Deadly Dirk at the double

January 21, 2010

The Hunt In The Forest, Paolo Uccello
“Dirk Kuyt’s double strike injected new life into Liverpool’s stuttering Barclays Premier League campaign as it secured a 2-0 victory over Tottenham. The Holland international fired home in the sixth minute from the edge of the area and then converted a twice-taken penalty in second-half injury time. Victory lifted the Reds to within one point of fourth-placed Spurs and eased the pressure on manager Rafael Benitez after early exits from the Champions League and FA Cup.” (ESPN)

Liverpool 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0: match report
“In climbing to within a point of fourth in the Premier League, Liverpool went back to basics last night. Sometimes it is simply a case of digging in, of eschewing the tricks, of relying on set-pieces as much as party pieces. Sometimes it is simply down to endless endeavour, of going the extra yard, of throwing yourself constantly into challenges, even those 60-40 against. This was a performance of grit not glamour.” (Telegraph – Henry Winter)

Determined Liverpool show signs of revival
“Writing Rafa Benitez’s Anfield obituary is a perilous business. He has a habit of resuscitating his career, to the irritation of a baying mob and the relief of a crowd whose habitual loyalty towards their manager has been sorely tested. For one who was supposed to be a dead man walking, Benitez is showing renewed signs of health. The unexpected and effusive endorsement of George Gillett began a rare fine day for the Spaniard; defeating Tottenham completed it.” (ESPN)

Rafael Benítez says Liverpool back on track after victory over Spurs
“Rafael Benítez believes Liverpool have shown their rivals for a Champions League place that they will remain in the fight for fourth until the end of the season. Benítez’s side lifted the gloom around Anfield last night with a deserved 2-0 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur.” (Guardian)

Kuyt double lifts Liverpool spirits
“Here, after many months of waiting, was a brief restoration of something they care to call the Liverpool Way in these parts. It is the quality manifest around Anfield Road in the decades when titles were won of everyone pulling together in a measured and dignified way.” (Independent)


Football Weekly Extra: Fired up Tevez gives City slender advantage

January 21, 2010

“Paul Doyle, Raphael Honigstein and Barry Glendenning join James to discuss a feast of midweek football action. The Carling Cup semi-finals produced a 10 goal bonanza at Villa Park and a very tasty Manchester derby. But will Carlos Tevez’ goal celebration come back to haunt him in the second leg? Will it? Eh?” (Guardian – James Richardson)

Mixed feelings among Cup players

January 21, 2010

“You know things are a little different when a footballer tells you he’s been missing the media – and at any Nations Cup, things tend to be different. After 10 days or so holed up in Cabinda, with such heavy security following the Togo disaster that the players only ventured out for training, Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson was giddy to be elsewhere. ‘I’m very happy to be here, seeing beautiful people like you and my countrymen, because in Cabinda there was nothing,’ the Wigan man told me here in Luanda, as though he’d been at the bottle.” (BBC – Piers Edwards)

Gabon 1 – 2 Zambia
“Zambia reached the African Nations Cup quarter-finals as a dramatic final day in Group D saw Gabon – top before kick-off – miss out on qualification. Goals from Rainford Kalaba and James Chamanga earned Herve Renard’s side a deserved victory in Benguela despite substitute Fabrice Do Marcolino’s late consolation. But it came at a price, with both Kabala and centre-half Kampamba Chintu collecting bookings which rule them out of the last eight clash.” (ESPN)

Africa Cup of Nations: Group A profiles
“Group A is led by hosts Angola who come up against star-studded Mali, World Cup-bound Algeria and Mali.” (BBC – A), (BBC – B), (BBC – C), (BBC – D)

Cameroon 2 – 2 Tunisia
“Cameroon booked their place in the quarter-final of the African Nations Cup after twice coming from behind to seal a 2-2 draw against Tunisia in Lubango. The Indomitable Lions, who needed at least a point to ensure qualification from Group D, fell behind after just 57 seconds thanks to a fine diving header from Amine Chermiti. It stayed at 1-0 until a minute after half-time, when Samuel Eto’o equalised with a close-range strike, before an own goal from Aurelien Chedjou restored the advantage for the Carthage Eagles.” (ESPN)

African Nations Cup – 2010

The Sweeper: The Fan, the Customer and Money in Football

January 21, 2010

“Yesterday, we noted that the avalanche of negative media stories about the Glazers’ regime at Old Trafford seemed finally to be pushing the moderate fans into the rebellious camp. Pointing to the same piece we noted in the Daily Mirror by Oliver Holt yesterday, Ian at Two Hundred Percent suggests there is a “sea change” in the analysis of football and money by the English media…” (Pitch Invasion)

Soundoff: Greatest World Cup Goal

January 21, 2010

“ITV compiled this little gem of the 50 greatest goals in World Cup history a few years back, which then made it to YouTube and then to our doorstep. Given that ITV is a proper media outlet, this should be rather accurate. However, it’s likely that there a few worthy omissions – notably those when television cameras weren’t quite so abundant. Which those are, it’s impossible to say at the moment (except for that rather stellar Argentine movement 4 years ago).” (World Cup Blog)