Andy Murray beats Paul-Henri Mathieu at Paris Masters

Murray cruises past home star Mathieu on return to action at Paris Masters

PUBLISHED:

20:25 GMT, 31 October 2012

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UPDATED:

20:51 GMT, 31 October 2012

Andy Murray showed no sign of the back injury that has troubled him recently as he advanced past Paul-Henri Mathieu at the BNP Paribas Open in Paris.

Murray returned to the court for the first time since he cited a back problem as the reason for pulling out on the eve of last week's event in Basle.

The US Open champion moved freely in his second-round match as he was at times made to sweat before eventually overpowering his 30-year-old French rival 7-5 6-3 in one hour 33 minutes.

Ready: Murray

He's back: Murray on court…

Serving: Murray

… serving to the ball to Mathieu…

Focused: Murray

… and looking focused in Paris

Mathieu, a wildcard entrant, pushed
Murray throughout the opening set, but succumbed thereafter before
conceding the match with a double fault.

'I felt okay. I served pretty well,
but I struggled a bit on the return especially at the beginning of the
match,' Murray told Sky Sports 2.

'It's hard to say (how long it will
take to return to full match sharpness). I've been playing very well in
practice and felt confident today, but when the match started it's
different conditions.

Backhand: Murray returns the ball to France's Paul Henri Mathieu at the Paris Masters

Backhand: Murray returns the ball to France's Paul Henri Mathieu at the Paris Masters

'I struggled with my timing. I've never played my best tennis at this tournament, but I'd like to change that.

'You'd hope after three or four matches you are starting to play better.'

Murray will next meet qualifier Jerzy
Janowicz, who he beat in the Davis Cup a couple of years ago, after the
Pole upset 13th seed Marin Cilic.

Looking up: Murray is now the favourite for the prestigious Paris title after Novak Djokovic was beaten

Looking up: Murray is now the favourite for the prestigious Paris title after Novak Djokovic was beaten

That will come as a relief to Murray
who was solid rather than spectacular in his first match since losing
the final in Shanghai to Novak Djokovic at the start of the month.

He was forced to battle in a competitive opening set that lasted just shy of an hour.

The Scot was frustrated in the opening
exchanges as Mathieu looked the more comfortable in reaching 5-5. But
with the set on the line Murray found an extra gear at the right time.

Brushed aside: Frenchman Mathieu was out of his depth against the US Open and Olympic champion

Brushed aside: Frenchman Mathieu was out of his depth against the US Open and Olympic champion

After breaking Mathieu to love to make
it 6-5, he was still made to sweat for the set as the Frenchman grabbed
a couple of break-back points.

Murray coolly averted the danger,
however, firing down and ace before Mathieu bunted a second serve long,
to allow the world number three to close the set out soon afterwards.

After keeping pace with Murray for the
best part of an hour Mathieu started to lose his way as he was
immediately broken in the second set.

Eye on the ball: The British No 1 cruised to victory in straight sets on Wednesday night

Eye on the ball: The British No 1 cruised to victory in straight sets on Wednesday night

Murray's passing shot was initially
called long but, after asking for a replay, he was handed the opening
game before a second break made it 4-1.

Mathieu briefly threatened a comeback when he pulled back a break but Murray stepped it up again to go through.

Liverpool 1 Swansea 3: Match report

Liverpool 1 Swansea 2: It's Chico time for Laudrup as holders are dumped out at Anfield

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UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 31 October 2012

Liverpool's defence of the League Cup ended as Brendan Rodgers' selection gamble backfired, as former club Swansea progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.

The Northern Irishman left the south Wales club in the summer to take over from Kenny Dalglish but it was the visitors who had the last laugh in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup at Anfield.

Chico Flores and Nathan Dyer put the Swans 2-0 up with 17 minutes to go and although substitute Luis Suarez quickly pulled one back De Guzman made it 3-1 in added time to loosen the eight-time winners' grip on the trophy.

More to follow…

Getting their heads in front: Chico celebrates scoring the first goal

Getting their heads in front: Chico celebrates scoring the first goal

Match facts

Liverpool: Jones, Henderson, Carragher, Coates, Robinson, Allen, Shelvey, Downing, Cole, Assaidi, Yesil. Subs not used: Ward, Suarez, Gerrard, Fernandez Saez, Sterling, Skrtel, Wisdom.

Goal: Suarez 76

Swansea: Tremmel, Chico, Richards, Williams, Tiendalli, Hernandez, Britton, Ki, Dyer, de Guzman, Michu. Subs not used: Cornell, Graham, Routledge, Monk, Shechter, Agustien, Davies.

Goals: Chico 34, Dyer 72, De Guzman 90

Referee: Lee Probert.

