The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 8 January 2013


Liverpool directors 'embarrassed' by Suarez handball

Mansfield Town's chairman John Radford has launched an attack on Luis Suarez, declaring that Liverpool's directors were "embarrassed" by the handball goal that helped knock his non-league side out of the FA Cup on Sunday in a 2-1 defeat.

He also claimed that the Uruguayan gloated when he realised that the goal would be allowed to stand by kissing his wrist, although it is a celebration the 25-year-old frequently uses.

"It was like, 'Hang on, I can get away with this,'" Radford said of the Suarez goal. "The referees have a hard time, but to do it deliberately and then celebrate is the hardest thing. To cheat, OK, but to cheat and then celebrate cheating, that is the worst thing you can do." MORE

Everton progress after Robins rout

A strong Everton side ran out 5-1 winners at League Two Cheltenham in the FA Cup third round last night. Nikica Jelavic, Leighton Baines, Leon Osman, Seamus Coleman and Marouane Fellaini scored for the visitors, with Russell Penn grabbing Cheltenham's only goal. MORE

Ferguson considers move for Lampard

Sir Alex Ferguson has been monitoring Frank Lampard's position and is considering making a move for the Chelsea player. Lampard's agent announced the midfielder would "in no circumstances" be offered a fresh contract to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond this season. MORE

Messi is world's best yet again

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi was awarded the Ballon d'Or for the fourth consecutive year in Zurich last night. Messi, 25, hit 91 goals in all competitions during 2012 and beat club team-mate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo to the award.

Aguero focused despite break-up

Sergio Aguero has insisted his high-profile marriage break-up will not affect his commitment to Manchester City. The striker, who separated from Diego Maradona's daughter Giannina last month, said: "I am trying to adapt myself to my new situation after the break-up."

GB's Robson joins Watson in top 50

Laura Robson climbed three places in the world rankings yesterday to No 50, leaving the 18-year-old three places behind her compatriot Heather Watson. Britain now has two women in the world's top 50 for the first time in 25 years. MORE

Coach: Ennis will stay in Sheffield

Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis has no plans to leave Sheffield even if the city's Don Valley Stadium is demolished, according to her coach, Toni Minichiello. "It would make things very difficult for us, but Jess will not leave Sheffield," said Minichiello.

Fourie's visa issues may force him out

Former England international Hendre Fourie is poised to return to South Africa because he cannot get a visa to remain in the country he represented, now he is not playing professionally. Fourie retired last week due to a shoulder injury. MORE

Bradford look for third cup shock

Aston Villa travel to Bradford City tonight for the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final, but must overcome a spirited League Two side who have already knocked out Premier League Arsenal and Wigan Athletic this season.

Saker insistent on improvement

England bowling coach David Saker has promised a sharp improvement in England's bowling strategy after a 53-run defeat against India A in the first match of their one-day tour. They play India on Friday. MORE

James Lawton

On a night when Lionel Messi took football's biggest individual prize in Zurich, Luis Suarez was locked away from any of the uncomplicated acclaim that Messi is so used to receiving. MORE