The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 15 February 2012


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The Independent Online

Wenger: my team have shown we can win everywhere

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has insisted that his side have every chance of winning the competition as they travel to Italy tonight for the first leg of a round of sixteen clash with Milan. The London side triumphed on their last visit to San Siro, a 2-0 success in 2008.

"What makes football interesting is that you can win everywhere," the Frenchman said. "We have shown we can win everywhere. I have full confidence in this team that we can do it."

Wenger also made clear his fears about the San Siro pitch. "They relaid it on Monday, we're playing Wednesday. So it's terrible. Out of respect for supporters it should be a better pitch."

On another pitch last night, the reigning champions Barcelona moved towards the last eight with a 3-1 first-leg success at Bayer Leverkusen, while Alexandre Lacazette's goal helped Lyons beat Apoel Nicosia 1-0. MORE

Patriotic Cavendish ready to go for Gold

Mark Cavendish admits the Olympics will make up a special part of year. "Professionally it won't do anything for me at all," he said of the road race. "Why it's so import-ant is pulling on the jersey that rep- resents the flag I was born under. That's what matters." MORE

Rangers enter administration

The reigning Scottish champions have gone into administration, incurring an automatic deduction of 10 points which leaves Celtic 14 clear and huge favourites to win a first title in four years. The administrators, Duff & Phelps, will now seek to cut costs at Ibrox. MORE

Villas-Boas linked with Inter switch

Porto chairman Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa has added to the uncertainty of the future of Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas by claiming the Portuguese has attracted interest from Internazionale. Chelsea have struggled for form in Villas-Boas's first season. MORE

McSheffrey double puts paid to Leeds

Two Gary McSheffrey penalties helped Coventry move off the bottom for the first time in a month as they overcame Leeds 2-1. Ross McCormack had equalised for the visitors in between the spot-kicks but Coventry prevailed for just a second win of the year. MORE

Anger after France date set for Match

Clubs, supporters and officials have been left perplexed after the France v Ireland Six Nations fixture has been rescheduled for a Sunday 4 March. The original match was postponed shortly before kick-off last week because of a frozen pitch. MORE

Pietersen form under microscope

Kevin Pietersen's form will again come under scrutiny in today's second One-Day International between Pakistan and England in Abu Dhabi. The 31-year-old hit just 14 in Monday's first ODI and managed only 67 in six innings in the Test series. MORE

Tevez returns but remains an outcast

Carlos Tevez last night returned to the Manchester City training ground, having been absent since November. The forward's chances of regaining a place in the starting XI remain in the hands of Roberto Mancini, who has asked the striker for an apology. MORE

West Ham held but remain at the top

A close-range equaliser from Jos Hooiveld rescued a point for Southampton as they drew 1-1 at leaders West Ham United. The hosts had gone ahead through Mark Noble's seventh penalty of the season, having just had Matty Taylor dismissed. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Some crimes go beyond forgiveness and if the behaviour exhibited by Carlos Tevez to Manchester City over the last few months does not fly into this category, we have to conclude that in football nothing does. MORE