Sport Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

The Independent's Martin Hardy analyses today's January transfer window stories and separates the reality from the rumour

Chelsea 5 Milan 0: Anelka's four-goal haul impresses Scolari

The Chelsea manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, believes that Nicolas Anelka has finally showed he can be a lethal striker for the London club with a four-goal rampage against Milan in Moscow yesterday.

Liverpool's £10m bid for Barry shows their limitations

Liverpool's £10m bid for Gareth Barry is as ambitious as their spending will get this summer – a state of affairs which left their manager, Rafael Benitez, in the course of some ruminations on his worst season at Anfield yesterday, to highlight the financial gulf which exists between his own side and the two who will be journeying to Moscow in three weeks time.

Jason Burt: Golden boy Beckham leaves little impression

Golden boots but not too many golden balls. In the 27th minute of his 100th appearance for England, David Beckham received a pass, took a touch – and hit a wildly ambitious ball sailing high in the direction of Wayne Rooney's game but, to be honest, fruitless run. William Gallas simply tidied up.

Liverpool 3 Sunderland 0: Crouch's timely boost for Benitez

Three second-half goals move Liverpool back up to fifth but Black Cats hover dangerously close to drop zone

Portsmouth 1 Chelsea 1: Defoe makes instant impact for Portsmouth

Whether he cost seven, eight or nine million, depending on the source of the transfer information, Jermain Defoe was joyously welcomed by Portsmouth as well worth the money as a coollytaken equaliser halted Chelsea's winning run at nine and applied a brake on their title ambitions in a rousing contest.

Birmingham City 0, Chelsea 1: Pizarro pounces to keep depleted Chelsea in chase

Avram Grant may not provide the verbal pyrotechnics offered by his predecessor as Chelsea manager, but in his more measured way he can communicate just as effectively.

Birmingham City 0 Chelsea 1: Rare Pizarro strike keeps Chelsea's slim hopes alive

Claudio Pizarro, the striker who Chelsea supporters feared might never score in the Premier League again, confounded doubters yesterday to maintain the push towards the top of the table. He might find goals hard to come by against everyone else, but against Birmingham City he is deadly.

Chelsea 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0: Anelka cameo puts Chelsea in good heart for title challenge

Debutant only defied by crossbar as Blues cruise to keep step with United

Chelsea 2 Everton 1: Lescott's late error hands slim advantage to depleted Chelsea

Someone must have had to explain to Fabio Capello exactly what this strange Carling Cup competition was all about but when it came to the performance of Shaun Wright-Phillips, no such explanation was necessary. As the new England manager watched, Chelsea's English nearly-man delivered his performance of the season to give Avram Grant's 10-man team a dramatic last-minute win.

Wolves 0 WBA 3: Kamara's speed ensures Wolves are forced to eat humble pie

A tale of pies and prejudice in the Black Country saw West Bromwich Albion pen another chapter in their modern ascendancy over Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday. Albion repeated the score from the Championship meeting in October - their biggest victory over Wolves for 25 years - while their fans won the Molineux song contest with equal ease.

Doctors treating poisoned Russian focus on objects in his colon

The poison used to attack the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko remained unknown last night as doctors searching for a radioactive toxin focused their efforts on pieces of "dense matter" found in his intestines.

Inside Burma's rebel army: the struggle against a regime propped up by foreign oil

When Zoya Phan was 13, she was happy. Every day on her way home from school, deep in the thick forest of Karen state in eastern Burma, she would scramble on her hands and knees up hillsides to pick mushrooms for her mother. Before the rains came that summer she chased scarlet butterflies through lush banana gardens and mango trees, the sweet smell of ripening rice heavy in the air.

Cissé profits from return of French heroes

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Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

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Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
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