Liverpool are top of the current form table and starting to gain on the leaders.
I like it! That was a tough match, but Liverpool impressed by taking over when they went down to ten men. It was a sweet birthday present for me that ESPN carried the game live, since Fox Soccer Channel didn't air it and I thought I was going to be out of luck! Megan wondered why I got out of bed at 3:30am!!
Tickets were like hen's teeth here, and not having Sky Sports, listened on Radio Merseyshite.
I'll check it all out on match of the day later.
Meanwhile it was Spurs 0-0 Aston Villa and Mank City lost, which consolidate LFC in fourth place.
PS: Which MankU player scored a hat-trick today?
Answer: Own goal. The luck they have defies belief.
This is the first year that UEFA has staggered matches in the knockout round to spread them out, so they are not all on the same two days. This has to reflect the broader enjoyment of the matches by neutrals, most of whom can't watch eight matches in two days! More viewership, more $$.
The fixtures are a right mess. There used to be a ruling about playing them all simultaneously until the big TV boys butted in.
In the last round of the Europa Cup, Liverpool and Everton were both at home on the same day. So they shifted Everton's fixture from 8pm Thursday to 6 pm Tuesday. It was quite short notice, and pissed off the Everton fans, but it did give the dedicated local fans the chance to go to both.
Lille v Liverpool on Thursday KO (6pm UK time), in northern France, so expect good support from the visitors!
I agree that it's a pain to figure out who is playing and when, but I'm used to it because of American baseball staggering the playoffs at all sorts of different times and days to try to maximize revenue. I do miss when you could count on a certain day and time for the matches with no guesswork or research required.
Lille will be tough at home, so I hope the boys are up and ready! Hope I can find an internet webcast on Justin.tv.
I can't figure out TV channels either; must be my age. Wigan v LFC is live on ESPN tomorrow night, but that's scrambled on my digibox!
Lille v Liverpool may be on Channel Five - http://www3.five.tv/footballonfive/highlights-unirea-urziceni-v-liverp ool
Yes, we were there last night. Lucas went flying, Oscar style, in the box for the penalty after only 8 mins. After that, the reault was never really in doubt, and 'Nando T's goal at the end was the icing on the cake.
I've a got video clip of StevieG's penalty which I must upload.
The match of the round was Fulham v Juventus, with Fulham coming back from an aggregate score of 4-1 down after a few minutes to win 5-4. Dempsey (from the US of A) scored the winner. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/8573049.stm
It'll be a tougher match v the scum on Sunday lunchtime at the theatre of queens, but the Manks have been relying too heavily on Rooney, and no doubt Vidic will collect his usual red card.
So it's Benfica of Lisbon in the next round of the Europa Cup. The second home leg on 1st April will be at the more usual kick off time of 19:45 UK (BST) Time.
It was tough to cheer for Chelsea, but I did. They deserved the win. The center ref did very well except for missing the pen that should have been awarded when Alelka got knocked over, but that made up for Drogba being offside on the winning goal he scored. MankU had 20 minutes of intense 2nd half pressure, otherwise it was all Chelsea.
Chelsea were by far the better team.
I loved fergy's rant about the ref, but he's just as blind. Yes, Drogba was offside but Macheda put the ball in with his hand.
Birmingham v LFC this after noon. That's another must win game, as is LFC v Benfica on Thursday.
A few lads were round tonight to watch the manks on the telly.
3-0 up and they lost the tie!! WE LOVED IT! Rafael was sent off for pulling back Ribéry! Sloppy defending of the highest order allowed Olic to easily beat the useless Carrick and pass the ball into the far corner past the flailing Van der Saar, and then Robben scored the goal of the night - a cracking power vollley which zoomed into the net which the Manks could only watch!! Boy, did we cheer!
Then fergy gave his post match interview and said things about Germans which he could well regret.
So it's Bayern v Lyon and Barcelona v Inter Milan in the semis.
After Messi's and Barca's bewildering display last light, they're clear favourites. Barca v Bayern in the Final?
They did not broadcast the match here in the States, but I followed it via Live Text!
On top of MankU's demise in the CL, this result was wonderful. Now for some wins in the Prem to move up the table!
The remaining Prem League fixtures are exactly what Liverpool would have wished for, with the possible nightmare scenario of beating Chelsea to gain 4th place and handing the title to the manks at the same time. However, all is not yet lost - never give up!
It's Liverpool v Fulham on Sunday - a dress rehearsal for the Europa Cup final?
I'm still undecided. The bookies make Inter marginally favourite.
I've got a soft spot for Maureenio after he said, tongue in cheek, "I have felt the power of Anfield".
Imagine Fergiscum saying anything like that. And if he did win, it'd make a nice statement to the Chelsea Rent Boys!
Anyway, I've bought a new 60cm Sony Bravia telly to watch it on - it arrives tomorrow!
