Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Bootroom: Sunday... and the Lunchtime Liveblog!

Will he be happy or sad by 2pm?


Mornin' folks!

We've settled on a name for our weekend threads, and we're raring to go. Join us in the bootroom for a couple of hours before we liveblog the living crap out of the Liverpool/Villa game that could really make the title race interesting again should Rafa's gang pull out another mammoth result.

After the euphoria of the last fortnight, it's certainly possible.

In the meantime, we've got Wigan/Hull in the battle of burly northern aesthetes (said sarcastically of course), and then at 11, Citeh attempt to wrangle three points from the visiting Mackems.

So get started early, and then pray for some lunchtime entertainment. There might even be a La Liga liveblog later as well, as we desperately look to paginate at every possible opportunity.

Update: Wigan win 1-0 late, Citeh are busy wasting chances after Sunderland's early red card, and we're almost ready for LFC/Villa. Let's get cracking!

Early Fixtures:
Wigan 1, Hull 0 FULL TIME
Manchester City 0, Sunderland 0 (35 mins)


Liverpool v. Aston Villa
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Mascherano, Alonso, Gerrard, Kuyt, Riera, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Agger, Lucas, Ngog, El Zhar.
Aston Villa: Friedel, Reo-Coker, Cuellar, Davies, Luke Young, Milner, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Heskey, Carew.
Subs: Guzan, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, Knight, Salifou, Shorey, Gardner.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

Interesting gamesmanship here. O'Neill starts with the muscular strike pairing of Heskey and Carew, choosing to bench Gabby after his boo'd off performance last week. Will be interesting to see how much of the long ball game they play now that they're starting with two target men.

Meanwhile, Rafa cuts the rotation business and puts out his strongest XI, although it's sorely missing the Super Jew who should be back soon. Xabi Alonso is fit once more, which lifts the midfield immeasurably.

It's time, folks. Anfield is in full song, Keith is watching this in NJ (sorry I couldn't make it out there to watch with the Villa fans! Next time!), and we're all set.

The minute of silence for the late LFC match secretary, Bryce Morrison, is observed perfectly, and Villa kick-off.

1 min: Bright start as Gerrard wins a corner. Aurelio puts it right on Skrtel's head at the near post, and his header is well saved by Friedel, who is also battling the blinding sun in his eyes coming over the top of the stadium. LFC are defending the shadowed half first, and Villa's half is an explosion of sunshine.

3 mins: Better from Villa, as they molest the offside trap well enough. Heskey collects and feeds Milner up top. His strike is deflected behind for a corner, but looked like it was goalbound otherwise. LFC manage to clear. Lively from both teams from the get-go.

4 mins: Wonderful flick on by Torres finds Gerrard in behind Curtis Davies. He cuts inside for a shot, but his touch is poor and Friedel is able to collect. I'm enjoying this so far; both teams playing with pace and purpose, which is how it should be considering how much is on the line today.

6 mins: Wide open stuff so far, end-to-end. Reo-Coker ballses up a tackle on Riera with the winger breathing down his neck in pursuit of a long ball. Free kick for LFC, wide left. Could be a shot on as Gerrard and Aurelio hover.

GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL, and a brilliant set piece! Gerrard puts a glorious ball in from the set piece, Alonso heads it onto the bar, and Dirk Kuyt reacts first to the rebound and drills it home between Friedel's legs. A wonderful start. Get in, lads, and they're not letting up. More attacks come. I am happy. Liverpool 1, Aston Villa 0

9 mins: After LFC go close again with Gerrard at the near post, Villa have a glorious chance to level. A cross from the left finds Gaz Baz all alone in the box, and he shins it well over the bar. He was unmarked and could have controlled it, but alas, it's a wasted effort.

10 mins: LFC open up Villa again, this time down the right with Arbeloa. He hangs onto it too long at the edge of the box and his through-ball for Gerrard ends up out for a goal-kick.

Anfield in full song at the moment, and things are happening so thick and fast I can barely keep up with the typing. This is how the EPL should be.

12 mins: LFC threaten again as Mascherano intercepts a lazy clearance, but he can't do anything with it. Villa break, but Skrtel tidies up neatly at the back as Ashley Young sprinted for the long ball.

I haven't seen my club play like this for quite some time. Funny what a difference three or four games can make.

15 mins: Villa aren't taking this lying down. A lovely bit of play down the right ends with Milner putting a beautiful low cross along the edge of the 6-yard box. Carew is lurking, but Carragher gets there first.

Almost 2-0! A glorious ball to Riera out left, he gets outside Reo-Coker and his deflected cross misses everyone but Gerrard at the far post. Unmarked, he can't control his toe-poke and it screws wide of the post. They need a second, and soon.

17 mins: The pace is slowing a little, but Liverpool are enjoying the better of the midfield, especially with Gerrard, who is all over the pitch at the moment.

Liverpool win a corner off Riera's deflected cross, but Villa do well to force them back to halfway, eventually winning the throw-in as Aurelio knocks it out under pressure from Reo-Coker.

19 mins: Tons of room for Kuyt up the middle, but instead of shooting, he lays off a weak ball wide to Arbeloa and Curtis Davies is there to pick it off.

Milner again with the dangerous cross from the right, but Carew can't get there in time and Reina smothers it dead. Aston Villa are showing some signs of life, making that 2nd goal all the more vital.

20 mins: Liverpool are living dangerously, pouring forward in numbers and giving Villa plenty of room to counter. Reo-Coker is the latest recipient of this space, getting wide right and putting a lovely ball in for Heskey at the far post, but Carragher heads it clear off-balance and LFC breathe again.

Less than a minute later, Petrov forces a nice reaction save from Reina at the near post with his flick-on. Absolutely wonderful game so far.

