The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 9 March 2011

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Gill defends Glazer control at United

David Gill defended the Glazer family yesterday in front of a parliamentary select committee. He said that debt loaded onto the club by the Glazers did not affect the running of the team, and said that they were taking a “long-term” view. MORE

Broad sent home with side strain

Stuart Broad has had to withdraw from the World Cup with a side strain. The England bowler had to leave the Ashes tour with an abdominal tear, and described the two injuries as an “unfortunate coincidence”. He will be replaced by Chris Tremlett. MORE

Taylor hits New Zealand to success

A thrilling Ross Taylor century helped New Zealand to a big win over Pakistan. He hit 131 from 124 as New Zealand scored 302 for 7. They then bowled Pakistan out for 192, giving them a winning margin of 110 runs.

QPR beaten but Swansea stumble

Queen’s Park Rangers’ lead at the top of the table was cut to seven points as they lost 2-0 at Millwall, after goals from Steve Morison and Liam Trotter. Second-placed Swansea could only draw 1-1 with Watford, though, after Danny Graham’s late equaliser. MORE

English respect for Scotland queried

Scotland’s defence coach Graham Steadman has questioned England’s approach to Sunday’s Calcutta Cup. “Will England treat us with the respect we deserve?”, he asked. “I’d have to question that. I’m sure they’ll have one eye on the Grand Slam.” MORE

Robinho comes back to England

Robinho will return to English football tonight for the first time since he left Manchester City for Milan. He struggled to fit into English football, but has improved this season and has said that “every day I become more settled” at the Italian club. MORE

Hook given a new chance at fly-half

James Hook will have another chance to claim the Wales fly-half slot against Ireland on Saturday. “We wanted to give James another opportunity at 10”, said Wales coach Warren Gatland. “There wasn’t a lot of debate”. Stephen Jones drops to the bench. MORE

Redknapp doubts that Bale will start

Harry Redknapp was unsure over the fitness of Gareth Bale last night, with the Tottenham winger “struggling” with pains in his legs. Steven Pienaar may start on the left. Redknapp promised not to sit back and defend their 1-0 lead over Milan. MORE

Grands Crus a real threat to Big Buck’s

Grands Crus has the look of David Pipe’s first proper champion, just one, week before the Cheltenham Festival. Grands Crus has won all three starts this season without coming off the bridle, and could challenge Big Buck’s in the World Hurdle tomorrow week. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

That it should be Cesc Fabregas who left open the Arsenal gate was as shattering as the fact that he had shown clear signs of being less than fully fit for his chance to influence the biggest challenge of his club’s season. MORE

Ten-man Arsenal eliminated by Barça

Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League last night after losing their last 16 second-leg tie 3-1 at the Nou Camp. For a brief second-half spell they were set to progress but Barcelona scored twice after Robin van Persie’s controversial red card, to eliminate Arsenal from the competition for the second consecutive year. Arsène Wenger started Van Persie up front, and Arsenal defended well from the start. They were close to reaching the break at 0-0 but in stoppage time Cesc Fabregas gave the ball away on the edge of the area, and Andres Iniesta found Lionel Messi, who clipped the ball over Manuel Almunia and volleyed in. Early in the second half Arsenal equalised when Sergio Busquets headed into his own net. But Van Persie was then sent off for a second yellow after kicking the ball away. Barça were dominant, and Xavi levelled the tie before Messi’s penalty won it. MORE

Shakhtar dominate Roma to progress

Shakhtar Donetsk qualified for the last eight of the Champions League with a 3-0 home win over Roma, winning the tie 6-2 on aggregate. They took an early lead last night through Tomas Hubschman. Willian scored a second before Eduardo added a late third.

Heidfeld: Red Bull can do even better

Nick Heidfeld said yesterday that Red Bull are not performing to their full capacity in testing, despite Mark Webber testing fastest last month. “I think they are still not showing everything”, said Heidfeld, “they still have something in their pocket”. MORE

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