Disappointing final, I thought. Bayern had one player (Robben) that looked dangerous, and several who simply disappeared, like Badstuber and Schweinsteiger. Bayern made one overlapping run the entire game! They were static and seemed resigned to losing, despite the possession that they had. I think Badstuber tried to get himself or the ball forward one time out of all his touches. Back pass after back pass.
I read that England were lucky to have the lead vs. Mexico at the break yesterday. The game wasn't shown here. I'm hoping that England finds its good form on June 13th! We're having a big breakfast party for England-USA on the 12th.
England were not good at all in the first half, and should have been 2 behind, not in the lead.
Then Capello saw sense at half-time He substituted the limp Ferdinand with hard-man JC, took Carrick off (who was absent and useless), moved StevieG to Centro-campista and gave him the Captain's armband.
Within 3 minutes Glen Johnson scored a wonder goal, and things looked better.
Meanwhile, are LFC expanding into F1?
I took these photos last night outside the Hilton Hotel, only a hundred metres or so from where you stayed, Roger!
More (professionally taken) photos - click here
And here's a link to all the World Cup fixtures in several formats. If you're importing a Calandar file, check the time zone first.
I see Rio Ferdinand is crocked again and on his way home. So much for Capello saying he'd only pick fit players, who'd played regularly and were in form.
But the Good news is StevieG is now numero uno and CAPTAIN!
Will he collect the trophy, add another winners medal to his already impressive collection and set a unique record of scoring in every final he played in - League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup and European Cup?
He just might do that John! My sons and their friends were all incorrectly saying yesterday that despite the injury being unfortunate, it is good news for the USA. I set them straight, pointing out that that Rio was already hobbled and therefore the opposite of the prototype for the fearless captain leading his troops into battle. Now England has an in-form Steven Gerrard to pull his generation of great players up to the heights needed to fight into the final. That's my take, but most Americans haven't seen the danger this represents for us on June 12th. I predict 3-0 for England, with the U.S. still able to recover and advance if we play well. Nevertheless, our huge breakfast party an hour before the June 12th match is ON! We have a projector and a screen, plus another tv in another room, so we're getting ready!
Putting aside my prejudices of MancU, Ferdinand is no longer the player he was 8 years in the 2002 World Cup. Last season (08-09) he began to slow down, was less decisive and adventurous and could no longer cover the shortcomings and rash behaviours of Vidic.This season he dardly played and by Capello's own rules should not have been selected as he'd not been playing regularly and was injured right up until the last minute. So his loss is not that great, and so-called second team Dawson or King are both solid, not forgetting the old warhorse himself, 23 Carra Gold! A back line of Johnson, King/Dawson/JC, Terry and Cole looks pretty good to me!
What might be more worrying for the USA is StevieG. If he's on song, he now has licence as Herr Capitan to really motivate the team, by example and by urging them on like he's renown for doing at Liverpool.
However, England and the US of A should both progress to the knock-out stages. http://world-cup.betting-directory.com/group-c-betting.php
Of the 941 names in the preliminary squads for the tournament which starts on 11th June, 130 are from the Premier League.
Italy, Japan, North Korea and Uruguay are the only countries not to have named a current player from England's top division. Germany now do not have a Premier League representative after skipper Michael Ballack withdrew with a bad ankle injury picked up in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth.
The Scots, Irish and Welsh could well be supportng the US of A too!
Meanwhile, here's my World Cup Fantasy Team - it looks kind of familiar!
On the Subs' bench are: Ramos, Messi, Kaka and James (goalie).
I'm loking forward to tonight, watching in High Definition! (apart from that incessant droning from the vuvuzela).
Not a bad team you've picked! We have a huge party about to begin at our house! I borrowed a friend's projector and rented a screen, so we'll fill one wall of our living room with the match, and the audio is hooked up to our stereo! We Americans are nervous as heck but hoping for a good performance from our squad! I'm not used to being afraid of Steven Gerrard since I'm always cheering FOR him!!
Donavon v Ashley Cole is going to be good battle, and Howard is always difficult to beat in goal. Let's hope Rooney and Crouchy get their act together.
And who's this Torres who's wearing the USA number 16 shirt? It can't be????
Ha! 1-1. StevieG got the game off to an inspired start but let down by a useless goalkeeper. and so was fat Frank.
It was close between StevieG and Donovan for Man of the Match, but StevieG won it because the goal.
Well played USA!
One for JK… A mind-blowing four way tie!
Meanwhile, did you see Maicon's goal? http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/matches/match_ 14
Reminiscent of one by Roberto Carlos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNs4w2k6qNo
Spain are playing later today - and could well go all the way. Watch out for Casillas, Puyol, Villa, Xavi, Fabregas, Iniesta, Ramos, Alonso and the rest. 'Nando Torres will probably be on the bench as he's not fully recovered, with Reina and Arbeloa
Europe, Middle East and Africa