22 mins: Reina comes out a mile to punch clear another dangerous cross with Heskey and Carew threatening.

Gerrard gets himself a yellow card, lunging in late on Davies who beats the Liverpool captain to the loose ball wide on the right. Seems a bit harsh as it's really the first foul of the match, but on replay, he does get a good chunk of the defender's ankle.

24 mins: Just as Villa appear to be wresting some control of the midfield, Liverpool break down the right. Arbeloa somehow gets the ball past Davies' sliding challenge, and he finds Torres in space at the top of the box. The Spaniard's shot is unusually soft, and Friedel is thankful for that one. Danger over.

25 mins: Did I say something pre-game about the long-ball gameplan? Well, it almost pays off for Villa -- Reo-Coker launches a high, looping free kick into the box, and Carew's flick-on seems destined for the bottom corner, until Reina dives brilliantly to his left at full stretch to paw it out. Ashley Young can't bury the rebound as Reina saves with his legs. Wonderful double-effort from Pepe Reina to keep the score 1-0.

27 mins: Yep, Villa are right back in this one. Normally, going down 1-0 early away from home to a good team is enough to take the wind right out, but they're shown no signs of lying down. Milner is having the game of his life on the right wing, and the aerial battle between Heskey/Carew and Carragher/Skrtel will be fun to watch for the next hour.

29 mins: Torres is having trouble asserting himself up front, failing to control another ball into his feet from Dirk Kuyt. Give it time, Fernando...

Gerrard has room to move forward as Liverpool break, but his through-ball for Torres was a bit too ambitious and it rolls all the way to Friedel. To be honest, I have no clue how that would have worked: Torres and three Villa defenders, and he tries to play him round the back? At least the confidence is there!

31 mins: Milner tries to run through two defenders to no avail, and Liverpool break. Sloppy from Gerrard in the middle, and the move breaks down.

Riera spins Reo-Coker inside and out, but his cross to the far post finds nobody in red. Shame, really.

33 mins: GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL, and what a slice of fried luck that is. Villa, having had the run of the last quarter-hour, fall asleep at the back. Reina's long clearance is allowed to bounce several times, and Riera and Torres both get up the middle in pursuit. Albert Riera, under pressure, fires a stunning first-time volley with his left foot, crashing it off the underside of the bar and leaving Friedel helpless. An absolutely phenomenal goal. Liverpool 2, Aston Villa 0

35 mins: Villa are having a crisis of confidence now after that wonder goal-that-should-never-have-been-allowed-to-happen. Gerrard gets it 20 yards out and fires a lovely shot just wide of the post. Then, seconds later, Friedel bottles his clearance, putting it right at Arbeloa's feet. One-on-one, the right-back takes the unselfish approach and squares it for Torres, but Davies is there to scramble it clear. Could have been 3-0 easily if Arbeloa had taken a shot. Nervy times for Villa.

For those who didn't see the 2nd goal, think Keane's wonder strike against Arsenal, but done from the left-hand side with the left foot. As sweet a first-time shot on the volley as you'll ever see.

38 mins: Villa have a chance to get right back in it via a looping free-kick from the left wing, but it's wasted.

39 mins: PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL
GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL... and this is why you don't play Reo-Coker at right-back. Another gorgeous, searching pass finds Riera in acres of space out wide. He runs right at poor Nigel, who hauls him down clumsily in the box. Clear, obvious shout. Steven Gerrard sends Friedel the wrong way, and we can perhaps, maybe, quite possibly, close the book on this one. The Kop is in fine form with the songbook. Liverpool 3, Aston Villa 0

41 mins: Now, bodies are dropping quickly as Villa are guilty of two late challenges. Luke Young slides through Mascherano and gets a yellow card. He's not happy about it, and neither is Gaz Baz who gets a yellow for mouthing-off at the ref. Then I think Petrov catches Riera late, but it was more accidental. No card.

Villa are unlucky as they've had some great chances in the first half, but full credit to the Reds for taking their few and far-between chances to completely bury this game.

44 mins: Carew does well under pressure from Skrtel to hold up possession and feed Milner wide, but this time the cross is poor and drifts over everyone.

Lovely cross-field pass from Riera finds Kuyt wide right, and he wins a corner off Davies' chest.

45 mins + 1: As the commentators are saying, when should LFC begin to think about goal difference?

Villa float a free kick hopefully into the box, but Reina is there to gather and that's it.

HALF TIME: Liverpool 3, Aston Villa 0
Must admit, that even in my most jingoistic thoughts of my team's fortunes today, I'd never have dreamt up this scenario. Simply brilliant stuff, especially when you consider that Villa controlled the middle 20 minutes from the midfield and had several strong scoring chances. Liverpool, playing on the break for the most part, have been clinical in their finishing and ruthless in the tackle.

I think we can say that the title race is back on, folks.

Life as a Liverpool fan, in the last months:
- Draw 1-1 at home to Citeh, a team with one of the worst away records in the league (oh, and we had to come from behind)
- Lose 2-0 at relegation-threatened Middlesbrough
- Beat Sunderland 2-0
- Beat 4-1 at Old Trafford, our biggest away win over United since 1936
- Beat Real Madrid 5-0 on aggregate in the Champions League
- Up 3-0 at half-time to Aston Villa, a team chasing 4th Place.

These are the things we endure. The soap-opera/Disney sports movie-esque season continues.

Thoughts for the second half? If you're Rafa, do you keep pressing, or do you sit back? Villa are clearly capable of goals.

And we're off again. As TFA intoned in the comments, LFC and United are now even on goal difference.

Torres and Gerrard have both been so-so today, and yet we're up 3-0. Don't quite understand it all, really.

