The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 3 October 2012


Van Persie at the double for United as Chelsea cruise

Manchester United and Chelsea both recorded away victories in the group stages to boost their chances of making the last 16. In Cluj, United went behind to a close-range finish from Pantelis Kapetanos before Robin van Persie's rather lucky equaliser on 29 minutes. The former Arsenal striker scored again just after the interval, his seventh goal in his last seven club games, to send Sir Alex Ferguson's side top of Group H. The European champions Chelsea recorded their first win in the competition this season, coasting to a 4-0 win at Nordsjaelland. Juan Mata, pictured above, gave the Blues a half-time lead, before late goals from David Luiz, Ramires and Mata again added gloss to the scoreline. MORE

Samaras brings Celtic in from cold

A late Georgios Samaras header helped Celtic to a 3-2 win at Spartak Moscow, their first away group win in the competition. Emmanuel Emenike put Spartak back in front after Gary Hooper's opener, before an own goal and Samaras's intervention gave the Scots the points. MORE

Davies brace earns Bolton home point

Kevin Davies scored twice as Bolton came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Leeds United last night. The veteran forward put Owen Coyle's side ahead early in the first half before Samuel Byram and Luciano Becchio, from the spot, put Leeds in front. MORE

Zaha double keeps Eagles flying high

Wilfried Zaha weighed in with two second-half goals as Crystal Palace maintained their winning run with a 2-1 victory over Wolves at Molineux last night. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake put the hosts ahead before the late rally. Dougie Freedman's side now sit sixth in the table. MORE

Mancini: City need to learn on the job

Roberto Mancini admits his Manchester City side need to learn quickly if they are to progress from the group stages. "We need time to improve but do not have time," the Italian said. "We have only five matches and cannot concede like we did against Real [Madrid last month]." MORE

Olazabal seeks a return to normality

Jose Maria Olazabal is looking forward to some time away from the spotlight after leading Europe to the Ryder Cup. "I am going to go home, turn the phone off, turn the TV on and lie down," he said. "I am running on pure adrenalin." MORE

Beaten Australia into the last four

Australia made the semi-finals despite losing their final Super Eight game against Pakistan by 32 runs yesterday. Pakistan, who also qualified, posted 149-6, before restricting Mickey Arthur's side to 117-7 in reply. India were eliminated. MORE

Hamilton-Brown almost quit game

The death of team-mate and friend Tom Maynard almost led Rory Hamilton-Brown to give up the game. "There were times that I considered it," he said of the aftermath of the June tragedy. "I came back in August but it was tough." MORE

Pietersen ready to end England exile

Kevin Pietersen could be re-engaged as an England cricketer today as he meets the England and Wales Cricket Board. The Twenty20 side struggled without him at the World T20 and coach Andy Flower has hinted at a possible return. MORE

Ailing Nathaniel to miss the Arc

The main English challenger for the Arc, Nathaniel, was found to be running a temperature yesterday and was withdrawn from Sunday's race at Longchamp. A decision on whether Camelot will run is awaited today. MORE

Andy Murray

"At the US Open I didn't feel I played that well. But I played smart tennis. I found a way to win matches, even when I wasn't playing well. And that was so important." MORE