The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 23 November 2011


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Cavani double takes qualification out of City's hands

Two goals from Edinson Cavani consigned Manchester City to a 2-1 defeat in Napoli last night as Roberto Mancini's side were left with it all to do to make the last 16 of the competition. Cavani opened the scoring with a near-post header on 17 minutes as the visitors' defence was caught unawares. In-form Mario Balotelli tapped home an equaliser for City on 33 minutes after David Silva had his shot parried but Cavani swept home his second after the break and City were unable to create many clear-cut chances in the last 40 minutes. The Premier League leaders now need to beat Bayern in their final group game next month and hope Villarreal gain a point against Napoli to make the next stage. MORE

Benfica frustrate faltering United

Manchester United were held at Old Trafford, drawing a second home group game in three with a 2-2 draw against Benfica. Phil Jones put through his net before Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Fletcher replied. Pablo Aimar then secured a point. MORE

Australia appoint first foreign coach

Australia have appointed Mickey Arthur as their new head coach, succeeding Tim Nielsen. Arthur, previously in charge of Western Australia, becomes the country's first foreign coach and has signed a four-year deal until the end of the 2015 World Cup. MORE

Tomlinson: Drug cheats have cost me

Chris Tomlinson believes the presence of drug cheats in his sport has cost him medals. "I would have finished higher up the medal table in competitions," the long-jumper said. "And had a few more pennies in the bank." MORE

Late winner keeps Birmingham on up

Birmingham moved to within two points of the play-off zone after Chris Burke scored an injury-time winner to secure a 2-1 win over Burnley. Elsewhere, struggling Coventry rescued a point against Cardiff, Lukas Jutkiewicz equalising on the hour. MORE

Henry dismisses England job talk

Graham Henry has continued to distance himself from the vacant England managerial position. "I have enough problems," he said. "I'm still contracted to the New Zealand union, I want to live in New Zealand, I don't have the time or energy or desire." MORE

Villas-Boas: We will return to form

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is confident his club can recover their form. "I want to get back to winning ways," he said ahead of tonight's trip to Bayer Leverkusen. "We do not want to go into the negative spiral this team went through last year." MORE

Murray campaign over after injury

Andy Murray's year came to an early conclusion yesterday with the expected announcement that the Scot was pulling out of the ATP World Tour finals with a groin strain. The 24-year-old lost his opening group game to David Ferrer on Monday. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Few midfields are quite so easy on the eye as Spurs', a unit always beautifully geared for attack. Harry Redknapp has made a team of lovely creativity and considerable bite without the need for an ocean of red ink. MORE

Adebayor: I'm all about the money

On-loan Emmanuel Adebayor says he may find it hard to stay at Spurs if they fail to reach agreement with his club, Manchester City. "We all play to get money," he said. "I have to give something to my community and will keep doing this until the end." MORE

Magic of McIlroy won't save cup

The presence of Rory McIlroy at this week's World Cup will probably not be enough to save the tournament in its current guise. "The word is out that this is the end," an industry figure said. "This is a hard climate in which to sell any tournament." MORE