Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Bootroom: Nice Fans (+ LFC Liveblog by LB)



From ONTD Football.

Well, a 6-2 shellacking in El Clasico probably won't be surpassed today, but there will be some decent games. Most notably we'll find out who in the Colaship survives the drop. After the jump a few games and one more pic of some nice fans.

And LB is gonna liveblog Liverpool v. Newcastle to get the day started. Follow along after the fixtures beneath the jump.




EPL

Sunday, May 3, 2009

8:30 ET Liverpool v Newcastle United
11:00 ET Sunderland v Everton

Colaship - These are the only two matches that matter. Will Charlton pull another club down with them to League One with a victory, or can Norwich pull a Fulham?

Sunday
8:15 ET Charlton Athletic v Norwich City
8:15 ET Plymouth Argyle v Barnsley

La Liga

Sunday, May 3, 2009

11:00 ET Mallorca v Getafe
11:00 ET Racing Santander v Almeria
11:00 ET Sporting Gijon v Athletic Bilbao
11:00 ET Osasuna v Recreativo Huelva
11:00 ET Deportivo La Coruña v Valladolid
13:00 ET Espanyol v Valencia
15:00 ET Real Betis v Atlético Madrid

Bundesliga

Sunday, May 3, 2009

11:00 ET FC Cologne v Werder Bremen
11:00 ET Hamburg SV v Hertha Berlin

Serie A

Sunday, May 3, 2009

9:00 ET Udinese v Atalanta
9:00 ET Palermo v Cagliari
9:00 ET AS Roma v Chievo Verona
9:00 ET Juventus v Lecce
9:00 ET Catania v AC Milan
9:00 ET Siena v Napoli
9:00 ET Fiorentina v Torino
14:30 ET Genoa v Sampdoria


LIVERPOOL v. NEWCASTLE UNITED
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Benayoun, Gerrard, Riera, Kuyt.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Babel, Lucas, Ngog, El Zhar, Skrtel.

Newcastle: Harper, Beye, Coloccini, Bassong, Duff, Smith, Butt, Martins, Barton, Lovenkrands, Viduka.
Subs: Krul, Nolan, Guthrie, Owen, Gutierrez, Edgar, Carroll.

No Owen and no Torres, while Rafa welcomes Gerrard back into the fold. This has all the makings of a 1-1 draw, especially as Newcastle have been enjoying the run of play in the first 10 minutes.

10 mins: Liverpool's strategy thus far has involved lots of hoofing, which is uncharacteristic for them given the goal orgies of recent weeks. Shearer's gambled with a front 3 that doesn't include Owen... we'll see if it pays off.

13 mins: The oafish Coloccini destroys a LFC attack by hauling down Gerrard in full flight. Moron. His hair is close to Valderrama-esque proportions. Gerrard forces a good save from Harper from the dead ball. He is rather eager to reestablish himself as that "talisman", that's for sure. Nipping at Newcastle heels, sprinting around like a headless chicken, and shooting from anywhere.

Coloccini


Valderrama


15 mins: Neither side has really settled, but Damian Duff is already making himself a nuisance in midfield.

Stevie G tries to cap his return with a lovely long-range goal from open play, and he's not far off, to be honest. Harper palms it away, but Gerrard then floats his corner onto a Magpie noggin and it's cleared.

19 mins: What on earth was that? Some miscommunication at the back for the Reds almost allows Peter Lovenkrands to nip in behind Reina, but Arbeloa's there to shepherd the ball away from goal. Down the other end, Stevie does it again, shooting from 30 yards instead of forging a structured attack, and this time, he gives a nice gift to someone in the proverbial Row ZZ.

22 mins: Liverpool are beginning to turn the screws with a series of crosses from left and right, controlling the play... Kuyt going wide with a header from a lovely Aurelio cross.

GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL, and it's the Super Jew once more! Shearer looks rather ill on the bench. Kuyt gets a Viduka clearance and has time to turn, control and cross it on for Yossi Benayoun who is laughably unmarked on the edge of the six-yard-box and perfectly placed to nudge the ball home with the inside of his knee. Harper was gazing at the ball from the near post... as for Coloccini? No clue where he was. Another attack follows, and Newcastle are in for a long afternoon. Liverpool 1, Newcastle 0

29 mins: GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL... easy as you like for Liverpool. After another spell of pressure, Habib Beye coughs up a corner and Gerrard's delivery is perfect for Dirk Kuyt to meet it all alone in the heart of the area with a diving header. Harper was hopeless. Liverpool 2, Newcastle 0

30 mins: Peter Lovenkrands has a nasty rendez-vous with the ad banner behind the Liverpool goal. After a few seconds of thigh rubbing, he appears to be alright.

32 mins: Alonso is a gorgeous passer of the ball, isn't he? Twice in a minute he frees a Liverpool player in behind the backline -- first Riera, then Arbeloa -- and the 2nd time, Arbeloa feeds Kuyt who skips into the box and fires just wide of Harper's far post. Newcastle are really struggling.

35 mins: It's been one-way traffic since the opening minutes. If Liverpool hold on, they keep the pressure on United and maintain some shred of hope in the title chase. Lots of carefree sideways passing from LFC culminates with Riera showing early-season form, prancing through Martins (!) as if he was a mannequin in a Macy's shop window and floats a lovely cross that the Magpies scramble clear. Of course, it's cleared to a man in red, and Riera's second cross ends up in Harper's arms. When will Joey Barton punch someone?

38 mins: The bloated corpse that used to be Mark Viduka is caught offside as he tries to sneak behind Agger to meet the hoof ball. He shoots over the bar regardless, but it wouldn't have counted.

I believe we should be counting down to Owen Time. When will Shearer roll the dice on bringing on yet another mediocre, hobbled striker? Half Time? The hour mark? Place your bets.

40 mins: Alonso gives Gerrard a demo in long-range shooting, blasting a nasty swerving, curving shot with pace onto Harper's crossbar, with the goalkeeper having absolutely no clue where it was going. So very nearly 3-0.

Oh, and they showed a replay of Yossi's goal. Yeah, Kuyt was trying to shoot, and yes, Yossi was a foreskin's width offside. That's what I get for making snap judgments and having a Macedonian feed that I can't translate.

42 mins: Nightmarish chaos in the Newcastle area almost equates to another LFC goal. Gerrard has a shot blocked (he really, really wants to score on his comeback), Kuyt has a sloppy-looking scissor kick blocked, and then Riera half-volleys wide.

Within seconds, the ball's back down that end and Riera wins a corner off Damien Duff, having made it untouched to the byline yet again. On current form, this Newcastle defense will have trouble against the likes of QPR and Plymouth next season. They're simply that bad. Coloccini is the worst Argentine in history, surely. They should shred his passport and pretend he's from Uruguay.

44 mins: My oh my, almost goal #3 again.

The scouting report on Daniel Agger is short and sweet: "Great defender. Loves to gallop 30-odd yards untouched through midfield and shoot from distance. Is rather good at it, to be honest." And yet Bassong/Beye/Coloccini didn't do their pre-game reading assignment, as Agger does exactly that, forcing a sprawling save from a rather sweaty and angry Steve Harper.

45 mins + 1: Gerrard chases down a longball nicely and finds Benayoun in the area, but the Super Jew's backheel return for Stevie is juuuust intercepted and cleared. For a Liverpool throw.

HALF TIME: Liverpool 2, Newcastle 0
It's safe to say that Alan Shearer isn't a very good manager, but that's the price you pay when you hire nostalgia. The Reds, lucky to get their 1st with a touch of offside, could easily be 4-0 or 5-0 up at this point, and the halftime score is actually rather flattering to Newcastle. Their backline is rubbish and half-asleep, but Mark Viduka makes sure to give the ref an earful of stick instead of wondering how on earth to get his team back into the game. They should be taken out back and shot, Old Yeller-style.

Anyone else intrigued by the possibility of Sheffield United returning to the EPL, where they'd face the club that screwed them (West Ham) AND the team that bought the player that played for the team that screwed them (Manchester United)? Bramall Lane isn't the nicest place to go if you're a neutral, so I can only imagine the stored-up vitriol that would be unleashed on visiting Hammers fans should the Blades get it done today or in the Colaship play-offs.


