Agreed. I hope we get some Benfica matches on tv this season.
This weekend Fox Sports World showed five English Premier League matches! It was so great to see Liverpool beat Aston Villa rather than read about it. I already have Liverpool-Chelsea set to record this weekend.
Liverpool are 90 minutes away from a place in the group stages of the Champions League after a comfortable 1-0 victory against Toulouse in France.
Andriy Voronin's stunning first half strike secured a well earned success against the French outfit as Rafael Benitez's side took a big step towards once again qualifying for European football's premier competition.
With Chelsea looming on the horizon this weekend it came as no surprise to see six changes from the starting line-up which won so impressively at Aston Villa, with Peter Crouch, Sami Hyypia, Javier Mascherano, Ryan Babel and Yossi Benayoun joining Voronin in making their first appearances of the new campaign.
In the baking mid-afternoon French heat the game was often played at a pedestrian pace, but the Reds remained in control from first minute to last and will now more than fancy their chances of finishing the tie off at Anfield and taking their place in the draw for the next stage of the tournament on August 30.
Hi!<br /><br />I've been on holiday in the far north of Scotland, and not had much chance to do much else. I did get to see the matches on the telly though.<br /><br /><b>Toulouse 0-1 LFC.</b><br />Not a particularly outstanding match but no goals conceded and an away goal are just what was needed.<br /><br /><b>LFC 1-1 Chelsea.</b><br />A win for Liverpool was cruelly denied by an outrageous decision by the referee to award Chelsea a penalty. The fact that the referee has been suspended from duty and the head referee has apologised to Liverpool for the gross error does not alter the result. Chelsea go top of the league.<br /><br /><b>LFC 4-0 Toulouse.</b><br />Because of being on holiday and others working and/or on holiday, we had no tickets! So we've watched it on the box. The result was never in doubt, and LFC should have scored at least 4 or 5 more. <br />It was the first time since 1997 that neither Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher had featured in a European tie for the Reds. and considering several players were making their début, it bodes well for the season.<br /><br />The draw for the Champs League is on Thursday, noon CET which I think is 2a.m. Alaska time.<br /><br />I'm working on some photos from my hols, but how's this for starters?<br /><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Wrath"><img src="http://bigjohnd.250free.com/Scotland2007/CapeWrath.jpg" ALT="John at Cape Wrath, the remotest part of mainland GB." Title="John at Cape Wrath, the remotest part of mainland GB."</a><br /><br />These need no explanation<br /><br /><img src="http://bigjohnd.250free.com/Scotland2007/Glenmorangie1.jpg"><br /><br /><img src="http://bigjohnd.250free.com/Scotland2007/Glenmorangie2.jpg"><br /><br /><img src="http://bigjohnd.250free.com/Scotland2007/Glenmorangie3.jpg"><br /><br />Iechyd da! John<br />22:43 28/08/2007 BST
Nice 4-0 win! Nice pics too, John. Sounds like you had a heck of a good holiday. And thanks to you I got a nice surprise: Since it wasn't televised here, I misremembered the exact date of the Toulouse match and thought it was tomorrow. Then I read your post! LFC Treble sounds good. :-)
I saw the bogus penalty awarded to Chelsea. Good grief. Still, the results since then bode well, with the team depth to stay strong.
] Liverpool have confirmed the dates for each of their games in Group A of the Champions League.
The Reds will kick off their campaign away in Porto on September 18 before entertaining Marseille in their first Anfield game of the competition.
A double header with Besiktas will then follow before we entertain Porto at home and then conclude the group fixtures away at Marseille.
Hi John. Great weekend indeed! I got to see Chelsea lose (on the telly) at Villa Park, and that was FUN. The Reds look so strong, and Rafa is (of course) right to calm down the euphoria and remind people of the hard work ahead and the long season to come. Still, the team looks so strong that it's hard for fans not to get carried away thinking about the potential this season. Rafa seems to be getting the most from his deep roster. I'm sure lots of players are trying to show him what they can do to try to earn more playing time.
I liked Abramovich storming out after the Aston Villains' second goal, which was a real cracker. Maureenio's post match press interview was a hoot, as he was furious. But they were poor, with only two shots on target.
The Manks were unconvincing but scraped a win
There's now no Prem League match for two weeks as it's European Nations Cup (or whatever they call it these days).
Wales v Germany on Saturday 8th and Slovakia v Wales the following Wed.
I didn't mind Liverpool's tough start in the first ten minutes vs. Porto, because they'll face those challenges and need to be able to learn to absorb that type of pressure and regroup and get some possession to change the momentum, but I did mind Pennant's loss of concentration to allow his emotions to take over and cause the red card. I thought he deserved the booking. He'll bring about Rafa's wrath (transfer) if he wants to continue to hurt the team. Kuyt was good, Babel sucked, Torres sort of missing in action, Gerrard hampered it seemed by his toe, but all in all, 1-1 was acceptable for a road result that could have been worse.
The Liverpool win over Everton wasn't aired here, but I'll get to see the highlights Sunday night on our weekly Premiership highlight program. Big win. From what I've read, both penalty kicks were deserved.
The match was bizarre; form goes out of the window for these matches.
Rafa's decisions seemed crazy, but in the post match interviews he said he was trying to calm things down. However the tension was so high, any intervention (e.g. substituting Gerrard) seemed to make it worse.
Reds apparently aren't dealing well with the pressure, and without Torres and Agger they played a poor first half. StevieG was well marshalled by Besiktas's defenders. When he managed to escape, he scored - a bit too late.
Liverpools's defence looked a little nervy, which cost them Besiktas first one.
Rafael Benitez insists Liverpool can still qualify from Champions League Group A despite defeat in Besiktas.
The Reds boss watched his side slide to 2-1 defeat in Istanbul in front of a near-hysterical 30,000 plus Turkish crowd.
Having only drawn in Porto and lost at home to Marseille, Liverpool are now bottom of the group, but Benitez remains optimistic: "I was pleased with the performance, but we just could not take our chances.
"When you have 28 attempts on goal as the away side and nearly 60 per cent of possession, that should usually be enough to win the match.
"We were punished for one mistake in the first-half having had so many chances. Their goalkeeper was outstanding but we should have taken more of our chances.
"Obviously it is very difficult now for us to get through but I believe we still can. There are three games left and we must win all three, but we can do that."
Liverpool face Besiktas next at Anfield and then a home tie with Porto before their visit to group leaders Marseille for the final group match in December.
Benitez said: "We have to wait to see now what we must do, how the numbers add up. The fact that Porto drew with Marseille in the other group game was a help for us, it certainly improves our options."
"If we continue to play like we did in this match, with so much dominance, we have a chance.
"I do not see this as a test for me as a manager, this is football, if you keep doing the right things like we did here, we will achieve what we want."
Not sure if Big John is at Anfield tonight or not, but now Kath has me wanting to leave work and watch the match based on the Non-Seppo thread announcement of Crouch's goal. A draw will not do, so one more goal for LFC please!