The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 21 March 2012


Mancini: Muamba collapse highlights screening failures

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini wants his club to take his concerns over medical screening in England to the Premier League and Football Association, in the wake of the collapse of Bolton's Fabrice Muamba on the pitch at Tottenham last weekend.

"We need to improve medicals," the Italian said. "We need to screen players often, and more accurately. I want all players to have more accurate medicals, not just once a year, but every six months." Muamba is making positive progress in hospital.

City host Chelsea tonight seeking to close the gap on leaders Manchester United. MORE

Blackburn pull clear of drop zone

Blackburn eased the pressure on manager Steve Kean and moved six points clear of the relegation zone last night with a 2-0 win over Sunderland at Ewood Park. Junior Hoilett opened the scoring on the hour and Yakubu secured the points with a late header. MORE

Forest thrash Leeds as Saints march on

A stunning second-half showing helped relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest thrash Leeds United 7-3 at Elland Road, Garath McCleary scoring four. Elsewhere, leaders Southampton won 2-0 at Hull and Reading were beaten 3-1 at Peterborough. MORE

Messi is top Barça scorer... aged 24

Lionel Messi became Barcelona's all-time leading scorer last night, with a hat-trick against Granada. The 24-year-old's goals, in a 5-3 win, took him to 234 goals in 314 appearances for the Catalan side, ahead of Cesar Rodriguez. He now has 54 goals for the season.

Wilshere hopes for April comeback

Jack Wilshere is expected to play some part in Arsenal's season after an ankle injury that has kept him out since last summer. "His last scan was very good," the manager Arsène Wenger said. "It is about progress and fitness. We go week by week." MORE

Federer targets return to summit

Roger Federer admits he has designs on regaining the world No 1 ranking following a run of six tournament wins out of eight. "If I play really well until the US Open there is a shot," he said. "I'm aware I'm not the only one, but I feel I'm on a good run." MORE

Lancaster open to Cipriani return

Stuart Lancaster has left the door open for Danny Cipriani to force his way back into the England squad after the fly-half agreed a deal to join Sale. "He'll have to per-form well for his club," Lancaster said. "If he does, it will be about buying into the culture." MORE

Referee dropped following error

Thierry Alibert has been stood down from officiating this weekend after allowing a try on the seventh tackle in a Super League game last week. The French referee made the error during Warrington's 32-20 victory over Wakefield. MORE

England toil in Colombo heat

England's bowlers struggled in extreme temperatures in the final practice match as a Sri Lanka Development XI finished the first day on 376-5. Graeme Swann went for 102 runs in 21 overs, while former Test batsman Chamara Silva struck 163 for the hosts. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Carlos Tevez's return is desperate because it says that Manchester City are not primarily concerned with shared values, but getting across the finish line first, however many compromises litter the track. MORE