Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CL Liveblog: Bordeaux v. Spartak London

It's the day before Thanksgiving, which means I'm not at work and I'm sitting in front of the television ready for some live Champions League action. Shame they picked the dud of the fixture list. Ah well, beggars can't be choosers.

So join after the jump, won't you? Come read my disparaging assessment of a team I hate playing a team from a country I hate.

But first... what other games are on tap today?

Group A
Bordeaux v Chelsea
CFR Cluj v Roma

Group B
Anorthosis Famagusta v Werder Bremen
Inter Milan v Panathinaikos

Group C
Shakhtar Donetsk v Basle
Sporting Lisbon v Barcelona

Group D
Atletico Madrid v PSV Eindhoven
Liverpool v Marseille

Some intriguing storylines there, I think. I wanna see the Romanian team win again, personally.

Starting Lineups for LFC and Chelsea:
Liverpool v. Marseille
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano, Alonso, Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Keane, Benayoun, Babel, Leiva Lucas, Kelly.

Marseille: Mandanda, Bonnart, Zubar, Hilton, Taiwo, Ziani, Cana, Cheyrou, Ben Arfa, Niang, Kone.
Subs: Riou, Rodriguez, Zenden, Kabore, Samassa, Grandin, Valbuena.
Bordeaux v. Spartak London
Bordeaux: Valverde, Chalme, Planus, Diawara, Jurietti, Menegazzo, Diarra, Gourcuff, Gouffran, Wendell, Chamakh.
Subs: Olimpa, Cavenaghi, Bellion, Placente, Traore, Obertan, Tremoulinas.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Joe Cole, Ballack, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka.
Subs: Cudicini, Drogba, Bridge, Ferreira, Kalou, Alex, Stoch.

And we're off.

1 mins: Immediately a foul by Chalme in the corner as he protects the ball out for a goal kick. I approve of this aggression against Scolari's Spartak side.

4 mins: Nice little backheel flick by Cole that amounts to nothing, although Wendel gets clattered while chasing possession. A very cagey start early. The French crowd are singing at full volume, while both sides are playing in very ugly shirts.

Bordeaux break down the right wing but the move is halted when Terry hip-checks Gouffran and the ball goes out for a goal kick. No foul there?

6 mins: An early shot from Fernando tests Cech, who is forced to parry it out for a corner. Ballack gave him all the time in the world to shoot. Never a good idea, really.

11 mins: Sorry folks, a bit of technical trouble there slowed me down. Chamakh played Gouffran through on goal with a nice pass, forcing Cech to come out and clear, and then a foul by Mikel on the right gave an early free-kick some 30 yards out that Wendell promptly wasted. Bordeaux look much brighter than the garish yellow shirts of Spartak London in the early goings. The strategy seems to be attacking down the right wing, and so far it seems to be effective.

14 mins: Malouda scraps and hustles at the touchline under pressure, but nothing comes of it. Really, I don't see how Spartak can continue being good with Kalou and Malouda. Sure, they're top at the moment, but does anyone really think Anelka can keep scoring like he is? Not to mention the Drogba situation. Just offering that out there...

17 mins: I'd type faster if anything were really happening. Spartak aren't showing much fluency moving forward, and Bordeaux are definitely looking more inventive. Spartak are playing the long ball game, which is drawing boos, wolf whistles and jeers from the style-minded crowd.

20 mins: Chalme gets clean through on the right edge of the box and blasts it goalward, forcing a diving save from Cech. Slowly but surely, the game is opening up... it helps that the two teams are now scuffling in midfield after an ankle tap by Mikel on Gourcuff right before John Terry clips him and falls all over him. The referee handles the mess with a yellow card for England's Blundering John Terry.

22 mins: Tommy Smyth beats me to it: where are Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack? The middle of the Spartak midfield is practically empty, giving Gourcuff and Gouffran plenty of running room. Anelka fouls trying to get under yet another speculative long ball. Very dull stuff so far, really.

(A goal flourish elsewhere. Roma score on a tap-in, Simao puts Atletico Madrid ahead with a determined finish, and Barca have scored twice in two minutes. Oh, and now Totti's added another: CFR Cluj 0, AS Roma 2)

Goal for Gerrard too! A nice header at the back post off Xabi's cross. Liverpool 1, Marseille 0... now goals almost everywhere but at Bordeaux.