And we're off again. Has Alan Shearer figured out any semblance of a midfield for the second half? Credit must also be given to Iain Dowie, the ugly cunt who continues to get work despite being largely rubbish. And to think he was hired to fill in the gaps of knowledge that Shearer had!

47 mins: It begins much how the first half ended, with Liverpool finding room down the wings to pressure the Magpies with a string of crosses.

Jonas Gutierrez replaced Peter Lovenkrands at half-time, apparently.

49 mins: And Jonas wins a free-kick with his first touch, bundled down on the left touchline. The Magpies do nothing with it, naturally.

50 mins: Gerrard's 1,974th shot of the game drags wide of goal.

52 mins: Viduka indulges in a bit too much argy-bargy in the area, having done well to beat Agger to a loose ball, and the ref gives a free kick. The swollen Antipodean ain't very happy.

Mascherano has space and time 30 yards from goal, so why not shoot? It's a daisy-cutter that Harper thankfully smothers.

54 mins: Barton makes a mess of controlling Alan Smith's wide pass, and it trickles out for a Liverpool goal kick. He really needs to lash out soon.

Lovely play by Liverpool, making the most of some sloppy defending by Shearer's men. Bassong dallies on the ball long enough for Yossi to pick his pocket. The Super Jew slides past two tacklers with ease, it ends up with Alonso who finds Gerrard wide, but Jonas knocks it off his foot for a corner. Gerrard's corner is cleared, only for Newcastle to concede a free-kick out wide, and from that, Agger heads narrowly wide.

I swear to God, if Newcastle survive the drop it will be some sell-your-soul-to-the-devil shit. They are dire. No midfield to speak of, and at least four useless strikers. Oh, and a defense that's prone to sleep apnea during games. Shay Given got out when he could.

58 mins:
Notes for Rafa:
- don't sell Alonso.
- don't sell Mascherano.
- do not fucking sell Benayoun, who's been one of the joys of the season since December.
- please buy a wing-back or two.

Better from Newcastle, as Alan Smith has a gallop up the middle to some effect, but he opts to fall under a weak challenge and the ref awards no free kick. LFC break nicely with Benayoun down the right, who finds Gerrard in the middle for his 2,304th shot of the game, this one also going narrowly wide. Harper looked like he was well-placed to save it, for what it's worth.

Newcastle march right back up the other end, and Joey Barton chips his "clever" cross directly out for a goal kick. He musters a half-smile at his predicament, hiding a lifetime of bitterness and rage behind his asymmetrical grin.

61 mins: Still no Michael Owen?

In true Rafa fashion, he preps Babel to come on as a sub. These are the games best suited for young Ryan: the ones Liverpool are winning somewhat comfortably, where Babel's lazy dribbling and average ball control will have much less negative impact on the team as/when he loses possession.

Alan Smith gets a yellow card for a shocking two-footed slide into the misty space inhabited by Yossi Benayoun. Thankfully, the contact was slight, else Smith would surely be looking at a straight red.

Here comes Babel! Albert Riera will get an early bath in goat's milk for all his hard work today.

65 mins: Nicky Butt is down. I assuming he's been injured by embarrassment about his performance today.

25-ish minutes to go, and the Magpies seek their first meaningful shot on goal while Butt gets attention.

Great work again by Benayoun down the right, floating a nice cross onto Kuyt's noggin but the Dutchman puts it right at Harper. Nice effort. Still the Reds press... Mascherano has a crack from 30 yards (everyone's been shooting from distance today) but it's always bending wide left.

69 mins: More momentum from LFC, but Mascherano's threaded pass runs too far ahead of Kuyt and Benayoun, who were both lurking around the top of the area, and Harper has it.

Does Shearer have any clue how to turn this around? No Owen off the bench yet? Guthrie to the wing? You need goals, you numpty! Or are you worrying about that must-win next week instead? It's that resigned approach that'll get you relegated.

71 mins: More panic around the Newcastle area, with Reds lining up to shoot. Gerrard has one, Alonso has one, I think Kuyt had one too... each time, Newcastle failed to fully clear their lines, seemingly inviting this kind of abuse.

A Michael Owen sighting down the touchline!

