver to take a race seat for Marussia next season, Eddie Jordan has claimed. Chilton will be the fourth British driver on the grid in 2013 after Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta. MORE
Woods sole US player in top four
Tiger Woods was the only American to make it into the world's top four in the end-of-year rankings. The 36-year-old was third, trailing Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald but ahead of Justin Rose. MORE
The most encouraging aspect of England's historic tour was the performances of Captain Cook, who came of age not only as a leader of immense promise but a Test cricketer of the first rank. MORE
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