Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Liveblog: Liverpool vs. Man. City

Glory Days is not a happy song

For whom does the red and white confetti fly? Ask not, for if Liverpool lose this match, it flies for United. Again. The Reds have, of course, never won the Premier League trophy, shit they haven't won the top flight since Lingering (and the players, see above) were in short-short-short pants.

So really, it's all quite simple. If you're looking for an angle this morning, here you go: Liverpool has to win every game for the rest of the season if they're to have any chance of climbing back over United. If they lose to Citeh, IT IS especially OVER. Somewhere, Lingering and Sven are taking their nervous poops.

Still, they'll find no sympathy here (I'm incapable of empathy)... no, much better, they shall receive this roadmap: Win today, win next week, then win at mid-week next week. Then go to Old Trafford and win there. It's a four-part plan. Part One begins now!

(Oh, by the way, Stevie G is still out, and looking unlikely for Madrid, and Xabi Alonso misses from suspension. Same for SWP. Richard Dunne does make his Prem return after some league-imposed vacation time.

Lineups and Live updates after the jump.


Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Dossena, Benayoun, Mascherano, Lucas, Riera, Torres, Kuyt.
Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Aurelio, Babel, Ngog, Spearing, El Zhar.

Citeh: Given, Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Bridge, Zabaleta, De Jong, Kompany, Ireland, Bellamy, Robinho.
Subs: Hart, Garrido, Vassell, Evans, Elano, Weiss, Caicedo.

Referee: Phil Dowd and his sweaty, taped-on headpiece

In case you're just waking up, or haven't yet gone to sleep, know this:
-Still no goals down (I am, in theory, at Anfield) in London. By all accounts, Fulham is dominating the Baggies, but yeah, no goooooooools.
-Newcastle and Everton play concurrent to our concerns.
-Norwich have nicked a point off Burnley. Though, it seems-- and both the managers have acknowledged this much in their post-match comments-- that Norwich dominated the action. Stepping back, I'd say this result keeps Bigus off the pavement for another week.

K-minus 3 mins:
The Sky Sports "pre-game" is really weird. They can't show the Fulham game, so we settle for watching someone else watching. Then, face aflutter, the gentleman relays to us what he's seen. Mostly, it's been Zamora not scoring. My god, that boy's done quite a bit of not-scoring today.

Moments to glory:
We've switched over to the control room in Winnipeg. And the images have begun to stream in from the ground. Liverpool in red, Citeh in their sky-blues.
The FSC presenter has scored a point for himself-- using "influential" instead of ohhhh, "talismanic" to describe Liverpool's talismanic (d'oh!) captain.

Under way at Anfield!
p.s. Man City has no midfield.

2 min: first goal kick to City.. Kuyt down the right side. Blocked off, but out for an attacking throw.

4 min: City deal with it, but Dossena heads back in and Liverpool now have a corner.

5 min: After some ticky-tacky on the right, Riera walks into the box, pops one in front, which Micah Richard head butts into the ether.

6 min: announcer: Manchester is "United" (ho ho) in their rooting interests in this match.

9 min: Dossena says "Hey, Micah, look at the studs on my new boots!" He then attempts to plant them in the defender's leg. Dowd reminds him of his manners.

The Flying Jew takes a lovely pass in the box, lays it off for Torres, who slices it off into the crowd. Nice work again from Yossi.

10 min: the themes so far: No real chances - Man City strikers hardly a touch - Arbeloa loves aiming for Benayoun down the right side - Liverpool are looking strooong

11 min: Robinho gets his first touch... just outside his own box. It's an asault right now.. but surely it can't last. And if Liverpool go another 15 without a goal the locals are bound to grow restless. (...ball bouncing round middle of the park)

13 min: Lucky Richard Dunne: he takes down Torres near the goalline extended, but Dowd is spared the decision by his linesman. Offside. Dodgy at best.