29 mins: Gourcuff works himself some space and gets an open shot from 25 yards, forcing another diving save from Cech. Spartak will cough up a goal soon, I reckon.

And then seconds later, Fat Frank gets into the action for the first time today. His contribution to the game? A late sliding tackle on Chamakh that earns him a yellow card. Wendel promptly shows manager Laurent Blanc why he shouldn't be taking any more free-kicks in scoring territory as he blasts it high over the crossbar.

30 mins: Dear, oh dear. Spartak are playing hack-a-Frenchman at the moment. The crowd goes absolutely apeshit (and rightly so) as Ashley Cole scythes Chamakh down, making no contact with the ball. Terry sprints over to remonstrate and complain, but the ref issues another yellow card. Wendel miraculously gets to take it, and his cross ends up being cleared comfortably. As Andrew said in the comments, there will be red in this one. Hopefully it'll be Terry. Smyth is wrong to say that proceedings resemble "a rugby game". I swear it's like listening to Alzheimer's with that aging Irishman behind the microphone.

32 mins: More danger for Spartak. Ball is cut inside from the right wing, and played right across the edge of the area to meet Jurietti's sprint from left-back. Joe Cole reads it well and slides in to intercept in the nick of time, else he'd have been one-on-one with Cech. Scolari looks rather pained at the moment.

(Cluj have pulled a goal back.... CFR Cluj 1, AS Roma 2)

35 mins: A rare period of comfortable possession for Spartak as they move the ball around midfield with ease. The final pass comes to Malouda, but his shot was a shot in name only.

Bordeaux break again down the right side, forcing Terry to shin it out for a corner. Gourcuff's outswinging corner misses everyone and everything.

38 mins: I fear we're entering that dreaded pre-half time lull. Amazingly, Spartak have had far more possession, but nary a shot on goal. That sounds more like Arsenal than anything else.

39 mins: Move that sums up Spartak's evening thus far: Malouda sprints across to the right wing to receive a throw-in, gets boxed in against the touchline, does that nifty backheel flick thing to himself but it trickles out of play for a goal kick. Kalouda are awful, both individually and as a collective. To the transfer market in January you should go, Scolari. Anything to prevent this pair from sniffing the starting XI.

At Anfield, Pepe Reina does well to turn a Taye Taiwo free-kick onto the post and out, while Rodrigues Jadson has scored to give Shakhtar Donetsk a 1-0 lead at home to Basel

41 mins: Pretty dismal evening for Spartak thus far. Lampard, Ballack, Kalou, Mikel and Joe Cole have done fuck-all thus far. I hope this trend continues. That said, all this pressure for Bordeaux and no goals only serves the visitors' cause in the long run.

Jesus... a foul throw? When was the last time you saw one of those? Chalmat is the guilty party, guilty of looking like an absolute clown. Really. You learn throw-ins when you're 14 years old.

44 mins: The game has descended into a nit-picky midfield battle, a style that neither team are rather good at playing. It's boring as shit to watch, that's for sure. Is it any more boring to read about?

45 mins: Ballack gets free on the left, but his cross never reaches the lone Spartak player, Anelka, in the box. Then Bosingwa tries to assert himself on the right wing, but is handled tidily by Diarra. Bordeaux break and Gouffran gets free in the middle, only to blast his shot high over the bar. If the goals were 15 feet high, it'd be 3-0 Bordeaux at this point. As such, we prepare for half-time, and the ref mercifully puts us out of our misery.

HALF-TIME: Bordeaux 0, Spartak London 0

Around the grounds:
CFR Cluj 1, AS Roma 2
Anorthosis Famagusta 0, Werder Bremen 0
Inter Milan 0, Panathanaikos 0
Shakhtar Donetsk 1, Basel 0
Sporting Lisbon 0, Barcelona 2
Atletico Madrid 2, PSV Eindhoven 0 (clearly, they're missing Heurelho Gomes)
Liverpool 1, Marseille 0

I'm off for a nap until the second-half.

46 mins: We begin again, and hopefully these two teams will actually play soccer in the 2nd half. I have my doubts.

Early pressure for Bordeaux forcing yet more muscle from Cech, coming out to collect a deflected cross and climbing over Terry in the process.

