Portsmouth 0 – 0 Liverpool
I’ve just been watching Soccer AM. Yeah, OK, I know. Anyway, there was a feature on it called ‚Ones To Watch with John Terry‘. In it, Nostradamus suggested we keep our eyes peeled for a goalkeeper called Petr Cech and a defender going by the name of Jamie Carragher. Thanks, JT! Thanks!
France 0 – 1 Scotland. „Any chance you could crowbar in a reference to Scotland’s glorious win in Paris during this minute-by-minute report?“ asks Richard Frette. „This may prove difficult as I don’t think there’re any players from either France or Scotland lining up today.“ That’d be totally unprofessional, Richard. And not too much of a problem.
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Utaka, Davis, Diop, Muntari, Mwaruwari, Kanu.
Subs: Ashdown, Nugent, Taylor, Pamarot, Kranjcar.
Rafa is really trying it on today: Reina, Finnan, Carragher („Keep an eye out for this guy, he’s one to watch!“ – John Terry), Agger, Arbeloa, Pennant, Sissoko, Alonso, Benayoun, Voronin, Crouch.
Subs: Itandje, Hyypia, Gerrard, Torres, Babel.
Clown: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).
Kick off, by the way, is at 12.45pm, which will be a mere 63 hours and 26 minutes since Scotland’s James McFadden scored in Paris against France.
Preamble, which should really have gone at the start I guess, but this is just the way it’s got to be: Everyone seems to think Liverpool have a dreadful record against Portsmouth, maybe because they dropped four points against them last season, but in fact they’ve won three of their last four at Fratton Park. That record may account for the saucy team selection: there’s 50m or so’s worth of talent on the bench, and that’s without putting a price on Steven Gerrard. Crouchigol gets his first Premiership start of the season alongside Andriy Voronin of the Ukraine, who trail Scotland in their Euro 2008 qualifying group by eight points after the Scots beat France in Paris thanks to a James McFadden goal. Meanwhile the home best mens canada goose parka side have both Sol Campbell and Benjani Mwaruwari back from injury, but Matt Taylor, who so often leads Liverpool a merry dance, is only on the bench.
And we’re off! Pompey kick off and knock it around for a bit. Liverpool can’t get the ball at all. Pennant puts an end to the passing by tossing Davis into the air like an old sock. Come on, now, let’s play nicely.
3 min: Benayoun, one of the traffic cones dumped on the Wembley pitch last Saturday, finds a bit of space outside the box and thumps in a fine low shot which James does well to tip round the post for a corner. It’s a typical terrible Premiership Corner.
5 min: Liverpool are seeing quite a lot of the ball. canada goose coat 1000 calorie a day diet They stream forward again, Voronin swinging a ball into the box from the left which Crouch nearly gets on the end of. But doesn’t.
6 min: A header from Diop in the Liverpool area. It rolls over the byline, left of the goal, at speeds approaching 1mph.
7 min: Voronin has a chance to feed Pennant in down the right but decides to put his foot through the ball like a shirehorse instead of rolling a little pass into feet. The ball flies at the speed of light out of play and into the crowd, nearly demolishing the far stand. Now, was there really any need for that?
10 min: Voronin’s link-up play is much better here, though, as he rides two challenges and lays the ball back to Alonso, who takes a shot from 30-odd yards. It’s high and wide… but not too high and wide. Pompey allowed Liverpool way too much room, there.
16 min: It’s been quiet for a bit, but suddenly Crouch is set free down the inside left channel. However his shot is not strong – in fact it’s dreadful – and James parries with ease.
19 min: Crouch absolutely clatters into Johnson going up buy canada goose jacket in canada for a high ball. There was no intent whatsoever, it was just stupendously clumsy. Johnson needs a bit of a sponging down, but all’s fine. „With the quality of the pass that Voronin just didn’t make to Pennant, he’s showing the sort of form that his seen his country into fourth place in their Euro 2008 qualifying group,“ notes black friday 2013 canada goose sale Richard Frette, this report’s only reader. „Who’s leading that group by the way?“
Message for Richard Frette: I’ve just checked who’s leading the Euro 2008 qualifying group containing Andriy Voronin’s Ukraine, and it’s Scotland, Richard. Scotland are leading the group.
22 min: Sissoko is tripped up 25 yards out. Alonso’s free kick is straight into the wall.
23 min: There’s a scramble on the edge of the Liverpool area. Suddenly the ball drops to Benjani, free on the right. He belabours a shot towards the right of Liverpool’s goal, but Reina does well to tip it round the post. Corner. Premiership Corner.
It’s OK, we’ve got another reader! I always knew we would. „Can I correct your photo caption please?“ writes Gary Naylor. „James McFadden also doesn’t play for Everton – at least not until Yakubu puffs too hard and gets the hook in the 75th minute. I’ll let you know when Scholes gets his red card.“
26 min: Distin powers down the right and wins a Premiership Corner. Gah.
28 min: Diop is booked for slapping his arm across Benayoun’s skull. „Rumour has it Scotland had a good result the other day, although the English media blackout means that I don’t know which team they beat,“ writes Dave Hopkins. „Can you stop hinting so coyly and just tell us who they beat?“ Sure thing, Dave, and please accept my apologies for not making myself clear. Scotland beat France, 1-0 in Paris, a repeat of the result in Hampden last October, which was Scotland 1 – 0 France.
31 min: POMPEY MISS A PENALTY! Arbeloa is punished for tugging back on Kanu’s shirt. It’s not the sort of decision that is given every week – it wasn’t that much of a tug – but then again it was a foul, so Liverpool can’t really complain too much. Still, they do, and Alonso is booked for arguing. However, putting the ball past Reina is easier said than done best canada goose sale, and Kanu’s hoof – low, to the left, and not that strong – is tipped away by the Spanish keeper.
35 min: Sissoko is once again hacked down just outside the box, this time by a lunge from Davis. Benayoun takes the free kick from a dangerous position out on the right, but it’s totally witless and sails over best canada goose jacket review the head of every red shirt.
39 min: Another free kick opportunity for Liverpool. This one’s much more central, but a good 35 yards out. Alonso has a whack, but come on.
41 min: Voronin is lucky to escape a booking for clattering into Johnson. „This game’s not up to much is it?“ asks Richard Frette. Nope. „Maybe a lot of the players are tired after the latest round of international matches. I think you know where I’m going with this.“
44 min: Liverpool are passing it around a lot, but not doing a great deal with it. Crouch might as well not be here.
HALF TIME: Portsmouth 0 – 0 Liverpool.
FULL TIME: France 0 – 1 Scotland.
Guardian Unlimited Sport reader and Sky Sports viewer has a proper meltdown, right here: „It looks pretty sunny down on the south coast,“ writes Chris Bond, „but musical instruments can be damaged by the sun. Somebody in Fratton Park should be kind and help the bell-ringing bloke by taking his f*