The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 20 November 2012


Mancini: Maybe the police can help us stop Ronaldo

Roberto Mancini acknowledges that Manchester City will have to do something remarkable to reach the Champions League knockout phase so it is perhaps no surprise that he has joked about enlisting the help of the police to stop Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, below, tomorrow night.

City, who have just two points from four matches, must beat Jose Mourinho's team at the Etihad Stadium to keep alive their chances of progressing from the group phase for the first time. Ronaldo, 27, will be returning to Manchester for the first time since he left United for Real Madrid in an £80m deal in July 2009.

Mancini joked about his approach to stifle Ronaldo: "We'll call the police! He's a top player and he deserves to win the Ballon D'Or. He scored so many goals last year and that helped them to finish above Barcelona.

"I hope he can have a bad night on Wednesday. When you come up against a player who can score one or two goals every game, it is difficult. It is a big night for him to be back here but for Real it's an important game."

Hughes on brink of losing QPR post

Mark Hughes's hold on his job as Queen's Park Rangers manager seemed increasingly tenuous last night. Hughes, who has presided over a dismal start to QPR's season, spent two hours in talks with club chief executive Philip Beard. He did not take training yesterday. MORE

Rooney and RVP rested for United

With qualification from the group stage assured, Sir Alex Ferguson has chosen a youthful squad for tonight's Champions League match at Galatasaray, and has rested Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. Defender Phil Jones, who has yet to play this season, is included. MORE

Di Matteo could drop Torres

The Chelsea manager, Roberto Di Matteo, is considering whether to replace Fernando Torres with Daniel Sturridge ahead of tonight's vital Champions League fixture against Juventus in Turin. "They're both fit and I'll have to see how we're going to go," Di Matteo said.

O'Brien rescues point for Hammers

West Ham missed the chance to move up to fifth place in the Premier League last night after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Stoke City at Upton Park. Jon Walters put Stoke ahead after a well worked move from a corner, before Joey O'Brien equalised for the Hammers.

Cook: We have to look at ourselves

In the wake of England's nine-wicket defeat by India in the first Test yesterday, the disappointed captain Alastair Cook said: "You have a look at a lot of areas – what we could have done better." Cook also hinted at changes for the second Test. MORE

Cavendish says he's OK after crash

Mark Cavendish said he was "relatively OK"  after colliding with a car while training in Italy and, following Bradley Wiggins and Shane Sutton, becomes British cycling's third well-known figure to crash in a road accident recently. page 47

British No 2 may quit the sport

The British No 2 Josh Goodall says he may call time on his tennis career next summer because of the financial pressures of the professional game. There are 229 places in the world rankings between him and British No 1 Andy Murray. page 46

Lancaster set to ring the changes

The London Irish prop Alex Corbisiero and his club-mate Jonathan Joseph are expected to come into Stuart Lancaster's England side for the South Africa match on Saturday. "We're looking to freshen things up," Lancaster said. MORE

French panel to decide Dettori fate

Frankie Dettori faces a France Galop inquiry today after testing positive for a banned substance at Longchamp in September. He could receive a worldwide, six-month suspension if found to have breached the rules. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Ian Bell might have wondered if it would not have been advisable, in the special circumstances and schedule of the tour, to have stayed at home in the first place for the birth of his child. MORE