14 min: Stevie I manages Citeh's first "shot." More like a bad pass that hits Reina in the chest. Liverpool back, sturdy in possession.

15 min: Not much doing after a quarter-hour. 'Pool has owned the wings, City has handled all crosses.

Just you and me, eh Georger? Just like I planned.

18 min: First half-chance for City. Bellamy almost sent through, but Pepe comes skipping out to snatch it up on the edge of the box.

Torres taken down 20 yards out. Free kick from range.

20 min: Benayoun with a nut-crusher into the Shitty Wall

22 min: Mayhem in front of Shay Given--> Newcastle flashbacks. Corner to Liverpool. Again, trampling bodies before Given. City just manage to clear... and gaaa... back into the box. Surely a matter of time now...

24 min: Riera to Torres, laid off to Kuyt, who fires just wide from distance. Liverpool are dominating here. Alas, there's the small issue of a goal.

26 min: Kompany has Robinho in good space on the right side, room to flush in... if he had just received the pass. He does not. Goal kick.

27 min: Credit to City for not putting everyone behind the ball. That said, maybe they should.

28 min: What the fuck? "Stand-by for Operation Anfield Exercise!" announcement on loud speaker at the ground. Air raid??

29 min: Kuyt with a touch. I'd nearly forgotten about him. Liverpool back in possesion.

30 min: Best chance of the match-- and it's for City... a 70-yard give-and-go between Ireland and Robinho. Reina steps up and stops Ireland from point-blank. Ireland knows he should've had one.

31 min: YELLOW for Richard Dunne, who takes a fleshy scythe to Kuyt, who was about to receive a pass from Torres... who's playing deep.

32 min: Mascherano takes chances from 30 yards out. Spectators under fire. Goal kick quickly finds Liverpool back in possession. Again, they dominate the wings, but Dunne and Co. have been strong on the crosses.

34 min: Torres, deep again, looks to slot home Kuyt, who has come inside for at least a moment. City close ranks again.

36 min: Torres runs miles alone down the right side. Has a choice of Kuyt or Riera, both alone at the top of the 18. Riera gets, takes two touches, then misses the mark. Weak.

38 min: Captain Obvious: Liverpool needs to turn possession/shots into a goal. (Capt. Obvious is our play-by-play man)

39 min: Watching Liverpool is like watching NBA basketball. Let's just fast-forward to the last 5 mins and enjoy. They're not scoring until at least the 75th minute.

41 min: Torres, deep AGAIN, takes Reina punt and manages to get incisive pass onto Yossi's foot. The Jew promptly floats a balloon over Given's net.

I'm Jewish, it's ok, I can call him that.

43 min: Carra steps in to break up City march. Corner to City, then. Their first.

44 min: dealt with... Liverpool dicking around on the edge of the box (hmmm)... Torres is eventually floored. No whistle, and we're back in the middle third.

45 min: +2 min...

45 + 1 min= City make some strides at the end, but Mascherano, playing the Wilson Palacios role, cleans everything up.

The whistle goes and the World Soccer Sho/Pro-Activ show begins.

What FSC thinks of you, the viewer. Acne-covered, Soccer shirt fiend, who likes to have a nostalgia tug to JLH's face. You may also be considering a Middle Eastern holiday, courtesy of the US Army.

So Fulham pulled through, 2-0 winners. Apparently Andy "Diving C*nt" Johnson played some role. I'm just relaying Bigus's commentary...

Question: Is Kasabian pissed that the Marines stole their song?

Hooters commercial? Really? That's rare. Like they'd even show this game at Hooters.

Question 2: Is anyone else already mad over the idea that Benjamin Button could potentially, maybe win a Best Picture award tonight?? If this happens, I'm done. Really. it'd be too much to bear.


46 min: Liverpool do the honors... and we're off!

47 min: Uh OH!!! GOAL!!!!! for Craig Bellamy. Kompany holds the ball up inside the box, lets one off for Bellamy who whips a shot off one/two Pool defenders.