Agbonlahor is warming up on the sidelines, and no changes at half-time for either side.

47 mins: Milner, easily Villa's biggest threat so far, tries to get around Aurelio on the wing, but the Brazilian is equal to it and shepherds the ball out for a goal kick.

49 mins: Lovely bit of skill from Kuyt, turning around Davies and sprinting toward goal, where he's eventually tripped by Cuellar. Dangerous position. Free kick on the edge of the box. Xabi and Stevie G hover over it...

GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL, and Gerrard kept his cool there with a lovely finish. After the wall has to be reset several times, Steven Gerrard literally sidefoots it from 18 yards, and Friedel sees it late with no chance to save it. Tucked perfectly inside the post, and the rout is on. For those who shit on Gerrard, note that it's his 20th goal of the season. Not bad for a central midfielder. Liverpool 4, Aston Villa 0

Three games in a row where LFC have reached 4 goals. When will this run end?

To reiterate: that was a sidefooted free-kick from 20-odd yards for a goal. Glorious finish.

53 mins: Heskey does well to beat Carragher to the header from Milner's cross, but it's straight at Reina.

This is setting up to be quite a sleepy second half considering the score. I'm alright with that, considering the chest-tightening anxiety LFC normally cause me. Not in recent weeks though.

57 mins: Another lovely move from Liverpool as the space is everywhere to be exploited. Kuyt sets up on the right wing, meanders in and squares for Alonso, who shoots well wide of the post from the edge of the box.

Sub for Aston Villa: Heskey makes way for Agbonlahor.

60 mins: The pace has understandably slowed. Kuyt almost released Alonso through on goal, but Cuellar was there. Villa attack a bit down the left with Gaz Baz trying his hardest, but Skrtel is in control.

61 mins: Welcome to the game, Gabby. His first action is to foul Skrtel as the two chase a long ball down the right. He's only scored once in his last 16 after the hot start to the season.

What do you think Fergie is thinking at the moment? Think he's finally allowing himself to be worried?

64 mins: PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL
Torres skips behind Reo-Coker and Friedel stands his ground as the striker sprints through on goal. Nowhere for Friedel to go, and Torres tumbles down. Ref gives a red card, very unfairly, but the penalty is legitimate.

Brad Guzan hurries himself into action for his EPL debut, although surely not under the ideal circumstances.

Anfield applauds Friedel as he exits, and rightly so. The law may dictate that a goalie foul is an instant red, but nevertheless, they need some common sense.

GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL Steven Gerrard steps up and sends Guzan the wrong way to complete his hat-trick. Liverpool 5, Aston Villa 0

And promptly, it's subs time, as Lucas replaces Xabi Alonso.

67 mins: Villa win a corner off Carragher, but Gaz Baz squanders the delivery.

To summarize: yes, it was a PK as Friedel definitely impeded Torres, Shouldn't have been a red though, as Friedel merely stood his ground. It's not like he could have vanished into thin air, as the color commentator inferred.

Rough times for Villa. Let's hope Friedel wins an appeal so he can face Manchester United.

69 mins: A lovely run by Riera down the left, cutting it back from the touchline for Lucas, whose low shot is just wide of the post. Guzan would have saved that, I reckon.

While the red card was uncalled-for, make no mistake: this has been a superb performance by Liverpool today. Even with a misfiring Spanish striker, they're 5 goals up on a very good team. Sadly, for momentum's sake, the international break is coming at the absolute wrong time.

The Villa fans, quiet as they may be, do find enough volume to sing "We're going to win 6-5" when Lucas entered proceedings.

73 mins: Skrtel could have made it 6-0 as the corner lands to his feet unmarked at the back post, but his off-target volley shows why he's a defender.

Liverpool begin showing off a bit around the Villa area, which might seem a bit poor in the sportsmanship stakes, but if you're Martin O'Neill, would you rather them try some stepovers or keep pushing for more goals? Riera has been superb down the left, and has nothing but space every time he gets forward.

75 mins: Gerrard can't find Torres with a long, raking ball downfield, but who cares? The home side are up 5-0!

Here comes Daniel Agger, the man who's apparently so pissed about his lack of playing time that he wants to move to Italy. Honestly, with the team playing like this, why leave? Juventus are shit, and LFC are rolling. He replaces Arbeloa. Does this mean Carragher is moving to right-back, the position no-one else wants to play?

77 mins: Torres does well under pressure to hold possession in the Villa area, and after a sharp turn, it bobbles up to Cuellar, who clearly uses his right arm to control the ball before hoofing it downfield. If it was a 0-0 game, I'd be screaming for the penalty, but any more PK decisions, no matter how justified, just seem mean at this point.

78 mins: Villa still pushing forward for something, and they do deserve something from this one, but Mascherano is there to intercept the cut-back.

Gerrard breaks up midfield from Reina's long-throw, but he can't find Torres in traffic. Funny how completely out-of-sync they look today.

Another corner for Villa, but Barry puts it right into Reina's hands at the back post.

Final sub for LFC: David N'gog will have a n'go up front, and Gerrard rightly gets his standing ovation for his performance today.

84 mins: Agger has a run but his through-ball to Torres finds the Spaniard offside. Both teams are just waiting for the whistle at this point. Kuyt shows signs of sustained brightness down the right even late on, but as usual, his touch is as heavy as ever.

Skrtel fouls Agbonlahor some 30 yards out as Gabby stretches his legs, and the ref's whistle brings a hearty cheer from the visiting fans. Villa try some trickery from the free kick instead of shooting, and LFC clear.

86 mins: Ashley Young's not had a good day. This mazy run down the left concludes with an awful shanked cross that booms high over the bar.

