The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 7 March 2012


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The Independent Online

Brave Arsenal crash out despite astonishing victory    

Arsenal went out of Europe last night, despite beating Italian champions Milan 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium. Arsène Wenger's side trailed by four from last month's first leg and, despite surging into a three-goal lead by the interval, were unable to find the fourth to force extra-time. Laurent Koscielny headed the hosts ahead from a corner after seven minutes, before Tomas Rosicky took advantage of poor defending to double the lead 20 minutes later. Robin van Persie scored a third from the spot after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was fouled to bring the Premier League side to within a goal of parity. Van Persie missed Arsenal's best second-half chance, his close-range chip smothered by Christian Abbiati, and the Italian side stood firm to progress to the last eight. MORE

Chelsea edge into quarter-finals

Second-half goals from Juan Mata and Raul Meireles earned Chelsea a home sixth round tie with Leicester after they beat Birmingham 2-0 at St Andrews. Mata also missed from the spot as the visitors began life after Andre Villas-Boas with victory. MORE

Redknapp rules out Bridge move

Harry Redknapp has laughed off suggestions that he could be interested in the managerial vacancy at Chelsea. "That's all I need," the Tottenham Hotspur manager joked. "I wouldn't be able to come back to north London. I'll pass on that one." MORE

Port Vale to enter administration

Port Vale are to enter administration for the second time in just over eight years. The club are currently under a transfer embargo and players and staff have not been paid, with Revenue and Customs serving the club with a winding-up petition.

Donald: McIlroy similar to Tiger

Luke Donald feels Rory McIlroy's form is akin to that of Tiger Woods at the same age. "Rory had a tremendous run," Donald, who lost the world No 1 spot to McIlroy, said. "You can compare what Rory is starting to do with what Tiger did at a very young age." MORE

Moody quits and turns to coaching

Lewis Moody has designs on moving into coaching after announcing his retirement from the game. "I'd start from low down and work my way up," the former England captain said. "To see whether I enjoyed it and have what it takes to be a good coach." MORE

Knee injury rules out Warburton

Wales captain Sam Warburton is a doubt for the remainder of the Six Nations after succumbing to the knee injury he suffered against England. The flanker has been ruled out of the visit of Italy and may now miss the finale against France next weekend. MORE

Former Scot makes England squad

Ian Henderson was the surprise inclusion in England manager Steve McNamara's elite training squad. "He has improved out of sight," McNamara said of the Catalan Dragons Hooker, who played for Scotland in the 2008 World Cup. MORE

Miley storms to 200m medley title

Hannah Miley increased the expectation on her shoulders ahead of the Olympics after producing the fastest swim of the year in the 200m individual medley. The 22-year-old Scot prevailed in last night's British trial for the sixth successive time. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

This was not a comeback unprecedented in the Champions League annals but a show of character by Arsène Wenger's side, a willingness to face the heaviest odds and emerge with a stronger belief in your own powers. MORE