Torres at double for Reds

September 19, 2009

Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640, Abraham Meets Melchizedek
“Fernando Torres scored twice as Liverpool held off a brave fightback from West Ham to earn a deserved victory in a five-goal thriller at Upton Park. Torres put the Reds in front in the 19th minute with a fine solo goal before debutant Alessandro Diamanti equalised from the penalty spot. Dirk Kuyt’ restored Liverpool’s lead in the 40th minute but Carlton Cole levelled again a minute before the interval. It was the irrepressible Torres, though, who settled a pulsating contest when he headed home from close range in the 75th minute.” (ESPN)

West Ham 2 – 3 Liverpool
“Fernando Torres scored twice to help Liverpool overcome battling West Ham. Zavon Hines hit the post before Torres poked in the opener, but Alessandro Diamanti scored a debatable penalty that he appeared to touch twice. Dirk Kuyt stabbed in Steven Gerrard’s header and West Ham fought back with Carlton Cole nodding in Mark Noble’s corner just before the interval.” (BBC)

West Ham United 2 Liverpool 3: match report
“It must make Rafael Benitez shudder to wonder what he would do without Fernando Torres. Liverpool were stumbling towards two more dropped points now before the Spaniard contrived one of his extraordinary sleights of hand, ghosting through West Ham United’s defence for a headed winner that his team scarcely merited.” (Telegraph)

Liverpool’s Fernando Torres kills off West Ham resistance
“Liverpool and their supporters came close to departing east London despondent about ending the 20 years of title torment they are constantly reminded of. Until Fernando Torres gave them late victory and three vital points it seemed Rafael Benítez would be forced into more fast talking about why those hopes are so quickly going wrong.” (Guardian)

Fernando Torres rises to secure victory for Liverpool
“LIKE the nation’s other all-red institution, normal delivery has still not resumed at Liverpool. Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are back in their most creative places, the goals and the wins have started flowing again, but there is something fundamentally awry with a Rafa Benitez team that defends like Postman Pat.” (Times)

Old Firm embark on European campaign

September 19, 2009

“Scotland’s remaining European representatives Rangers and Celtic suffered mixed fortunes during their latest continental charges. While the debate about Scotland’s failure to reach the World Cup finals continues to rumble on the Old Firm are expected to restore some much needed pride for the country.” (ESPN)

The Monday Miscellany

September 19, 2009

“Will England win the World Cup? Frankly, who knows? It is pointless, nine months before the competition begins, to speculate based on the present strengths and weaknesses of the side and their main rivals. In 2006, Brazil were regarded as runaway favourites, based largely on the way they slaughtered Argentina – plus ça change – in the 2005 Confederations Cup Final in Frankfurt. Come the tournament they were laboured, with Ronaldinho hopelessly ineffective and the strike partnership of Adriano and Ronaldo looking unfit.” (Footballing World)

VIDEO: El Clasico to the Old Firm – Top 5 derbies in world football

September 19, 2009

“The cities of Manchester and London will be divided this weekend as two of England’s most fiercely contested and eye-catching derby matches capture the attention of football fans around the globe. But Manchester United v Manchester City and Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur pale in comparison to some of the most bitter derbies fought around the world. As part of the build-up to another ‘Super Sunday’, ExtraFootie takes a look at the five greatest derbies in world football.” (Extra Footie)

A Week is a Long Time in Serie A

September 19, 2009

“After three days of play, the Serie A table is full of early season surprises. Juventus top the table with 9 points, along with Sampdoria and Genoa. Inter and Fiorentina follow on 7 points, while Milan are still on 4 points after a draw against lowly Livorno. In a warm up for the impending Champions League both Inter and Juventus earned a relatively comfortable 3 points, but the story of the weekend was the impressive performance of the Genoan teams — Genoa beating Napoli 4-1 at home and Sampdoria winning 1-0 against Atalanta in Bergamo courtesy of the skill of Antonio Cassano.” (First Touch)

Hungary v England, 1988: Video Flashback

September 19, 2009

“The latest video flashback takes us back to 1988 when England was a terrible football team despite finding glory just two years later in the 1990 World Cup. This video features Brian Clough and Brian Moore. Cloughie makes a flub in the beginning of the analysis but doesn’t seem to care, which is followed by commentary from the legendary Brian Moore and Trevor Francis in this match which ended 0-0.” (EPL Talk)

Arthur Wharton

September 19, 2009

“Arthur Wharton was the world’s first Black professional footballer. Despite his sporting prowess, he was never fully accepted and died a forgotten man. Arthur Wharton was born in Jamestown, Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1865.” (David Patrick Lane), A Burning Black Star (DPL)

Italy’s place in South Africa looks assured

September 19, 2009

“Italian football received a badly needed fillip in early September when Marcello Lippi’s World Cup winners left some unimpressive recent performances behind them with a convincing 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Bulgaria. This win meant that Italy could then travel to Dublin in October for what might otherwise have been a very difficult qualifier with the comfortable cushion of a four-point lead over Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland.” (WorldSoccer)