Liverpool 2 – 2 Birmingham

November 10, 2009

Ingres, Vergil Reciting from the Aeneid, 1812
“Steven Gerrard’s hotly-disputed second-half penalty rescued a point for Liverpool but did little to lift the pressure on boss Rafael Benitez. It is just one win now in nine matches for the Reds and they must be grateful for the two-week international break which will allow the dust to settle on their faltering season. It had started so well for the hosts with youngster David Ngog firing them into an early lead. But Ecuadorian Christian Benitez’s nodded equaliser and Cameron Jerome’s thunderous 30-yarder had Birmingham ahead at the break.” (ESPN)

Injury problems mount for troubled boss Benitez
“Rafael Benitez will be a relieved man that the international break has finally arrived, hopeful that some of his injured players will return to fitness ahead of a crucial clash against Manchester City at Anfield on November 21.” (ESPN)

Liverpool ride their luck but remain stuck in the mire
“There is no obvious route out of the mire for Liverpool and Rafael Benítez. Even the latest rescue act involving Steven Gerrard was tinged with regret and no shortage of controversy. The Liverpool captain answered his manager’s call and his club’s prayers to return from the groin problem that had sidelined him for the previous four matches and donned his familiar talisman cloak within 25 minutes of his return.” (Guardian)

David Ngog’s ’embarrassing case of cheating’ gets Liverpool a draw
“The Liverpool striker David Ngog was accused of indulging in ‘an embarrassing case of cheating’ last night as a controversial penalty salvaged a draw against Birmingham City but left Rafael Benítez’s team seventh in the Premier League and 11 points behind leaders, Chelsea.” (Guardian)

Benitez calls for ‘realism’ at Liverpool
“Rafael Benitez has for the first time played down Liverpool’s title dreams and asked for “realism” as the club fight to end a run of disastrous results. Liverpool are 11 points behind leaders Chelsea following last night’s 2-2 home draw with Birmingham.” (Independent)

Liverpool striker David Ngog cheated to win penalty, says Birmingham’s Lee Carsley
“Even his manager, Rafael Benitez, admitted referee Peter Walton was “maybe” wrong to award the hosts a spot-kick, which Steven Gerrard converted to cancel out goals from Christian Benitez and Cameron Jerome, while his counterpart, Alex McLeish, and Carsley were left seething by Ngog’s deception.” (Telegraph)

New Mexico/BYU’s Bitchslap

November 10, 2009

“ESPN ran a story about a recent match between BYU and New Mexico’s women’s teams which has become infamous for the elbows-to-the-ribs and ponytail-yank antics of New Mexico player Elizabeth Lambert. Fans of the sport are groaning, because this is what it takes to get a non-Olympics/World Cup/WPS Final into headlines – replays of bitchslap.” (From a left wing)

Is this the world’s dirtiest female footballer?
“The hair-pulling defender has become an internet sensation after being seen hitting, kicking and, in one instance, pulling an opponent down by her hair during a game against Brigham Young University. When questioned about Lambert’s actions, team coach Kit Vela said: ‘Her actions clearly crossed the line of fair play and good sportsmanship’.” (Telegraph)

ESPN does an ACTUAL story about the New Mexico/BYU match
“Watch this interview with a local reporter (Jared Lloyd/Desert News) who covered this match. He points out that the “refs allowed” for a “physical game” – and offers a well informed perspective on the tone of the game (explaining New Mexico’s use of a physical style of play to break up BYU’s movement up and down the field).” (From a left wing)

Portugal: 2009-2010 Liga season: Map, with 2008-09 attendances.

November 10, 2009

“Reigning champions are FC Porto, who have now won four straight Portuguese titles. Porto have won 24 Portuguese championships overall, second only to the 31 titles won by Benfica. This season, Sporting Braga are the surprise club so far, though the northern club just lost ground Monday to Portuguese giants Benfica, who beat Naval 1 May 1-0, to go even on points with Braga. Braga had defeated Benfica 2-0 on 31st October, so they remain in first, because tie-breakers in Portugal are head-to-head results, not goal difference (like in Spain’s La Liga)….” (billsportsmaps)