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The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 5 April 2011

United shocked by Rooney charge

Manchester United are astonished at Wayne Rooney’s charge from the Football Association. He has been charged for swearing into a camera during United’s win at West Ham. He faces a two match ban, and would miss the FA Cup semi-final derby. MORE

Marathon director Bedford quits 2012

David Bedford, the former athlete overseeing the 2012 marathon, has quit after a row with organisers. Bedford, race director for the London Marathon for eight years, said he was frustrated at being overruled by those he considers know less than him. MORE

Djokovic closes in on Nadal’s No 1 spot

Rafael Nadal still had a lead of 3,170 points at the top of yesterday’s updated world rankings list, but Novak Djokovic is closing in after extending his winning run to 26 matches with victory at the Miami Masters. MORE

Routledge helps QPR to push clear

Queen’s Park Rangers extended their lead at the top of the Championship to nine points with a 3-0 home win over Sheffield United. Wayne Routledge put QPR ahead before Alejandro Faurlin’s strike from distance. Routledge scored his second on 66 minutes. MORE

Ayerza and Marler banned for fighting

Marcos Ayerza and Joe Marler, of Leicester and Harlequins respectively, were yesterday banned for a fortnight after fighting in a Premiership match on Saturday. They will miss the weekend’s European action as well as round 20 of the Premiership. MORE

City fall victim to Cup ticket theft

Manchester City’s ticket allocation for the FA Cup semi-final may be reduced by 900 after that many tickets were stolen. They were taken from a Royal Mail van but could end up on the black market, risking plans to segregate supporters. MORE

Donald could be Europe’s strongest

Of all the Europeans at the Masters, Luke Donald may have the best chance of success. The 33-year-old Englishman is in excellent form, after his World Match Play victory in February, and is benefiting from mental coaching by Dave Alred. MORE

Chelsea have the edge over United

Manchester United and Chelsea meet again in Europe tomorrow, for the first time since United’s 2008 triumph in the final. Chelsea have invested more in the years since, and, given their recent wins over United, they go into the game as slight favourites. MORE

Westwood’s plane suffers cockpit fire

Lee Westwood’s private jet had to make an emergency landing on his way to Augusta from Houston. “It was scary,” said the world No 2, “it never looks good when you can smell smoke and you turn round and see the pilots have put their masks on.” MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Tiger Woods is lost, no longer favourite to win the Masters. He should turn to Jack Nicklaus, who recovered from his own mid-life crisis, following the death of his father, to rediscover his greatness after success in his youth. MORE

Redknapp pins £80m tag on Bale

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says that if Real Madrid, Spurs’ opponents tonight, want to sign Gareth Bale, they would have to pay as much as they did for Cristiano Ronaldo: £80m. Redknapp was speaking ahead of this evening’s Champions League quarter-final, the first time Spurs have reached that stage since 1962. Bale, who told a Spanish newspaper that he is “not afraid” to move abroad one day, has recovered in time to start the game, as has Ronaldo. The Portuguese winger will return from injury to start his first game for 18 days. With Madrid now eight points off the pace in La Liga, Jose Mourinho will be desperate for a good result. The nine-time winners are in the quarter-final for the first time since 2004. MORE

Ramos warns Spurs of Ozil threat

Juande Ramos, who has coached Real Madrid and Spurs, warned the Londoners not to fixate on whether Cristiano Ronaldo will play. “It would be a mistake to say Real are a one-man team. Anyone who has seen Mesut Ozil this season will know that.” MORE

ICC cuts World Cup down to 10 teams

The ICC has confirmed the next two World Cups will be contested by 10 teams, cut from the current 14. This will exclude the associate nations, such as Ireland, who competed in this year’s event, though there will be a qualification process for the 2019 tournament.

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