Bit of urgency from Newcastle thanks to Duff's spritely run. He feeds Jonas wide left and the long-haired lad is tripped by Mascherano, winning a free-kick. True to form, the kick is overhit and ends up in Reina's grasp. Liverpool break again.

74 mins: More menace around the Newcastle box, but Arbeloa's cross is headed back across goal by Kuyt to no-one in particular.

Gerrard's 3,479th shot of the game is slightly wide of goal. Butt looks relieved... Babel's cutback found the Liverpool skipper in oceans of room inside the area, but he dragged his shot left as Beye and Bassong lurched slightly in his direction. Best chance yet, Talisman!

And somewhere in that passage, Alonso hammered another shot off the bar. It's gotten to that point; I simply cannot tally and follow every decent Liverpool shot on goal, as there have been so many.

77 mins: AND THERE IT IS! THE BARTON LASH-OUT I WAS SO HOPING AND WAITING FOR! The clumsy hooligan two-footed slides into Alonso needlessly as the Spaniard gathers the ball near the corner flag. With no room to work with, Alonso was trapped, and still Barton looks to de-limb Xabi with his vicious slide. Alonso is still down by the corner flag receiving treatment.

79 mins: Perhaps now we'll see that 3rd goal. Benayoun spins Coloccini like a dreidel and finds Babel near the edge of the box, but Duff is there to touch it out for a corner at the last second.

Alonso will play no more part in today's proceedings, stretchered off to be replaced by Lucas. Xabi looked calm, hands clasped behind his head and in no discernible pain... he better not be seriously injured. Barton is a fucking thug. He protested all the way into the tunnel, but any replay and any passing spectator will point out the malicious intent in that challenge.

Subs for Newcastle: Martins off, Owen on (about 20 minutes too late), and Nolan on for the tubby Aussie, Mark Viduka.

82 mins: This game is petering out, the home crowd in full song. Benayoun can't keep a long pass in on the right touchline, and Duff preps to take the throw-in.

Possibly related question: what the fuck happened to Damien Duff?

87 mins: Liverpool free kick out right. Nothing much else to report.

GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL.... Aurelio free kick to Lucas, who heads it unmarked past Harper. Liverpool 3, Newcastle United 0

90 mins + 2: Gerrard's 5,647th shot of the game doesn't go in. Unlucky again.

FULL TIME: Liverpool 3, Newcastle United 0
Deserved result, marked with the inevitable Joey Barton red card. Now help me fill in the blanks below! Owen has some words with Carragher and Gerrard as the sides march off. Still three points back!


THE XABI ALONSO RED CARD PHENOMENON
(In which your humble liveblogger attempts to capture all the red cards doled out to opponents for late tackles on Xabi Alonso)

September 13: Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United (straight red)
September 27: Tim Cahill, Everton (straight red)
October 5: Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City (straight red)
October 18: Antonio Valencia, Wigan (2nd bookable)
February 1: Frank Lampard, Chelsea (straight red)
May 3: Joey Barton, Newcastle (straight red)

46 comments:

Registering To Comment With Blogger Sucks said...

It's never dawned on me how difficult it must be for newspaper photo editors to find printable sports-celebration pics. At least when featuring an away team.

Mike Georger said...

You know, I get not playing Torres, but playing without a true striker ... lame.

Mike Georger said...

ooo close

Mike Georger said...

Wow, Stevie has his shooting boots on today.

I'm not sure what this guys name actually is, but if I were a Newcastle supporter I'd be making countless Rosencrantz and Gildenstern jokes. And I'd cry a lot more.

Mike Georger said...

Lovenkrands? Is that Scotch-Romanian, or Comanche Indian?

Mike Georger said...

that was offside

Lingering Bursitis said...

Super Jew cannot be offside.

Mike Georger said...

PFC Blythe is not a left back, man what a waste of a career that move was for Duff.

Mike Georger said...

Oh what a save by Harper. Nice make up call on the offside there though.

The NY Kid said...

I'm not convinced that was a pass from Kuyt.

Mike Georger said...

Wow down 3-0 to Charlton? Damn shame.

The NY Kid said...

yeah, things are dire for Norwich

Mike Georger said...

OH MY GOD THEY SCORED FROM A CORNER

The NY Kid said...

good thing I made Kuyt my captain this week

Mike Georger said...

