The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 7 November 2012


City frustrated despite comeback as Arsenal slip up

Manchester City rescued a 2-2 draw against Ajax last night but were left lamenting the display of the officials at the Etihad Stadium as their hopes of reaching the last sixteen remain in the balance. Siem de Jong took advantage of some dire defending from City to put the Dutch side two ahead after 17 minutes.

Yaya Touré's fine swivel and volley quickly reduced the deficit, and Sergio Aguero's calm second-half finish levelled the match. The Argentine also had a goal harshly adjudged offside while Mario Balotelli had a late penalty appeal turned down. In Group B, Arsenal also surrendered a two-goal lead, Arsène Wenger's side held 2-2 at Schalke. MORE

Murray's treble takes Eagles top

Glenn Murray scored a second-half hat-trick as Crystal Palace overwhelmed Ipswich 5-0 to move to the top of the table. Yannick Bolasie opened the scoring in the first half before Murray's treble – the forward scoring two penalties – with Andre Moritz grabbing the fifth. MORE

Charlton edge nine-goal thriller

Charlton Athletic beat Cardiff City 5-4 in a thrilling nine-goal game at The Valley. Chris Powell's side trailed 2-0 before surging into a 5-2 lead with 25 minutes remaining. The visitors scored twice in injury time but Charlton held on for their first win in a month. MORE

Braga coach: Nani needs a cuddle

Braga coach Jose Peseiro says Nani requires more "emotional contact" if he is to rediscover his best form for Manchester United. "If he doesn't play, it is not easy," Peseiro said. "He doesn't feel well when he doesn't play. Portuguese players need more emotional contact." MORE

Marray inspires doubles victory

Jonny Marray and Freddie Nielsen recovered from a 5-1 deficit in the deciding set to begin their doubles campaign with a victory at the O2 yesterday. Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna threatened before Briton Marray helped see out a 6-4, 6-7, 12-10 win. MORE

Bell concerned by subcontinent form

The England batsman Ian Bell is at a loss to explain his lack of Test form in Asia. The 30-year-old averages 46.84 overall, but just 35.91 in Asia. "I don't really know why," he said. "The conditions are different to what we normally see." MORE

Trott signs up for Team Wiggins

Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is to help fund a Britain-based women's road team which will include double Olympic champion Laura Trott. The Dream Team Honda Pro Cycling Team features two other Games gold medallists. MORE

Tuilagis 'had wages cut' in World Cup

England international Manu Tuilagi and his brother, Samoa wing Alesana, had their club wages reduced during the last World Cup, their agent has claimed. The pair allegedly had 50 per cent of their earnings at Leicester docked. MORE

Phillips pays price for his poor start

A lacklustre start to the season has seen Mike Phillips left out of Wales' team to face Argentina on Saturday. Tavis Knoyle replaces him, as Aaron Jarvis comes in for Adam Jones, one of seven changes from the summer loss to Australia in Sydney. MORE

Europeans flop at Melbourne Cup

European horses were the first five in the betting for the £4m Melbourne Cup but it was the Newmarket-trained 80-1 outsider Jakkalberry who did best, in third. The 19-1 shot Green Moon won the £2.5m first prize. MORE

James Lawton

Ajax, prompted by young Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen, played with an easy movement and skill; still rolled forward in an eye-pleasing manner unmatched by their opponents. MORE