The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 24 October 2012


Chelsea slump as United come from behind yet again

Holders Chelsea fell to their first defeat in two months after a poor display in Ukraine saw them lose 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk. Alex opened the scoring inside three minutes before Fernandinho, above, doubled the lead early in the second half. Oscar grabbed a late consolation for the Premier League leaders, who also lost Frank Lampard to injury.

Manchester United came from behind to beat Braga 3-2 at Old Trafford. Two Alan strikes put the visitors up after twenty minutes, before Javier Hernandez's reply. The Mexican's second after the break - following Jonny Evans' equaliser - earnt United the points. Elsewhere, a brave Celtic display ended in despair as Neil Lennon's side lost 2-1 at Barcelona, Jordi Alba scoring the winner deep into injury time. MORE

Anti-doping official calls for clear-out

A leading anti-doping official has called for a clear-out of the major figures at the International Cycling Union to ensure and end to the Lance Armstrong scandal. "They need to get the confidence back into the sport," John Fahey claimed. MORE

James Lawton

Pat McQuaid didn't see a problem in the $100,000 Lance Armstrong presented to the UCI. Why shouldn't the world body benefit from the richest of the competitors it was supposed to monitor? MORE

Ballydoyle plunge on once-raced colt

The once-raced Ballydoyle two-year-old Kingsbarns was backed down to 5-2 favourite from 6-1 for Saturday's Racing Post Trophy, the season's final Group One race. Battle Of Marengo was thought the stable's No 1.

Ferrero bows out with tame defeat

Juan Carlos Ferrero's defeat in the first round of the Valencia Open yesterday signalled the end of his singles career. The Spaniard went down 7-5 6-3 to compatriot, and sixth seed, Nicolas Almagro, before making a tearful farewell.

Games to come in under budget

The total bill of the London Games are expected to come in more than £400m under budget, although sports minister Hugh Robertson has suggested that the saving will not be used for redeveloping the Olympic Stadium or put towards grass-roots sport. MORE

Wenger keen to qualify quickly

Arsène Wenger has extolled the importance of his Arsenal side wrapping up qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League quickly to enable focus on the Premier League. "The target is for us to do that as quickly as possible," the Frenchman said. MORE

Davies earns late point for Bolton

Mark Davies' late equaliser earned Bolton a 2-2 draw at Wolves on the day Dougie Freedman left Crystal Palace to take over the Trotters. Elsewhere, Marlon King scored a hat-trick as Birmingham came from three down to draw 3-3 at Millwall. Leaders Leicester City beat Brighton 1-0. MORE

Mancini: City must play better abroad

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has called on his players to play their way out of an eternal "group of death" scenario by transferring domestic form onto the European scene. "We have to win and then talk," he said. "We want to play for a better seeding. We must take our chance." MORE

Money 'always available' to United

Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward has claimed that club owners, the Glazer family, have never denied Sir Alex Ferguson resources to sign a player. "The money has always been made available," Woodwards said. "The Glazers have never said 'no'." MORE

Comeback kings reach World Series

The San Francisco Giants came from two games down to reach the World Series, winning Monday's deciding game against St Louis 9-0. They will face the Detroit Tigers in the finale, who beat the New York Yankees in a four-game sweep. MORE