Robin van Persie celebrates his winner

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The Sports Matrix: Friday 7 December 2012

'Unflappable' Cook praised for record tally of centuries

<b>Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6</b><br/>
<b>October 2011</b><br/>
A derby that will be remembered as long as these two clubs exist. In the headlines after it emerged fireworks had been set off in the bathroom of his Manchester mansion, Mario Balotelli was setting Old Trafford alight with goals either side of half-time. A red card for Jonny Evans was the cue for City to then put on a display to remember. Sergio Aguero added the third, Darren Fletcher scored one for United and then City sent shockwaves through the Premier League as Edin Dzeko scored twice and David Silva got on the scoresheet. Alex Ferguson would describe the result as his 'worst ever day' in charge of United, but promised: 'There will be a response.'

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Wayne Rooney

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Reading 3 Manchester United 4

Luis Suarez celebrates scoring for Liverpool

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Anthony Pilkington celebrates his winning goal
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Mark Clattenburg with John Obi Mikel

Mark Clattenburg is 'for the high jump' if found guilty of racial abuse says former referee Jeff Winter

Former referee Jeff Winter thinks Mark Clattenburg will not officiate a match again if it is proven that he racially abused a Chelsea player in yesterday's five-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge.

Wayne Rooney provided both assists for Robin van Persie in the Champions League match against Cluj

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John Terry covers his mouth after his flashpoint with Anton Ferdinand

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Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman today hit out at the decision to ban John Terry for only four matches for racist abuse.

Robin van Persie flicks United into the lead on 49 minutes

Van Persie spares United's blushes after Cluj punish defensive frailties

At the King Matthias statue in the main square here, a tinny version of the song about the visitors had blared out on continuous loop all yesterday. "Strong in defence, united in attack, United are the greatest football team…" The team fulfilled that prophecy only in parts last night, though happily for their manager, the immediate benefits of an attacking partnership to die for masked a dysfunctional defence which looked anything but strong.

Wayne Rooney (centre) is joined by Mikaël Silvestre (right), who is training with his former team-mates until he finds a new club

Alex Ferguson: Foreign players are more likely to take a dive

Sir Alex Ferguson claimed last night that overseas players are more likely to dive than those from Britain, as he responded to complaints from Manchester City's Sergio Aguero that foreign imports have a tougher time with referees in the Premier League.

1. Ferdinand should be admired for handshake snub: In the warped world of football fandom it was no surprise that Chelsea supporters abused Anton Ferdinand last week; less explicable was the observation of neutral observers, including the PFA chief executive, Gordon Taylor, that Ferdinand should have shaken hands with a man he believes racially abused him. Ferdinand is not grandstanding, he is just being true to himself when it would be much easier not to, and he should be admired for that. It is true the case has already been to court and John Terry found not guilty but the magistrate’s summing-up suggested he would have returned a verdict of “not proven” had it been available, as it is in Scotland. Ferdinand may yet be vindicated when the FA conducts its own hearing into the case this week. This takes place against the backdrop of last week’s report by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which stressed that much more needs to be done to eradicate racism from the game.

John Terry case has 'divided football family' says PFA chief Gordon Taylor

Players' chief Gordon Taylor today claimed the length of time taken for the Football Association to deal with the John Terry case has caused divisions which may never be healed.

He was reinstated last year but was again replaced in February over his racial court case involving QPR’s Anton Ferdinand

John Terry banned for four matches and fined £220,000 after FA find Chelsea captain guilty over racism charge

John Terry has been banned for four matches and fined £220,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand by a Football Association independent regulatory commission.

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