48 min: Commence "they need Gerrard" wailing... De Jong whips one in from 35 yards that, ugh, almost nips the upper 90. Liverpool are on their heels.

52 min: Has the Welshman just taken a (golf) club to Liverpool's title dreams? (little late, but salient nonetheless)

54 min: and the natives are officially restless. Long pass nips off Torres for a defending throw from Richards.

55 min: Riera and Yossi go one-two down the park. Shot blocked by City defender. The pressure is back on from the home side.

56 min: Riera throws a long, diagonal ball in for Torres who juuust misses nipping it with his sliding right foot... Welcome back to the match, Reds.

58 min: Riera again, working that left side. Cross deflected off for a corner.

58 min: Torres heads from the near post... well away... goal kick.

59 min: Robinho with precious incisive touch to Ireland, who promptly spins and skies one miles over Reina from 25 yards.

61 min: Lucas LAUNCHES cross-field pass for Benayoun, who applauds the idea. Tens of thousands jeer the execution.

63 mins: SUB: Riera off for El Zhar. Riera had been, if not good, then on-the-ball. But he's done.

66 min: and there he is. El Zhar with lovely cross for Torres. But there's Dunne again.

66 min: City break after the corner. Richards finds a very offside Ireland who touches home. Disallowed. Clearly so.

69 min: Great build-up from City (begun by a wicked bicycle kick pass from Kompany)... it ends with Robinho on the deck, but play was deemed offside. Correct again. Liverpool leave it late again. A loss here will indeed hurt their UF Power Poll ranking. Due out tomorrow!

70 min: Oops. Not offside. The foul was called, and Robinho just misses on his free kick. It's deflected, so we prepare for a corner.

71 min: Dossena deals. Man City own this at the moment, if that's not clear.

72 min: Liverpool have possession, but no chances. Every third pass gets picked off. City is like the GOP congress, but more effective. That's to say, obstructionist, but with a goal to stand on.

76 min: Kompany, who saw YELLOW moments ago (my bad, was getting a juice)... seemingly earned another. Somehow, El-Zhar ends up in the book, for an earlier challenge?

The point: Liverpool has not scored.

77 min: City can do no wrong. Kuyt twice has ball taken off him in final third. Each time hard, clean, effective tackles.

78 min: Like I was saying... GOOOOOOOOAAAALL!!!!!! for Dirk Kuyt!!!

78 min: Torres takes a pass in the box, kinda scuffs it in Kuyt's direction, who kinda scuffs it... into the net. Why can't they do this before the last quarter-hour?? Is the next one a foregone conclusion?

82 min: Kuyt fires a rocket from the top of the box... a fantastic reaction save from Given, who had a lot of power to deal with.

SUB: Babel on for Javier M

85 min: El Zhar in to Torres, down to Benayoun, who gets saved from straight away. Shot it right at him! OOOOh that might have been their chance.

87 min: Arbeloa slips a ball into Kuyt, who turns from top-right of the box and puts a shot just across goal and wide. How many more of these?

88 min: SUB: The Ecuadorian Caicedo on for Robinho.

89 min: I don't mean to explode Lingering's small intestine, but Robbie Keane could've been helpful today. All that early pressure and no goals. If this ends a draw, that'll be the worst to remember.

90 min: Citeh have re-asserted themselves here at the close.

THREE minutes added on.

Three minutes to this season being o-v-a.

90 + 1 min: Torres walks in the box (again), but it falls to Aurelio, who launches a hasty moonshot.

90 + 2 min: 60-odd seconds to grim death.

Kleared again by Kompany.


a very aggressive challenge by Richard Dunne takes the ball of Ryan Babel in the last second. If Babel goes to ground, there is a... 40 percent chance he earns a penno. Alas, Dunne got ball and Babel has a bit of pride. So there it is. Man City essentially assures Man United another title. Shame on Liverpool for not making more of their epic dominance in the first quarter-hour.