50 mins: Drogba is warming up. I repeat, the sullen striking malcontent is warming up. I wonder if he'll replace Kalou and Malouda, because frankly Spartak would be more effective with 10 men than either of those two.

No chances early. It bears noting that Spartak don't really need to win this game to qualify for the knockout stages, but still, think of the poor French people who took time off not-work and spent hard-earned Euros to watch this game! At least provide something that we can believe is an honest effort, even if you're not really trying.

52 mins: A long ball ends up safely in Valverde's hands. Anelka's been shit today. Without his tapped-in, empty net goals, he's really not very industrious or inventive unless you tee up the goals for him so he can't miss.

Gouffran breaks down the right but his sharp, low cross is deflected out for a corner. Scolari looks even more pissed off than he did an hour ago, and maybe it's because his midfield has been non-existent so far.

(Goals a-plenty everywhere else, yet again: Danny Koevermans pulls one back for PSV, Lionel Messi adds a 3rd for Barcelona, and Da Silva Willian makes it 2-0 for Shakhtar Donetsk over Basel and surely cementing their UEFA Cup spot.)

56 mins: Yellow card for Jurietti after his 11th ticky-tack foul. Does anyone even care?

And yes Adam, that Golf Academy ad is awful. It looks about as reputable as that Minnesota art school where you have to draw the pirate and the turtle to get accepted.

60 mins: Well, whaddaya know, I didn't miss a thing while I searched on YouTube for that ad!

61 mins: GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL Spartak London, and what a fucking joke that was. An innocuous pass forward to Anelka somehow beats Diawara, giving the Frenchman about 10 minutes to canter down the pitch untroubled before slotting the ball past Valverde as Jurietti finally arrives to apply pressure. Awful. Their first shot on goal, and they've scored. Anelka's immediately subbed off by Scolari, which you know was the plan anyways, but that's a heck of a way to say farewell to the action before hitting the pine. Bastard. The crowd is subdued. Bordeaux 0, Spartak London 1

64 mins: Lampard blazes a free-kick narrowly over the bar, and surprise surprise, Chelsea look a lot more confident now, so much so that Cech almost gets caught in possession while trying to dribble it out of his area. What a clown! Still, it's on Bordeaux to force the issue now, as they can't exactly afford defeat with just one group game to go. Shake off the mistake and get upfield!

(Another goal for AS Roma, which looks to be pushing Bordeaux towards elimination unless they can knock off Spartak somehow this evening. Also, Cypriot side Anorthosis are close to qualifying from Group B as they take the lead 1-0 at home to Werder Bremen, the goal coming from Nicos K Nicolaou.)

66 mins: Fernando Cavenaghi on, Gouffran off for Bordeaux.

69 mins: Anyone still out there? I realize this game is tough going, but stick with me, please... I could use the support and comfort of knowing I'm not suffering through this hell in vain.

(Alright, try to keep up with this from the last 5 minutes: Sporting score 2 in 2 minutes before an own goal makes it 4-2 Barcelona. Anorthosis double their lead to boost their chances of making the knockout stages, and Shakhtar Donetsk score a 3rd goal at home to Basel. All good?)

73 mins: Gourcuff gets some medical attention for a head wound, and it's really the only meaningful thing he's done in the 2nd half. No more goals in this one... mark it.

(Panathanaikos take the lead in Milan.... Greek team 1, Jose Mourinho's team 0. If it holds, then Group B becomes a clusterfuck on Matchday 6. Meanwhile, Werder pull a goal back in Cyprus, making squeaky bum time a certainty there. Anorthosis 2, Werder 1.)

76 mins: The crowd aren't happy at how the home side have been rather bad since the sucker punch goal. Drogba gets fouled, and Bordeaux make another substitution: the bad free-kick specialist Wendel comes off, replaced by Gabriel Obertan. That's about as exciting as it's been for the last 15 minutes.

(Game over in Lisbon, as Pedro is sent off and Bojan scores from the penalty spot... Sporting 2, Barcelona 5. Also, Shakhtar score their 4th of the night. Good for them!)

And yes Georger, I do hope Dossena leaves. He's fucking terrible. Let's get this Jurietti guy from Bordeaux. He seems decent enough.

78 mins: Spartak settle into playing 8 behind the ball and double-teaming every tackle, which is just the trick if you're looking to squeeze the life out of the final 10 minutes as they are planning to.