SWEET, SWEET PAGINATION. Well done, you commenting superheroes!

88 mins: Gaz Baz wastes another corner, putting it once more in Reina's gloves as if it were guided by magnets.

Martin O'Neill readies a sub, and you have to wonder how Villa will rebound from his one. As they say on the telly, they've not won in their last 8, being knocked out of the FA Cup and UEFA Cup. John Carew, one of the few bright spots for Villa today, is replaced by someone whose name I missed.

Meanwhile, you wonder if they'd have some confidence knowing that they didn't purposefully tank their UEFA Cup run to focus on the league. Looking at recent events, it's safe to say all their ploys have backfired.

90 mins: Please, blow the whistle soon, for everyone's sake. Anfield is singing like they won something. Three minutes of added time to come, and you can bet they will be incident-free. Craig Gardner was the sub for Carew, by the way.

90 mins + 2: Well done, Mr. Gardner, you've earned a silly yellow card. He has a run up the middle but his touch lets him down, and for good measure, he follows through late on Agger after the Dane's clearance.

90 mins + 2: Gabby and Ashley link up down the left, and Young has a crack from distance. It's always drifting somewhat wide, but Reina flops on it just to make sure.

FULL TIME: Liverpool 5, Aston Villa 0
For a game that was so evenly poised after half an hour, what a result for the Reds!

A tough day for Villa in what's fast becoming a tough month. They've given up 4th place to a resurgent Arsenal side, and no matter what they do, whether it be trips to Dubai or MO'N team talks, they've really lost the plot in the league, and games like this one don't help.
When you have such a thin squad with which to compete in the EPL, it's no wonder, but they did boss the tempo for most of the first half and still went in at the whistle down three goals.

Meanwhile, LFC go into the international break with serious momentum. One point back (though United have a game in hand), and goals raining in from all parts of the pitch.

A simply brilliant performance, beyond anyone's wildest predictions (although GeneralGametime did predict LFC would score 5, so well done there), and Ferguson must be feeling rather uneasy. The fortnight away from the league should help them galvanize, but make no mistake: Liverpool just showed that this race is far from dead.


Thanks for playing along everyone; in our greed and hunger for comments, we've outdone ourselves once again. Maybe we'll liveblog again later for some La Liga, or even that MLS evening game, but for now, I must go enjoy the sunshine.


228 comments:

1 – 200 of 228   Newer›   Newest»
phil said...

Hull are doing us no favors this morning. If Wigan lose, we are clear to 9th! Let the Hullatio begin!

Groovethefish said...

I live in Freidel's hometown with his live in camp and all, but he and Villa are lacking confidence and it will get bad quickly.

Liverpool 5-2

I could not have asked for a better day of results from yesterday. It is officially on.

Spectator said...

Just waking up and I still have a post-MLS hangover... bleh!

phil said...

Why is Bruce still sitting Zaki? Is he nicked?

Mike Georger said...

Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Gerrard, Riera, Kuyt, Torres. Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Agger, Ngog, El Zhar, Dossena, Lucas.

JT said...

And Sunderland have a man sent off just 15 minutes in. Guess we know the final score there...

Wigan score.

George: that's exactly the team I hoped to see, tbh. The rotation shenanigans can wait now that the title race is "back on."

Frank said...

Watching Siena-Fiorentina, and well I'm left wondering why I'm watching Siena-Fiorentina.

Mike Georger said...

Good to see Robinho is still as good as people thought he was.

phil said...

F*ck Hull. Useless bastards.

phil said...

I was under the impression that it was illegal to pause in your run-up on a PK. And yet Robinho and CR are allowed to do so with impunity.

Mike Georger said...

Don't think it is, I think it's one of those unwritten rules. That's what I recall from the final last year anyways.

JT said...

Phil: if it makes them miss, I'm all for it.

JT said...

btw... this is the best penalty EVER.

Mike Georger said...

Holy shit a chip on a penalty, the balls. I love the celebration too, seems the goto until the modern era was the hands over the head chicken with its head cut off celebration.

JT said...

Yeah, Panenka was a brilliant midfielder. That kick also won the PK shootout, too, AND it was in Germany against ze Germans. So that adds substantially to the mania.

phil said...

Georger's right. There's nothing in the FIFA rules about pausing. Must a fair play sort of thing.

@ JT: good point.

BentPav said...

Villa are in crap form. Spurs and Fulham did Liverpool huge favors yet the way the Prem has played out this season I would not be too comfortable if I was a Red (Which thankfully I am not)

Lingering Bursitis said...

BentPav: believe me, no hubris here. Nothing is a given considering seemingly every game now has either title/European or relegation implications.

phil said...

I would stop short of saying Villa are in crap form. Their keeper is a bit down in his confidence, their captain is injured, and they're struggling a bit in the finish, but with that midfield, they are still among the most dangerous attacking sides in the Prem.

Mike Georger said...

I honestly expect a draw today.

phil said...

Anyone else see the ManUre shilling over at EPLTalk?

Lingering Bursitis said...

I don't know what to expect. Anything can happen, and based on yesterday, it couldn't be more unpredictable.

Interesting to see Villa start with two target men. I think it sets out their gameplan pretty clearly.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Phil: no I haven't. I try not to go there. Any links? What's the jist of it?

phil said...

@ LB: Aafter the match yesterday, they've got a piece up that blames the loss to Fulham on the ref. Not on Berba fancying his ciggys more than his footy, not on the petulance of Rooney, the diving antics of CR, or the inexplicable stupidity of Scholes. The ref screwed ManU. The author paused in the middle of that piece to whine that CR wasn't getting well deserved foul calls and that teams were targeting him for rough play.

phil said...

http://www.epltalk.com/ref-misses-the-point-man-united-lose-the-points/5100

BentPav said...

