The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 3 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Valencia sends United five clear

Antonio Valencia's late goal helped Manchester United to a crucial 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers last night, which extended United's lead over Manchester City to five points. With 10 minutes left the game was still at 0-0 before Valencia's powerful shot beat Paul Robinson, and Ashley Young then added another. MORE

Strauss: 'Absolute faith' in England

Andrew Strauss still has confidence in his England team, ahead of the second Sri Lanka Test which starts today. "It hasn't gone our way so far this winter," said the under-fire England captain after four straight defeats, "but I retain absolute faith, in our players and the way we like to play our cricket, that it will turn round." MORE

Mancini far from certain of City stay

Roberto Mancini's future at Manchester City is not guaranteed after this season and chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak will review his position if City lose the title to Manchester United. Mancini's faith in Mario Balotelli is having a divisive effect with the squad. The availability of Jose Mourinho will be a key factor. MORE

M'Vila open to Arsenal move

France international midfielder Yann M'Vila said that he would be interested in leaving Rennes for Arsenal this summer, ahead of other potential suitors. "If the coach calls you and tells you he wants you, especially a French coach, it changes everything," said the 21-year-old. MORE

Donald speaks on Nicklaus advice

Luke Donald has revealed the advice Jack Nicklaus gave him on winning a major. "He told me my driving accuracy was probably the key area I needed to work on. That's something I knew myself, but hearing it from Jack gave more substance to it. It can't but help to learn from the most successful golfer who ever lived." MORE

Blues terminate Henson's stay

Cardiff Blues released troubled Wales back Gavin Henson yesterday, after a drunken incident on a flight back from Glasgow. "Behaviour like that will not be tolerated at the Blues," said club chief executive Richard Holland. MORE

McCracken names Olympic squad

Seven British boxers have been named in the squad for the Olympic boxing final qualification tournament by coach Robert McCracken. "It's been a long and hard journey," he said. "There have been so many fantastic boxers over the last few years." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Some are claiming that the Masters which starts on Thursday could be the best ever. It certainly has extraordinary potential, with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy at its heart, but what of the era of Jack Nicklaus? MORE