Ah yes Dirk's first goal ever against Newcastle, I believe that was the game Alonso scored from inside his own half.

I was watching that game online in my first year legal research and writing class. When Kuyt scored I visibly reacted, and thought the professor caught my eye, so I belted out 'WHAT?'. Yeah he clearly wasn't looking at me and I definitely got a 'I believe you protest too much' from him.... didn't turn the game off though.

Mike Georger said...

Wee Bey is the only one without his head embedded firmly in his large intestine.

Mike Georger said...

Barnsley's important equalize scored by LFC property Adam Hammill

Mike Georger said...

Jesus. If you sell Alonso, I'm flying over there and punching you in the face Rafa.

Mike Georger said...

Magua, friend of the Huron, coming on for Hamlet's mate here.

Mike Georger said...

Cardiff right fucking it up today.

Mike Georger said...

Harper is thinking 'what if he shot me in the face!' right about now.

Mike Georger said...

oooooo allonsy alonso

Mike Georger said...

Owen probably hurt himself taking off his track suit.

Mike Georger said...

GET THE FUCK OUT BARTON

Mike Georger said...

Fuck you announcer, he clearly went double footed OVER the ball.

Seventh sending off Alonso has been involved in this season? Iiiiii don't think that's accurate, I don't think they've had seven sending offs let alone all involving one person.

Mike Georger said...

Oh fuck me stretchered off? God I hope he's okay.

Lingering Bursitis said...

I hope so too. To be honest, he looked very comfortable on that stretcher... probably just grateful for some rest?

jjf3 said...

First off - Die, Joey Barton, die. You're a fucking disgrace to humankind. I believe in 2nd chances, but when you're fucking up 7th and 8th chances, you're a waste of oxygen.

At one point this season (probably 6-8 weeks ago), Alonso had already been the target of 4 players ultimately sent off. I can't think of two in interim, but 7 isn't implausible...(is he the one Vidic took down?)

Mike Georger said...

No Vidic took Gerrard down.

Lingering Bursitis said...

There was a run of three straight weeks where he was the recipient of red card challenges. Let me consult the record books...

Mike Georger said...

IDK, maybe it was seven. But anyways the announcer was saying it as if he embellishes to get cards.

Mike Georger said...

Shambolic doesn't even describe it. You let HIM score?

Mike Georger said...

Masche looks like he fucked up his knee or ankle there.

Mike Georger said...

JESUS CHRIST what a strike.

jjf3 said...

Can anyone understand anything Carragher says?? I picked out 2 "Arsenal"s during his interview post-game...

Mike Georger said...

He tends to throw in a fair amount of 'you knows' in there.

jjf3 said...

did you feel Barton's challenge deserved a red card?
Shearer: "Yes".
you put a lot of faith in Barton, are you disappointed?
Shearer: "Yes".

Both were said with a hint of anger and disgust.

jjf3 said...

2 pm CDT -
C'mon Bordeaux - nice big win at home to tie up the Ligue 1 lead on points, and close up the GD!

C'mon Dynamo - let's see some actual attacking threats and goals!

jjf3 said...

Beautiful turn and quick left-footer by Sertic, the guy without his name on his jersey. Bordeaux with an early lead...

jjf3 said...

Gourcouff makes it 2-0 with a header that seemed impossibly far out from goal...

jjf3 said...

well, that was probably the cheapest goal the Dynamo will score all season. Simple shot straight at Reis and it just slipped through his arms somehow. It took a tiny bit of a weird bounce, but someone like Reis should NEVER miss that...

Mike Georger said...

Daniel Craig, straight up baller

jape said...

I hope that aint his girl on his left - double-oh-seven should be able to pull better tail than that.

Mike Georger said...

I'm assuming he filmed a snuff film with her later on.

Mike Georger said...

Hey look, a douchebag who writes for some shit site

Precious Roy said...

Wow, that was Tommy Heinsohn-esque... in a "How dare Brad Miller put his face in the way of Rondo's arm" kind of way.

I'd say "Enjoy the Colaship" but if Hull goes down tomorrow and Newcastle can beat Boro at home, the Magpies crawl out of the relegation zone on GD (Hull's result against Stoke not withstanding).