The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 2 August 2011

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Barton to leave Newcastle for free

Joey Barton’s spell at Newcastle came to an abrupt end yesterday, as the club put the midfielder on the transfer list, and said he can leave for free, despite having a year left on his contract. The move comes after another outspoken Twitter rant by Barton. MORE

Vettel under less pressure – Button

After his victory in Hungary on Sunday in his milestone 200th grand prix start, former world champion Jenson Button speaks frankly to i about the race for the drivers’ title: “There’s definitely less pressure for him [Sebastian Vettel] than I had in 2009.” MORE

Five culled from World Cup squad

Martin Johnson yesterday cut Joe Worsley, David Strettle, James Simpson-Daniel, George Chuter and Thomas Waldrom from England’s training squad. Ten more will be cut from the 40-man squad before 22 August. MORE

Fabregas saga hits Arsenal’s Mata bid

The saga of Cesc Fabregas’s return to Barcelona has affected Arsenal’s hopes of signing Juan Mata of Valencia as a replacement. Mata is thought to have had a release clause of £18.4m, but it has now run out meaning Arsenal may have to pay more for him. MORE

Woods to appear at Australian Open

Tiger Woods has signed up to play at the Australian Open in Sydney from 10 to 13 November, organisers said yesterday, making him a likely starter at the following week’s Presidents Cup. Woods will return to the fairways this week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Jefferies ‘removed’ as Hearts manager

Hearts have confirmed Jim Jefferies is no longer manager at Tynecastle. “Jim Jefferies has been removed as manager, and has been offered a director of football role which he is currently considering,” read a club statement last night. MORE

Farah sets sights just on 10,000m

Mo Farah will focus solely on the 10,000m at this month’s World Championships in South Korea. Farah, who has won over 3,000m, 5,000m, 10,000m and in the halfmarathon, said: “I’m going to put all my eggs in one basket and that is the 10k.” MORE

Bond backtracks on Modric sale talk

Tottenham’s assistant manager Kevin Bond last night made a Uturn over his earlier suggestion Luka Modric could be sold if the club’s valuation is met. “The club’s position is quite clear – we have no intention of selling him,” he said.

Carter tears through Lancs

In his first County Championship appearance of the season after recovering from a pelvic injury, Warwickshire’s Neil Carter recorded career-best figures of 6 for 30 as fellow title contenders Lancashire fell from 101 for 2 to 189 all out at Liverpool. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

India’s VVS Laxman gave the impression he had just been involved in a car crash and in a way, of course, he had. India have been careering off course ever since the majority of the team arrived for the Lord’s Test. MORE

Terrific England crush India to lead series 2-0

England are now just two draws away from becoming the world’s No 1 Test side after another outstanding performance to defeat India emphatically by 319 runs on the fourth day at Trent Bridge yesterday. It was another day for England’s supreme bowling attack to flourish, removing the visitors quickly for just 158 in the afternoon. Tim Bresnan, who had reached 90 with the bat before England were bowled out for 544 earlier in the day, gained his first five-wicket haul in a Test match, while James Anderson took three – including his seventh Test dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar – and man of the match Stuart Broad the other two. “It is nice when cricket is going your way and it makes it even more special when things have been pretty tough for a couple of months,” the in-form Broad said, having taken a total of eight wickets, and scored 108 runs in the second Test. The third Test starts a week tomorrow at Edgbaston. MORE

Reds’ pre-season woe continues

Liverpool failed to win for the third consecutive pre-season match after they were held to a 3-3 draw by Valerenga in Oslo last night. Goals from Andy Carroll and two from Daniel Agger were not enough as Kenny Dalglish’s side conceded in injury-time.

Bopara can stake a claim for Trott slot

If Jonathan Trott’s shoulder injury keeps him out of the third Test against India next week, Essex’s Ravi Bopara is tipped to replace him. “I just have to concentrate on what I’ve got to do [with England Lions against Sri Lanka A today],” he said. MORE