The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 27 December 2011


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The Independent Online

United join City at top after romping to win over Wigan

Manchester United recorded their second successive 5-0 victory to draw level with neighbours City at the top of the table. Sir Alex Ferguson's side eased past Wigan, while leaders City were held to a goalless draw at West Brom-wich Albion. Dimitar Berbatov scored his fourth hat-trick in 15 months as United followed up last Wednesday's 5-0 canter at Fulham with a five-star encore at Old Trafford. Park Ji-sung and Antonio Valencia, against his former club, scored the others, to leave City ahead on goal difference alone. MORE

Kauto Star coasts to fifth triumph

Kauto Star produced a vintage run to take a fifth King George VI Chase at Kempton Park yesterday. The 11-year-old, ridden by Ruby Walsh, avenged last year's defeat to Long Run with a superb performance to win by a length and a quarter. MORE

Feckless City held at Hawthorns

Leaders Manchester City were held to a 0-0 draw at West Bromwich Albion, with Roberto Mancini's side failing to score in the league for the first time this season. City remain top on goal difference but could be second by the time they play again. MORE

AVB: Chelsea's title dream is over

Andre Villas-Boas admitted Chelsea's title aspirations were all but over after his side's 1-1 home draw with Fulham. "It'll be very difficult for us to win it," the Chelsea manager admitted after Clint Dempsey cancelled out Juan Mata's strike. MORE

Resilient Rovers extend Reds' misery

Liverpool were again left frustrated at Anfield; Kenny Dalglish's side were held to a 1-1 by bottom side Blackburn – the Reds' sixth draw in nine home league games this season. Maxi Rodriguez's header cancelled out Charlie Adam's first-half own-goal. MORE

Gloucester draw sting from Wasps

Jonny May and Olly Morgan both went over twice as Gloucester powered past a poor Wasps 39-10 at Kingsholm yesterday. Wasps hit back after a strong opening from the home side to trail 19-10 at the break before the hosts ran away with the match. MORE

Quick-fire double downs poor Bolton

Goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ben inside three second-half minutes helped Newcastle to a 2-0 victory at Bolton to extend the hosts' horrific home run. Owen Coyle's side have now lost eight of their nine league games at the Reebok this season. MORE

Webb error gifts Everton a point

A controversial penalty from Leighton Baines helped Everton rescue a 1-1 draw at Sunderland. Referee Howard Webb gave the spot-kick despite Leon Osman falling after his own miss-kick. Elsewhere, Aston Villa held Stoke to a goalless draw. MORE

Do Prado double puts Saints clear

Southampton opened up a three-point lead over West Ham at the top with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, Guly do Prado scoring twice. West Ham were held 1-1 at Birmingham, while Middlesbrough drew level with the London side after beating Hull 1-0. MORE

Australia restricted by lack of DRS

Australia began the second day of the first Test against India on 277 for 6 after a controversial opening day at the MCG. Ed Cowan and Mike Hussey were out to contentious decisions following India's vetoing of the DRS. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Kauto Star revealed beyond a sliver of doubt that indeed he had the quality of a fine wine. He had got better with the years. He ran as imperiously as he had ever done and he jumped as well, if not better, than ever before. MORE