I havent seen Phil but if its the Berb slating that I have been reading on other forms it is most enjoyable

Mike Georger said...

Yeah I read it, they busted out the 'the ref missed a good game' shit. Not a fan of that site at all.

BentPav said...

Its all about confidence. United are losing their bottle while the Scousers are showing some fight. Even my beautiful Spurs are hitting a nice patch right now. The Scum look much better as well and turned up the style at Newcastle and will solidify fourth in the next few weeks (Oh how I hate them) I love football

phil said...

Yeah, Georger, I've just about stopped going there. It's one thing to be a fan, but that column was about the most tone-deaf piece of football writing I've ever seen.

The NY Kid said...

meh. Zizou has chipped numerous PKs.

Andrew said...

OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod . . .

I'm so nervous. I'm so excited. 'Pool 3-1, but it won't even be that close.

Again, due to the NCAA tournament, and Comcast's lack of FSC even on extended cable, I'll be relying on the shitty shitty internet feed, the excellent excellent Guardian liveblog, and yous guys wonderful wonderful comments.

Mike Georger said...

It really bugged me that they made no mention of any source when they ran their article about FSC getting the champions league rights, that's just sloppy and makes it sound like they found out about it, as opposed to the good folks here giving updates about the blog posts over at FSC.

Mike Georger said...

Yeah, but Zissou shoots blanks.

The Fan's Attic said...

sweet i get the LFC match on FSC...glad i called comcast threatening to leave b/c i got an upgrade for 6 months that includes FSC for less money than i was paying.

phil said...

I'm still sailing after beating Spartak yesterday. That made my month.

@ Georger: yeah, that was pretty galling.

BentPav said...

Reo-Coker at RB

Lingering Bursitis said...

PhilL that's fucking ridiculous. EPL Talk is awful.

phil said...

Am I the only one who's had problems with the goals in a certain Middle Eastern country? Can't seem to get a decent feed, at all.

Spectator said...

Got chills that Anfield could be so silent for Bryce Morrison.

Mike Georger said...

I've got two great feeds from Myp2p thus far, first one wasn't in English though. Starsports and FSC

The NY Kid said...

@phil - surfing on channels has worked well for me lately

phil said...

@ LB: Yeah, that's the kind of fanboy shite you expect on a message board, not on a site called "EPLTalk"

BentPav said...

Phil: I am still in the clouds as well. Brilliant result, just brilliant. I am sure you were just waiting for the inevitable equalizer but I fell 'arry has a lineup now. Wish we just played once a week. Ledley is immense

Lingering Bursitis said...

@NY Kid: Zizou stole the chip PK idea from Panenka, so shut up you Gaul!

Kyle B. said...

So here's the question for neutrals this match - would you rather there be a battle for the title or for the Champions League spot?

For me, go Villa.

phil said...

Success! Thanks, Georger.

The NY Kid said...

@LB - what a gauling accusation!

BentPav said...

Why do opposing teams always attack the Kop in the first half? Does every visiting club lose the coin toss? Bad tactics before the game starts

Spectator said...

Wow, both teams going for the 3 points.... This is a good one.

Mike Georger said...

Got a feeling Riera will be getting a lot of touches today.

Mike Georger said...

19 players? Amazing they've done what they have. If they could use the funds from Barry to buy two or three EPL caliber players, they'd be fools not to. Not that I exactly want him at this point.

BentPav said...

Nice finish by Kuyt

Spectator said...

Oof, thanks for playing Villa

Mike Georger said...

Does Reo Coker have vap-o-rub on his jersey?

Mike Georger said...

Wow what a finish

Mike Georger said...

Good christ what have gotten into this team?

Lingering Bursitis said...

Georger: they've got the fire in 'em. Been an unbelievable fortnight, and yesterday can only have been more fuel to this end-of-season run.

phil said...

Friedel has completely fallen apart.

BentPav said...

The Scousers are looking to shut the door early here. That old red faced Scottish tosser is seething somewhere

phil said...

Feed gone. Sticking with live text today.

The Fan's Attic said...

kuyt now has 8 league goals and 4 assists.

guess what EPL star has only 9 league goals and 4 assists?

that's right, England's Dirk Kuyt...Wayne Rooney.

Spectator said...

@TFA: But you are talking about WAYNE ROONEY, the hope and future of English football!!

Lingering Bursitis said...

Phil: I'll do you right, don't worry.

Sorry about the lack of Hullatio earlier. No Villatio here today, please.

GeneralGametime said...

As much as it pains me to say it, 'Pool is the best team in the world right now. Now, I think the Mancs will probably still take it home, Liverpool sure is fun to watch.

Too bad Stevie G molests livestock.

Mike Georger said...

Surprised Keith isn't here, maybe he has to watch at the bar.

I've got a predicament. Do I sit here in my room watching the game online, or go upstairs and watch on the wireless while watching the Penguins game on TV.

phil said...

I have complete faith in you, LB.

My Spurs are heading back to 11th. 9th was nice for a few hours. Wigan have won, and Citeh look set to win, up 1-0 through Richards against 10 man Sunderland.

Spectator said...

Citeh finally scored... Micah Richards header. 1-0 over 10-man Sunderland.

Mike Georger said...

Sunderland? I thought that time died in a grease fire?


This game is just end to end, I love it.

Spectator said...

The world must be coming to an end, Stevie G got a well-deserved yellow card!!

GeneralGametime said...

Dirty, Stevie, dirty.

phil said...

Bellamy coming on for Citeh, which gives me occasion to repeat my favorite quote of this EPL season, from Tim Sherwood:

"We have a lot of nice people in the squad right now, and Craig Bellamy, well, is not a very nice person."