Lampard forces a low save from Valverde after being put through by Malouda, the clearance ends up with Lampard again but no such luck second time around. Funny how Lampard always seems to spring to life once his team is winning, isn't it?

(Shakhtar score a 5th, and its dawning on me that Group B is going to be fun in 2 weeks. After all, any one of Anorthosis, Inter Milan or Panathanaikos could go through. Nothing is guaranteed after today, if the results hold. At least one of these groups has proven to still have drama heading into the final matchday.)

82 mins: Bordeaux appeal for a backpass, to no avail. A bit desperate, really.

83 mins: GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL and it's one of the amazing Diarras! There's quite a few of them, but make no doubt on this one: Alou Diarra leaps like a gazelle from a nice inswinging corner, and he buries it in off the near post. Cech doesn't move, and nor do any of the Spartak defenders in the box, all of them remaining rooted to the grass. They deserved that. Bordeaux 1, Spartak London 1

I blame John Terry for that one. Then again, I'd blame him for global warming if I could.

Substitution for Chelsea: Joe Cole off (he gave away the corner that Bordeaux scored from), Paulo Ferreira on.

86 mins: Wonderful! Lampard, who's had an awful game, slides late on Fernando Menegazzo and picks up a yellow card. He slinks away as it takes the ref a minute to realize Lamps was booked earlier. Thankfully, the ref got it eventually and beckons Lampard over to show him the red and end his dismal evening. Can Bordeaux sneak it with the man advantage? This liveblogger hopes so.

88 mins: Bordeaux are pouring forward down the left and Jurietti's cross is cleared to Planus, who seizes his chance to hammer it high into the stands. Good effort from the defender there. Spartak are shaky as the clock ticks down.

3 minutes of injury time.

(Also, all the Cypriot talk should be put on hold temporarily, as there's a chance no-one will face them in the knockouts: Werder Bremen just equalized. 2-2 in Cyprus with seconds remaining.)

90 mins + 1: Chalmat hoofs it forward to no-one in particular, which is not the strategy you'd expect from a team with a man advantage. They do get a more meaningful attack shortly thereafter, and Malouda gets the last touch as it goes out. Corner to Bordeaux. Gourcuff to thwack it in.

The outswinger causes trouble as Diawara got a head to it. It bounces around a bit but no shot before Terry belts it long down the pitch... and that's all she wrote.

FULL-TIME: Bordeaux 1, Spartak London 1
As painful to watch as it was, a deserved result. I do love to see Spartak struggle, and Lampard's sending-off was a particularly happy moment.
Thanks for following along, one and all. One last look around the grounds (all full-time scores):

CFR Cluj 1, AS Roma 3
Anorthosis Famagusta 2, Werder Bremen 2
Inter Milan 0, Panathanaikos 1
Shakhtar Donetsk 5, Basel 0
Sporting 2, Barcelona 5
Atletico Madrid 2, PSV Eindhoven 1 (I forgot this was played behind closed doors bc of their home fan troubles)
Liverpool 1, Marseille 0


Mike Georger said...

OM are the oregon ducks of europe. every time i see them its a new hideous kit

The Likely Lad said...

is this chelsea- bordeaux or Romania-Palermo?? My point: both of these kits are Bad/Ugly. Now Let's Go Girondons!

The Likely Lad said...

oh my god. ive just agreed with georger. run the bath, it's time to open up my veins...

Mike Georger said...

is it the vitamin piss yellow v pink?

ben arfa looks like the goofy fruit stand kid from amelie (thats right i just referenced amelie)

Andrew said...

Bordeaux: Les Bleu-roses

Girondins have massive young talent. They'd be great in FIFA.

Adam said...

All I saw was the Spartak at first and I thought someone was really bored to be liveblogging a french team v a russian team.

phil said...

Fuck Chelsea.

That is all.

Bigus Dickus said...

That was a nice kick up Ballack's backside. I have always wanted to do that. That dude is living the dream.

Andrew said...

"Gourcuff must be ubiquitous . . . must be omnipresent."

If this were the NFL, have the fans would've just drooled and nodded.

//sips scotch

Andrew said...


How ironic.

The Likely Lad said...

i love that Cluj play in Transylvania

Bigus Dickus said...