Well done to you Mike Georger, you acne-scarred, hairy-handed, soccer-shirt buying, trained killing machine of a blog commenter. You've earned your day's pay.

Final note: seems the Bellamy goal, which I maintain was goalbound, has been charged as an own goal to Arbeloa. Fair or unfair, the deed is done.


Mike Georger said...

So it appears that a certain letter numeral letter site has resumed free flowing EPL games.

The cryps are raiding the liquor store!

The Fan's Attic said...

i'll have to check that out.

Mike Georger said...

Look at Torres backchecking out there!

Ian said...

I'm still hungover from friday night...anyone have a breakfast suggestion?

Mike Georger said...

Homemade bacon egg and cheese biscuits and funnel cakes.

Mike Georger said...

Have the announcers said why Skrtel is wearing a black armband and nobody else is?

The Likely Lad said...

no mention. no mention of skrtel at all come to think of it. (i mean that in a good way)

Mike Georger said...

"Acne-covered, Soccer shirt fiend, who likes to have a nostalgia tug to JLH's face. You may also be considering a Middle Eastern holiday, courtesy of the US Army. "

Three out of four ain't too shabby.

Mike Georger said...

Eh the Academy lost all credibility, along with England, when Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan.

And I just saw a Taiwanese KFC commercial. There is no god.

The Fan's Attic said...

arteta being stretchered off 5 minutes in...that's not good for everton.

The Likely Lad said...

yea, it'd just be one of many. but i especially dislike that movie. violated f. scott... stole from amis... the worst still is gump over pulp, shawkshank, etc. for me at least.

Ian said...


Mike Georger said...

Great. Just great

Mike Georger said...

Started the half looking listless and now that they're down it's even worse.
We all knew the season was over, but at least now I won't have to get up early anymore, I can just go back to catching recaps.

Mike Georger said...

The game isn't the same since they changed the rules to bar Liverpool from making substitutions. What's that? Rafa's just a moron?

Mike Georger said...

That was fucking dirty, didn't see why pepe looked about to kill someone til the replay.

Gerrard wouldn't have changed this game, but Alonso would have. He has been their best player this year.

Mike Georger said...

Why not bring on Babel? I just don't understand this man anymore.

Give me Jose or give me death.

Mike Georger said...

So in successive games Kuyt has scored against the supposed best English keeper and the best Irish keeper, standing directly in front of them, with neither making any move. What the hell?

Mike Georger said...

Well the title race is over, but I can still take some positives here.

Kuyt and Benayoun appear to be staking a claim to futures with the club. Thrilled with their performances.

Other positives are that this match makes it clear that Lucas and Dossena will be proving once again that players who are too slow and untalented for England can be successful in Italy when both are shipped the fuck off to whatever sucker eyeties want to pay for them.

Mike Georger said...

Considering Torres was playing largely in the role Keane was most comfortable in, and Keane couldn't hold Torres' jock with an electric Torres' jock holding machine on the most Torres' jock holding day of the year, I respectively disagree.

Not having Alonso suspended and having passing from the middle of the park would have made a difference.

Mike Georger said...

Season over. Good work everybody, way to lay down to United again.

Jose is the only man who can lead Liverpool to glory. Book it, he's coming in.

Mike Georger said...

"Liverpool brought on El Zhar, and yesterday, Man United brought on Carlos Tevez. That's the difference between the best and second best teams in this division."

You got it right BBC. Nobody can contend with the attacking depth of United. Unless ownership and management change, it isn't going to matter how many project players are brought in, they cannot sustain a title push.

The Likely Lad said...

it also helps not to sell off your second striker at a loss in January. Rafa will now eat the meal of his making.

Andrew said...

Liverpool get their own liveblog, but UF is too good to do one for Oscars?

├╝75 said...

We discussed it. We decided that if this was an academy that did not recognize the genius of Escape to Victory, then we would not recognize them. We do, however, follow the Moscow International Film Festival quite closely.