The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 28 September 2011

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Wilshere absence shorter than feared

Arsene Wenger, whose Arsenal side face Olympiakos tonight in the Champions League, believes that Jack Wilshere’s 22-week injury absence could have been worse. The surgery “was better than what they expected it to be,” he said yesterday. MORE

Jenkins: Wales must be physical

Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins knows that Wales must play robust rugby in Sunday’s game against Fiji. “We realise you can’t sort of play fancy-dan football to beat these type of teams,” he said. “You have got to be physical, just as they are.” MORE

Pietersen recalled to India tour party

Kevin Pietersen has been recalled to the England squad for next month’s tour to India after missing the visit of the Asian side and the Twenty20 internationals with West Indies. Stuart Meaker has also been included. MORE

Lampard made to play waiting game

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has refused to confirm whether or not Frank Lampard will be recalled to the starting line-up for tonight’s Champions League group game at Valencia. “It depends on the strategy we want to play,” Villas-Boas said. MORE

Robinson thriving on Pool B tension

Andy Robinson is revelling in the pressure of coaching Scotland, despite their probably needing to beat England on Saturday, having lost to Argentina. “They’re the days you live for,” he said. “That match against Argentina was a wonderful experience.” MORE

Eagles soar to victory at Brighton

Crystal Palace stunned Brighton 3-1 at the Amex Stadium, consigning the South-Coast side to a third defeat in four games. Craig Mackail-Smith put the hosts ahead, only for Wilfried Zaha, Darren Ambrose and Glenn Murray to reply in the last 10 minutes. MORE

England puts Scots’ videos to good use

England’s Ben Youngs revealed the squad’s preparation ahead of Saturday’s match: “We’re professionals and we have to prepare as best we can. We have all Scotland’s games from the last two years on our laptops and we can access them at any time.” MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City painfully, chaotically, and in one phase, rather shamefully, learnt how much growing they still have to do. It was a night when their skill and beauty was condemned to the margins. MORE

Young rescues point after Basle’s fine fightback

Manchester United remain winless in this season’s competition after being held 3-3 at home to Swiss champions Basle at Old Trafford last night. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, who required a late Ashley Young header to rescue a point, appeared to be cruising to victory when Danny Welbeck scored twice inside a minute in the first-half, capitalising on poor defending to score from a Ryan Giggs pass on both occasions. However Fabian Frei smashed home the visitors’ first on 58 minutes before namesake Alexander powered a fine header across David de Gea to level the match. Alexander Frei put Basle ahead from the penalty spot, only for Ashley Young to salvage a draw with a close-range header in injury time. MORE

Gomez double too much for poor City

Two Mario Gomez goals inside seven minutes at the end of the first half handed Manchester City a 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich. Roberto Mancini’s side had begun well before being overwhelmed by the Bundesliga side and offered little after the interval. MORE

Italy set up decider against Ireland

Italy have set the stage for a decider with Ireland in Dunedin on Sunday after beating the United States 27-10 in Pool C yesterday. The bonus-point victory means that a win over Ireland could send the Azzurri through to the quarter-finals. MORE

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