Love to sink their teeth into a home game.

Bigus Dickus said...

Cech looks like a life-saving float from baywatch.

phil said...

My feed has crapped out.

Why must America hate soccer!?

Why must I be poor!?

//sips Old Style

Andrew said...


I'll be here all week . . . I know you're out there, I can hear you leaving.

Andrew said...

Girondins unafraid. Snippy game. There will be red(s).

Mike Georger said...


Bigus Dickus said...

Bord kit is just nasty. N.A.S.T.Y

The Likely Lad said...

Can we get a translator in here please:
"...subdued outing for lampard and ballack in the midfield..," says Old Onion Sack.

Side note: good to hear Andy Grey talking about American sports again. Brings me back to the summer, and his painful pimping of NBA finals matches during Euro games.

Andrew said...

It'd be great, really great, if ESPN were able to show CL games without plugging some college football or NBA game. Does Musberger ever say, "And on Wednesday, Spartak meets Girondins in Bordeauz for an important match."

Fuck ESPN.

The Likely Lad said...

yea, bord kit looks like a cooter.

Bigus Dickus said...

See that turn...wowser. Shame his shot has the same power as that of Medvedev

ü75 said...

Meh. I kind of like Spartak's yellow. It's not as bright as some of the others, and plays off the blue well. Certainly a shit-ton better than ManU's Euro smurf kit.

Bordeuax's on the other hand--ouch.

Andrew said...

Gourcuff makes my heart go all a-flutter. Impressive. I want in a jersey that says "Fly Emirates".

Not HSV.

Mister Wendel sprays another freekick high.

ü75 said...

Come on Cluj. Get in!

Anonymous said...

any links to the game that isnt from justin and his tv?? those suck

Andrew said...

Seedorf to Ashburton Grove in January. I see it. I see it.

Adam said...

The golf academy ad was more pathetic than an ad for ITT tech or some other school like that.

Mike Georger said...

dossena just booked his trip back to italy

Precious Roy said...

Dear Baby Jesus, let Famagusta through so that Arsenal can draw them (instead of, oh, Barca) in the first knock out round.

Mike Georger said...

not sure what the seeding looks like but there is no way in hell anyone other than united get the cypriots

Precious Roy said...

Seem to recall hearing that they're not seeding the knock-out round anymore. I'm about 80% sure on that, but I'm also wrong a lot. I'm also about 80% sure that, yes, whether seeded or not, they'll be heading to Old Tratford.

Andrew said...

Arsenal against the Cypriots is not something I'd want.

@Georger: don't Utd get a by until the semis?

Mike Georger said...

interesting, hadnt heard that but thatd be cool. the announcers on the liverpool game wont shut the hell up about the seeding.

Mike Georger said...

andrew youre right i forgot. they get a bye because ferguson was worried about ronaldo getting fouled.

Andrew said...

Diarra with the head. We're tied at onesies.

Mike Georger said...


Andrew said...

Anyone have updates on the ManPoo debt situation? It's worse now than May due to the zombie wa . . . I mean financial meltdown (cliche term I know)?

Andrew said...

Lampard off! Allons-y, Girondins. On ne passe pas.

Mike Georger said...

theyre drowning in debt, have no sponsor money coming, and will still be able to buy benzema and podolski

Precious Roy said...

Hey, this got a little interesting.

Precious Roy said...

Hey, this got a little interesting.

The Fan's Attic said...

comeonpool! get another goal...even up that GD.

i believe ManU still gets money from AIG (aka USA).

Mike Georger said...

damnit bremen

Andrew said...

Bordeaux are terribly indecisive on the ball.

Mike Georger said...

anyone know how to bluebook a website?

Precious Roy said...

Really, it looks like Bore-duax are the man down.

Andrew said...

Scramble around the mouth! Bordeaux close, but not enough.

Andrew said...

@ Georger: not bluebook, but I can ALWD it.

Mike Georger said...

i think ill just do some MLA bullshit. just a rough draft and its far too cold and snowy to go get my BB from my car.

and liverpool are through. yay.

Andrew said...

Helped me throughout law school.

Andrew said...

@ Georger: quick warning, when they hand you the degree, they take either your heart or your soul. Often both.

Keith said...

Oh, and also. Say what you will about OOS, he's no John Harkes.

Mike Georger said...

i expect both