Spectator said...

Steven Gerrard Gerrard
He puts in a transfer request
And kisses the badge on his chest
Steven Gerrard Gerrard

Spectator said...

Wow Reina is on form

Mike Georger said...

Settle down there Ku Klux Klam.

GeneralGametime said...

Reina brought it today. That was a sweet save.

Mike Georger said...

So much better than Van Der Statue.

phil said...

Seems Scholes has good hands. Maybe he's got a future between the posts.

Andrew said...

Watching games via the intertron is wonderful: I get to watch great footie, and learn Spanish at the same time.

Kuyt is a lot more important to 'Pool this season than a lot of people are willing to recognize. His goals early this season, while shitugly, were what put Pool top through Christmas.

Mike Georger said...

Hyypia has got to get in this game at some point, nobody can deal with his heading.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Andrew: believe me, as much as I make fun of him, I recognize fully how important Dirk is.

Andrew said...

Where does Barry go if Villa don't make CL this year? He stays in England, I believe, and goes to Liverpool - if they meet the asking price. I expect Barry to be worth less after this season than after last.

Andrew said...

RIERA!!!!!

The Fan's Attic said...

Riera!!!

Mike Georger said...

AZARIA! HOLY SHIT!

Spectator said...

Well, 2-0 might be harsh to Villa but there it is!

GeneralGametime said...

Bad time to go make a sandwich.

Andrew said...

What a brilliant finish to a fucking brilliant run that connected with a brilliant pass. Well done you lot, well done.

Mike Georger said...

Assist for Pepe. What a shrewd signing Riera has been, man oh man he only scores phenomenal goals doesn't he?

Andrew said...

It's going to be three before the half if Villa aren't careful.

Andrew said...

And there was the third . . . except not.

Mike Georger said...

WHAT THE FUCK ARBELOA?

Lingering Bursitis said...

Be nice Georger. He was being unselfish.

Andrew said...

Georger: Riera and Kuyt, in this 4-2-3-1 that Rafa employs, are the two players I'd fear the most if I were an opposing manager.

And boy did Arbeloa fuck up a chance to put the game to bed.

GeneralGametime said...

Too easy. Great weekend for the Arsenal.

phil said...

Goodness, what is Friedel doing?

Andrew said...

PK!!!! Riera! Not sure about the call . . . ehhh, I can see it.

Mike Georger said...

I know, but he has shown the ability to score before, should've been more confident.

Andrew said...

And there's three. Villa aren't imploding so much as Pool is completely dominating and have been for two weeks straight now.

Mike Georger said...

Methinks there might be your PFA POTY

The Fan's Attic said...

Riera did a great job in getting that PK. soft call but the ref had to call it when Reo-Coker ran into Riera.

phil said...

What's funny about the last two weeks is that Spurs and Gooners have found themselves in the odd position of needing one another to win.

Andrew said...

Ok, I take that back. Villa ARE imploding.

Mike Georger said...

Villa are fucking collapsing like a flan in the cupboard.

Spectator said...

A friend called and made a good point: Villa really, really miss Laursen in the back

Andrew said...

@Phil: The enemy of my enemy is my friend kinda of thing. It's like the US supporting Pinochet, or Suharto . . . it's sucks, it's ethically and morally wrong, but meh . . .

Lingering Bursitis said...

Indeed they do, Spectator. They also should never have sold Mellberg to Juventus.

Andrew said...

Keith should be here to enlighten us with his observations.

phil said...

@ Andrew: LMAO.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Keith invited me to watch it with the Villa supporters' club, but I wasn't able to make it. I wish I had been free now.

phil said...

Agreed, Spectator. His absence has left a gaping hole at the back for them.

ü75 said...

The sweet death of the halftime whistle. Wonder if any Villans are hoping to subbed?

Andrew said...

LB: THAT would've been awkward. "Thanks for the invite, now I get to watch you cry."

Mike Georger said...

Announcer makes a good point (weird, as I'm used to that not happening on ESPN, just them talking about 'distance covered'), Pool shouldn't step off the gas in the second half because they are getting closer on goal differential.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Andrew: I know. Perhaps it's best for all parties that the meet-up didn't work out.

Andrew said...

@Phil, Spec: I wasn't able to get MON's transfer policy this past summer: getting rid of Mellberg, but bringing in Cuellar? MON knew this season would probably be his Villa's best shot of getting CL, so keeping that in mind, why not keep all your team?

The Fan's Attic said...

as it stands i believe they are only 1 goal shy of Spartak London on GD and are even with ManU.

The NY Kid said...

and if you don't think I'm liveblogging the WPS opener, you don't know me very well

Lingering Bursitis said...

Georger: it's true. While you never like to see the score run up, thoughts have to end up there at half-time. With United still having a game in hand, it's a must to even out the other factors if we're to have any chance.

Mike Georger said...

"Has a team ever scored four goals three games in a row against teams who have won the European Cup?"

Interesting point. Also a chance to note that until United got rich, they were just as relevant in Europe as Aston Villa.

Spectator said...

@LB & Phil: Villa's problems really do come down to the back line. Two of the goals are directly attributable to Reo-Coker playing right back. Their front six are still creating chances, it's the back that's been killing them lately. Villa got some lucky breaks after Laursen went out, but the huge gap in the back has been exposed. As happy as I am that Arsenal look like they've made it back into the top 4, the Villa collapse is kinda sad.

Mike Georger said...

Wow Soccer U is totally getting sued by ESPN, that logo is a straight lift of ESPN U

Mike Georger said...

Wow nice goal by Zlatan. Let's see you do that against a good defense.

