The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 18 May 2011

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The Independent Online

Reading play Long game to reach final

Two Shane Long goals helped Reading to a 3-0 win at Cardiff to set up a play-off final against Swansea. Long benefited from two defensive mistakes before Jobi McAnuff added a late third to leave the Royals 90 minutes from the Premier League. MORE

Schiavone returns to scene of triumph

French Open champion Francesca Schiavone prepares to defend her title next week, acknowledging how her life has changed in the past year. “The world wants to know a little more about me now,” she said. “I also have to pay for more dinners.” MORE

Portuguese pair face off in Dublin

Tonight’s Europa League final in Dublin is an all-Portuguese affair, with Porto taking on Braga. Andre Villas Boas, 33, leads favourites Porto, aiming to become the youngest coach to win a European trophy. MORE

Rodgers praises heroic Swans fans

Brendan Rodgers, the Swansea manager, has praised the club’s supporters as his side prepare for the Championship play-off final later this month. “They were absolutely heroic,” he said of their efforts during Monday’s victory over Nottingham Forest. MORE

‘Perfect finish’ seals win for Cavendish

Mark Cavendish took a controversial 10th stage of the Giro d’Italia to claim his first win of this year’s race. The Briton, who edged out Francisco Ventoso and Alessandro Petacchi, was delighted: “It was a perfect finish. It was a good route and I timed it well.” MORE

Ba: Fracas sparked by racist remarks

West Ham striker Demba Ba has claimed a supporter’s racist insult sparked the fracas that overshadowed the club’s end-of-season dinner on Monday. “It was a crazy situation,” he said. “All of a sudden [the guy] started screaming and smashing tables.” MORE

Unfulfilled promise of tragic Wanjiru

Sammy Wanjiru, the reigning Olympic marathon champion who fell to his death from a balcony in his Kenyan home on Sunday, has joined the likes of Lillian Board, Ivo van Damme and Steve Prefontaine in dying before having the chance to fulfil his potential. MORE

Ancelotti and Ferguson warned

The Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, and Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti have been warned about their future conduct by the FA after both made comments about referee Howard Webb before the meeting between the clubs 10 days ago. MORE

Birthday boy Tuilagi faces music

Manu Tuilagi will spend part of his 20th birthday today in front of a disciplinary panel after being cited by the Rugby Football Union. The charge relates to the Leicester centre’s punching of Northampton’s Chris Ashton last weekend. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

It is time for rugby union to put aside the days of physical anarchy and start putting its dishevelled house into order. What Manu Tuilagi did to Chris Ashton must be called assault causing actual bodily harm. MORE

Tevez double puts City up to third

Two goals from Carlos Tevez helped Manchester City move above Arsenal into third place as the Eastlands side beat Stoke City for the second time in four days. Last night’s 3-0 victory put them ahead of Arsenal and into the automatic Champions League positions. Roberto Mancini’s side, who also beat the Potters in Saturday’s FA Cup final, went ahead on 14 minutes after Tevez ended a fine run with a thumping finish from 12 yards. Centre-back Joleon Lescott added a second eight minutes into the second half, heading in Adam Johnson’s free-kick, before Tevez scored his 21st league goal of the season with a stunning 30-yard free-kick. MORE

Donald ready to take top billing

Luke Donald is confident his form will help him displace Lee Westwood as World No 1 at this week’s Volvo World Match Play. “My record speaks for itself,” the 33-year-old said. “I like the challenge of one against one and you can be more aggressive.” MORE

Bresnan set to miss Sri Lanka series

Tim Bresnan may miss England’s Test series with Sri Lanka after suffering a recurrence of a calf injury. The 26-year-old has been troubled by the injury since England’s Ashes tour last winter. The first Test starts in Cardiff a week tomorrow. MORE

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