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Monday, November 29, 2004

Who Needs Strikers? 

Liverpool managed to hand Arsenal only their second defeat in 55 Premiership matches last night, which would have been something to crow about in normal circumstances, but considering we had our THREE first choice strikers (Cisse, Baros, Garcia), our first choice left back (Traore) and our first choice right back (Josemi, though I rate Finnan better anyway) all out, as well as Gerrard back for only his second full match, it rates as a little bit of a miracle.

The game was high paced, if not particularly fluent; Liverpool strung five across the midfield behind the 23 year old Neil Mellor, a legend in the reserves but only making his second (?) start in the Premiership and harried the defending champions, winning the 50-50 balls and looking in control without looking particularly dangerous (but you should see the attacking options in the physio room!). Arsenal couldn't stroke the ball around gracefully from the back like they excel in doing, and it came as no surprise when Liverpool finally managed to grab a goal 4 minutes before the break. And it was a superb team goal (one of the criticisms I have of this Liverpool side is that they don't seem to create well-worked passing goals - we tend to rely on moments of individual brilliance or scrambled goals).

Finnan got the ball deep in the Liverpool half and swept a long cross field diagonal pass left to the maligned Kewell, who headed it down to a onrushing Steven Gerrard. Gerrard took the ball up to the near the left corner of Arsenal's penalty area, while Mellor drifted left into the box to draw away Sol Campbell from the center. Gerrard stabbed the ball across the face of the box to Xabi Alonso, storming in unmarked from the midfield, who hit the ball first time with his right instep and it fair flew into the top left corner of the goal (a bit like Igor Biscan's strike against Fulham).

(Funny, it was much more exciting to watch than to type).

That was that for the half, and Liverpool had got what they deserved, seeing as Arsenal hadn't managed a single shot on or off target in the entire half. The second half started off pretty much like the first, Liverpool pressing and harrying, and Arsenal looked distinctly average. Of course, average until they managed to conjure an equaliser in the 57th mintue that was maybe an even better passing team goal than Liverpool's. From what I remember, Patrick Viera approached the center top of Liverpool's penalty area, passed to Henry (via a Lauren dummy) who was basically sitting on the edge of the box, who then laid it back to Robert Pires. Pires immediately slid the ball through the defensive line to find Viera who had continued his run into the box. Viera chipped the onrushing Kirkland and the ball dribbled into the goal.

From then on, the game was more even in terms of possession, though only Liverpool really had any chance to grab a goal, with Gerrard's raking drive palmed away by Lehmann. The game appeared to petering away to a draw when the board was displayed showing two minutes of injury time to play. With 30 seconds to go, Liverpool won a free kick deep in the right hand corner of their own half. Kirkland strolled up to take the kick, knowing that something deep would basically prevent Arsenal from getting another chance. The ball sailed over the halfway line, and over Sol Campbell's (marking Mellor) head. The ball bounced up about 25 meters out, and both Kewell and Toure went for it, clattering each other and letting the ball come loose. Quick as a flash, on the volley, Mellor smacked the ball over Kewell prone on the ground, across Toure with a nice curl to the right, and landed majestically in the bottom righthand corner of the net.

It was the last kick of the match.

Anyway, it was a great game to be a Liverpool fan, especially seeing as Villa, Bolton, Middlesbrough and Everton all failed to win on the weekend. Imagine once we get some strikers back!

yamis has to be content with his Newcastle side yet again throwing away points - considering they have the second best record for goals scored, they should be doing a damn sight better than 10th. Of course, the third worst defensive record may have something to do with that!

Certainly a great day for Liverpool. Last 2 games sucked, with the midweek game maybe fucking us out of Champs League.
on the surface of things a draw witht he 3rd placed team looks quite respectable not not when you play them off the park and it's Everton for christs sakes!!!!!!!!!!
xman you have to join our discussion board. I need to stay the f away from psport as MT tithead is killing my will to live. When someone starts calling me 'son', and getting all condescending I really don't need to put up with that kind of shit.

Also do you think there is a growing link between Brendan and Ismellarat? The whole english 60s-80s music scene knowledge link seems a bit strong.

though to be honest I'm still slightly edging towards them being different people.
What's the objective of the new Discussion Board? From what I can work out, it's the same contributers as on this site.

Nothing wrong with that per se; just that it almost seems like a duplication.
Well how it is is entirely dependent on who the hell registers and writes. It could have quite a few people on there having some interesting chats or it could be us lot having a chat. I haven't come across any forums that are on NZ like that. though there may be some... anyway.

I went into why it was set up with the crew here in more detail via email but didn't fell like boring anybody who reads our blog to tears.

I want to use it as a place to talk about things and here to actually blog rather than be slapping in comments which fall off the page too quick to develop anything. And the comment fucntion here is slow and restrictive and as I say, vanishes off the page as the post soon does.

anyway, we can see what happens with it. If it doesn't get any traffic theres always the delete option.
So you're suggesting we keep it secret from Tinman then?
Won't matter cos I can ban his sorry arse! Muhahaha, the evil dictator.

He's not dumb when it comes to sporting knowledge, he's just on a mission from god knows where to ignore other peoples points and put everybody in their place.

It just doesn't really work though.
Agreed; he just likes a wind-up. Classic taxi driver stuff. Calling Cantabs the "Good Guys" only serves one purpose...

Ironically, his cricket comments are some of the best on the site.

Watch this Innes guy; I've seen some of his writing elsewhere, he's good value.
i reckon brendan is rat. on at similar times. not together so far as i can tell. few new guys are ok. gettin well sick of MT and graeme constant wellington v canterbury shit.
yeah that is a pain in the arse.

I never mention regional differences if I can help it since as an Aucklander we get soo much lame envy shit from elsewhere. Quite frankly I'd like to host a lot of people in Auckland to show em' what it's really like. Fuck that latte sipping wanker image it gets. Sure it does have that kind but the rest of us Aucks think they are Latte sipping wanks as well. anyway, rant over.

You should challenge Rat to appear on at the same time as Brendan to prove they aren't the same person. Do it in a light hearted way. or else PM Adam and ask if they have the same IP address haha.

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