Oh wait, you can't, because Italy is a joke and you're a bigger fraud than Ryan Malone.

Steve said...

Andrew, Spec, LB: I'm pretty sure Mellberg left on a free, so MON was forced to replace him.

Andrew said...

Georger: Your Villa-United comparison is well-taken. Up until the early/mid-1990s, weren't Villa and Utd on par with each other in terms of prestige?

Spectator said...

Hahahah the Scholes red totally overshadowed the fact that Shrek got sent off for chucking the ball at the ref. What a twat. And some people claim he's a better player than Ibrahimovic!!

phil said...

I dunno, Andrew. Hindsight is 20-20. And considering what Spurs spent the summer doing, I probably shouldn't toss stones from the front porch of my glass house.

Mike Georger said...

I don't really know Villa's history, but United really only had two great teams ever before the nineties.


Just saw the United highlights. Were people really complaining about either of those reds? And Fulham's second goal could be the goal of the season, absolutely stunning piece of skill against the supposed best defense and keeper in the world.

phil said...

Steve's right; Mellberg left on a Boseman.

Mike Georger said...

Juventus, Milan, and the Bosemans are all that kept Villa and Arsenal from being title threats this season.

phil said...

Georger, I linked to the EPT piece above. The author most certainly took issue with the Rooney red. What. Tripe.

I have honestly never seen a professional footballer behave the way Rooney did yesterday. Shameful display.

Andrew said...

@Steve: Yeah, I confirmed the Bosman transfer via Wikipedia, so it's gotta be solid.

@Phil: Just expected more from MON. Villa has a small squad, so the loss of an entrenched first-team player is felt exponentially harder. But, again, Mellberg left on a Bosman, so my original point has been rendered moot.

KPW said...

As I just said to LB over IM, as a Liverpool fan, this must be what it's like for female porn stars: multiple orgasms.

Spectator said...

@Georger: I agree. I get why SAF would defend his players and say the red cards weren't deserved, because he's trying to take some of the pressure onto himself. But how could any quasi-legitimate football site claim the same thing??

Mike Georger said...

"I linked to the EPT piece above. The author most certainly took issue with the Rooney red. What. Tripe."

Yeah I thought I remembered that. After seeing it, how anyone could have beef with that is beyond me. Rooney suspended and Berba hurt for who knows how long? Tevez should walk out just to send a big fuck you.

ü75 said...

Well, phil, I have seen Rooney act like that before. So I have seen a professional act like that before. Does that count?

Andrew said...

@Georger: fuck and yes to the Gera's goal. Technique, skill, precise finish.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Thanks Steve and Phil. Didn't know Mellberg was a Bosman case.

Makes the urgency of this season all the more apparent, honestly. With all the injuries to Arsenal and Chelshea, not to mention United's recent run of sendings-off, Liverpool really do have a good chance here.

Might not be this way next year. I mean, how often do you have 4 wins and a draw against Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea in one season, with one home game to Arsenal still coming?

KPW said...

@Mike Totally agree on that 2nd Fulham goal. Wow.

Mike Georger said...

Without the genital warts though.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Considering Gera's first touch seemed to be so bad, what a way to atone for it!

Lingering Bursitis said...

Georger: that's Rooney for you. Scores good goals, but gets himself yellows and reds through his passion/rage spilling over.

I see him as being the next Gazza. Blessed with incredible skill and talent, yet his temperament will end up being too great an obstacle to really overcome.

As an Englishman, this dismays me greatly considering his importance to the England set-up over the next decade.

Mike Georger said...

Hey what happens if a team is level on points and goal difference? Points against each other? Hopefully?

Andrew said...

I think the points everyone is making about Rooney, SAF, and Utd goes to a larger issue: the passes Utd get because they are Utd. If Rooney played for Pompey, he may get suspended for a few games. SAF would get fined over and over. Berbs lackadaisical performance would be savaged everywhere by everyone. But it's Utd, so we'll let them do what they want.

Thanks for your attention.

- Captain Obvious

Ian said...

Good work, Reds....Guess Arsenal won't be making roadies to Slavia Bratislava next year in the UEFA Cup.

Teeknuts said...

Jesus, I really have to stop sleeping in so bad, I miss all the good stuff.

phil said...

@ umlaut: yes, I suppose that counts. that man has problems

@Georger: Given how he lazes about the pitch, I don't know how Berba managed to get hurt. Unless he scorched his fingers on a ciggy.

ü75 said...

Wow.

KPW said...

Wow....I don't play this well in PES!

ü75 said...

Great placement.

Andrew said...

There's four!!!

phil said...

@LB: that was all the talk at the pub yesterday when Rooney was sent off. No one made the Gazza comp, though, maybe because Rooney doesn't seem to have the penchant for the sauce like Gazza did/does.

Andrew said...

Gerrard POY

Mike Georger said...

When I saw Umlaut's 'wow' I knew what was coming.

Anyone else catch that 'GET OUT THE FUCKING WAY!' from the ref?


Gerrard, impressive performance for a retard.

Mike Georger said...

"maybe because Rooney doesn't seem to have the penchant for the sauce like Gazza did/does."

Maybe red sauce or nacho cheese sauce. I still say he eats himself out of the game by thirty.

Spectator said...

Okay, no excuse for me to postpone doing my laundry now!!

@Georger: According to the wikipedia, next tiebreaker is goals scored, and then the two teams play a one-game playoff.

Teeknuts said...

I was really hoping for Dossena to come on to get the fourth, but oh well.

ü75 said...

Sorry, Mike, didn't know you were behind.

ü75 said...

