The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 4 January 2012


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The Independent Online

Suarez-less Liverpool no match for 10-man City

Manchester City last night went three points clear of neighbours Manchester United – who face Newcastle tonight – at the top of the Premier League after defeating Liverpool 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium. A long range Sergio Aguero effort, plus a Yaya Touré header put City 2-0 up after 33 minutes. James Milner completed the scoring with a penalty shortly after Gareth Barry was dismissed for two yellow cards. Liverpool were without Luis Suarez after the club decided not to appeal his eight-game ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra. However, the club released a statement yesterday stating their belief that Suarez was innocent. Suarez also released a strongly worded statement. MORE

Defoe goal enough to see off Baggies

Jermain Defoe scored the only goal of the game as Tottenham opened up a five-point lead in third place. It was a typical strike for the forward, who turned and shot past Ben Foster after good work from Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart. MORE

Sunderland thrash weary Wigan

Martin O'Neill's Sunderland moved into the top half of the table with a 4-1 win at the DW Stadium – their best away victory since December 2008. Craig Gardner, James McClean, Stephane Sessegnon and David Vaughan scored the goals. MORE

De Gea set to carry on as United's No 1

Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that he will retain goalkeeper David de Gea for tonight's match at Newcastle United, despite the goalkeeper's poor performance against Blackburn on Saturday. Wayne Rooney is also expected to start. MORE

Moyes hopes New Year run continues

David Moyes's in-form Everton could move up to ninth with a win against Bolton tonight. The Toffees, who historically improve in the second half of the season, are on a four-game unbeaten run. "We tend to go on runs in the new year," Moyes said. MORE

Barton hints at suing referee

Queen's Park Rangers captain Joey Barton yesterday claimed he could sue over the red card he received against Norwich City. His club have confirmed they will appeal to the Football Association against Barton's dismissal in Monday's 2-1 home defeat. MORE

Diamond to combine Sale jobs

Ex-Sale hooker Steve Diamond will take over as the club's chief executive at the end of the month, and will also stay in his role as executive director of sport. Diamond will fill the position vacated by Mick Hogan, who joins England Rugby 2015. MORE

Golden Kiprop set for Edinburgh

Kenyan Asbel Kiprop will run in Saturday's Great Edinburgh Cross Country meeting having received the 1500m Olympic gold medal he should have collected in Beijing in 2008 – the original winner tested positive for a banned substance. MORE

Kallis puts South Africa in box seat

Veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis blasted 159 not out in his 150th Test to guide South Africa to 347 for 3 on day one of the series-deciding third Test as Sri Lanka were made to pay for their decision to field on a flat Newlands pitch in Cape Town. MORE

Rusty Murray wins first game of year

Andy Murray showed signs of rustiness in his first match of the season yesterday, when the World No 4 struggled to a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin in the Brisbane International. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

As it is, Liverpool refuse to join in the widespread desire for some rough agreement that Luis Suarez – without being convicted as a racist – did indeed use references to his opponent's skin as the means of provocation. MORE