Click for the latest League Cup results and stats

Rising high: Chico gets to the ball first to score

Rising high: Chico gets to the ball first to score

Head over heels: Chico celebrates in front of the fans

Head over heels: Chico celebrates in front of the fans

Old boy: Joe Allen competes with Jonathan De Guzman during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round tie

Old boy: Joe Allen competes with Jonathan De Guzman during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round tie

Doubling the lead: Swansea's Nathan Dyer scores their second goal

Doubling the lead: Swansea's Nathan Dyer scores their second goal

That should do it: Dyer celebrates his goal

That should do it: Dyer celebrates his goal

Norwich 2 Tottenham 1 match report: Spurs sent packing after late comeback

Norwich 2 Tottenham 1: Dempsey's late penalty gaffe send AVB crashing out

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 31 October 2012

Mark Bunn saved a late Clint Dempsey penalty to ensure Norwich picked up a surprising win over in-form Tottenham at Carrow Road.

Gareth Bale put the visitors in front midway through the second half but a Jan Vertonghen own goal and a Simeon Jackson tap-in sealed Norwich’s victory.

After a stuttering to start to life with Spurs, manager Andre Villas-Boas had certainly been on a roll.

Deflection: Jan Vertonghen (right) diverted Alex Tettey's shot beyond Hugo Lloris

Deflection: Jan Vertonghen (right) diverted Alex Tettey's shot beyond Hugo Lloris

Pure delight: Norwich celebrate Jan Vertonghen's own goal

Pure delight: Norwich celebrate Jan Vertonghen's own goal

Match facts

Norwich: Bunn, Whittaker, Turner, Ryan Bennett, Tierney, Snodgrass, Fox (Tettey 68), Butterfield (Jackson 68), Surman (Holt 82), Howson, Morison. Subs not used: Rudd, Elliott Bennett, Garrido, Barnett.

Booked: Bunn.

Goals: Vertonghen 84 (og), Jackson 87.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker (Defoe 90), Dawson, Caulker, Naughton, Sigurdsson, Livermore (Huddlestone 46), Carroll (Vertonghen 79), Falque, Bale, Dempsey. Subs not used: Cudicini, Lennon, Townsend, Smith.

Booked: Bale.

Goal: Bale 66.

Referee: Jon Moss.

Click for the latest League Cup results and stats

Indeed, since the final whistle boos
which accompanied their draw with Norwich back in September, Tottenham
racked up an impressive record of five wins from six Barclays Premier
League games, including the notable scalp of Manchester United, to move
up to fourth in the table.

/10/31/article-2225951-15C91A86000005DC-525_634x351.jpg” width=”634″ height=”351″ alt=”Missed opportunity: Clint Dempsey saw his late penalty saved by Mark Bunn” class=”blkBorder” />

Missed opportunity: Clint Dempsey saw his late penalty saved by Mark Bunn

Man of the moment: Bunn is congratulated by team-mates

Man of the moment: Bunn is congratulated by team-mates

With the game threatening to develop
into a decent cup tie, largely thanks to Bale, the Welshman threatened
once more, his rasping 25-yard drive only narrowly wide.

Jonny Howson did a least raise hope
of better things to come after the break for the Norwich fans even if
his strike from 20-yards failed to trouble Lloris as it swerved wide.

Indeed, seconds after the restart
Norwich produced their best move of the match as Andrew Surman had a
close-range shot blocked by Steven Caulker. But with Tom Huddlestone on
at the break the balance of play was soon swinging back in Tottenham’s
favour.

Letting fly: Bale unleashes the opening goal

Letting fly: Bale unleashes the opening goal

Shake on it: Iago Falque is the first to congratulate Gareth Bale after the Welshman broke the deadlock at Carrow Road

Shake on it: Yago Falque is the first to congratulate Gareth Bale after the Welshman broke the deadlock at Carrow Road

Spanish youngster Yago Falque
produced an exquisite ball for Bale who this time tested Bunn with his
near post effort. With the spectre of extra-time starting to loom
Tottenham took the lead
Fittingly it fell to Bale to finally end Norwich’s resistance. Given far
too much time to turn the Spurs winger unleashed a low drive which flew
into the bottom corner.

Villas-Boas sent on defender Jan
Vertonghen in an attempt to secure the victory as the game entered its
final stages. The substitution had the opposite effect as the Belgian
international turned Alex Tettey’s shot into his own net to give Norwich
an unlikely equaliser.

Moments later another substitute,
Norwich striker Simeon Jackson bundled the ball home to give his side
the lead. Having lost their advantage within two minutes Tottenham then
had the chance to take the game into extra-time when Marc Tierney was
harshly judged to have brought down Kyle Walker.
Up stepped Clint Dempsey but his effort was well saved by Bunn.

Bundle: Norwich's Robert Snodgrass is tackled by Falque and Tom Carroll (floored)

Bundle: Norwich's Robert Snodgrass is tackled by Falque and Tom Carroll (floored)

On the run: Norwich's Jacob Butterfield escapes Jake Livermore and Carroll

On the run: Norwich's Jacob Butterfield escapes Jake Livermore and Carroll