What a great replay--the faces of the wall after the goal went in.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Phil: yeah, the more Rooney plays, the more I think the comparison works. He is tormented by how badly he wants to win and succeed. It will ruin him. When things don't go his or United's way, he always lashes out. Never fails to.

Mike Georger said...

"next tiebreaker is goals scored, and then the two teams play a one-game playoff."

Liverpool would win that one I think, I know they've let in more goals.


No worries on the delay, I actually enjoy seeing things knowing that they're coming, makes my multitasking easier.

phil said...

Maybe red sauce or nacho cheese sauce. I still say he eats himself out of the game by thirty.

I say HP, though it'll be the pies under the HP, and not the actual sauce, that does him in.

Mike Georger said...

Oh man I could go for some HP. Wegmans sells it, looks like I'll be making a jaunt out into the sunshine after the game.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Georger: it's a lovely day. You should indulge a little.

Mike Georger said...

Great bit from the BBC commentary
"I told my partner of 17 years I would marry her if Liverpool win the title. I'm starting to worry."

phil said...

HP is amazing stuff.

@ LB: too true. I have a friend who's a ManU fan, and right after Rooney's tirade, he sends me a text: "There's a player who's out of form and clearly frustrated by it."

Lingering Bursitis said...

Phil: exactly. It's the constant self-inflicted pressure that will ruin him.

Andrew said...

Gerrard's play this year reminds me of the line from the 06 FA Cup final game: "If anyone ever doubted your value to your side, you have just blown that away . . ."

Andrew said...

Can someone explain to me how Wigan keeps doing what they do year in and year out? Is Steve Bruce really that brilliant?

ü75 said...

Look up georger

Spectator said...

Well that's a really, really harsh red card... On comes Guzan!

Andrew said...

Friedel gets a red!!! PK for Torres!

ü75 said...

Friedal quote, from reading his lips: "For Fuck's Sake, man"

But, hey, we get Guzan for a couple of matches.

The Fan's Attic said...

GUZAN! The worst interview in UF history.

Andrew said...

Spec: agreed, very very harsh red. On comes the other American. Good luck, son.

Mike Georger said...

From the back angle Friedel turned into him. Oh well, sad for him, classy that they're appluading him.

And there has been a goal at the KOP end this half dammit, pull your head out your ass.

ü75 said...

Hattie

The Fan's Attic said...

tough luck Guzan.

Andrew said...

Villa walked into a buzzsaw today.

Mike Georger said...

EAT IT DUFFY

ü75 said...

IS this the first hat trick in league since Gabby's?

Andrew said...

On comes Lucas: final score will be 5-4

Lingering Bursitis said...

I hope Villa appeal that. Obviously a PK, but not a red card considering Reo-Coker was right there.

Very literal interpretation of the law there.

Mike Georger said...

Wow. What a line, 'the law is an ass.' It was harsh, but he's right, if he didn't do it he gets in trouble.

Games like this are where I wish Rafa would put one youngster on the bench.

Teeknuts said...

I was a little bit worried last night that Liverpool wouldn't be able to take advantage of yesterday, but holy shit, they went completely the other way. This is almost sad.

Mike Georger said...

I'm reminded of the stretch three years ago when 'pool couldn't score to save their lives then scored seven against B. City in the FA Cup. They just couldn't do wrong.

Nice try from Lucas.

Andrew said...

This is sad for Villa. They came into the game with zero confidence and met a Pool side with superfluous amounts of the stuff. Their performance hasn't been awful, but Pool has just been so so good.

Andrew said...

And there's still 20+ minutes to go. I would like to see Villa pull one or two back, because the effort has been there, IMO. Still, 'Pool could very well have 2 goals left in them.

ü75 said...

Alright, there are 8 matches left after this round. Villa are 11 points clear of West Ham and Wigan and 12 in front of Fulham. Is it possible that this floundering Villa side fall behind any of these teams and miss out on Europe?

Mike Georger said...

Ah yes, international break. Guaranteed to kill momentum and Torres will hurt his hamstring. Fuck internationals.

Andrew said...

Villa supporters are still game, singing the "Aston Villa FC, Greatest Team" song.

Mike Georger said...

Did Skrtel just shoot that backwards? Certainly could be the replacement for Carragher long term with that scoring ability.

jjf3 said...

Sweet baby Jesus, what the fuck got into the Liverpool side before that 2nd day of the Madrid matchup? And can it survive a two-week wait for the international window? I don't know that I've personally ever seen a side this self-assured of itself before...

Andrew said...

Umlaut: I don't see it. The talent remains, and this two week break may be what the side needs to restore some semblance of confidence. And remember, they're still only three pts back from the Arse. Anything can happen, but Villa will be a European competition next year, for reals.

Mike Georger said...

THATS DANIEL AGGERS MUSIC!

As harsh as I've been on him for the media reports, I'll be gutted if he leaves.

Teeknuts said...

I want to see Skrtel score if only to see his celebration, which would undoubtedly be ripping out the windpipe of the weakest opposition player with his teeth.

ü75 said...

Well, Andrew, their last little break--the jaunt to Dubai--didn't help them any, why would this one?

Mike Georger said...

Wow that was two handballs at once, but you can't give them another penalty.

Andrew said...

@Umlaut: just looked at Villa's upcoming schedule. Away to Utd following the break, and then home to the Toffees. With losses to both, they'd have dropped five straight. However, keeping in mind Utds current form, and the slump in which Everton are stuck, Villa could grab six and be back in the CL hunt.

ü75 said...

From BBC
1736: Aston Villa are 14 points and five places better off than Manchester City, but their goal difference is now a goal worse.

Reminds me of Everton in '04.

Andrew said...

And we're both assuming Gunners maintain their form as well. These are heady days both at Emirates and Villa Park.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 228   Newer› Newest»