Fourth-place hopefuls play out bore draw

February 21, 2010

Claude Gillot, Les deux carosses
“The eagerly-awaited top-four showdown turned into a goalless bore draw between Manchester City and Liverpool at Eastlands. Gripped by the fear of losing, the north-west rivals did not manage a shot on target during the first-half and only threw off their shackles in a half-hearted search for victory in the final 15 minutes. But even the introductions of Craig Bellamy and Fernando Torres failed to lift the game from its overall torpor.” (ESPN)

Man City 0 – 0 Liverpool
“Manchester City and Liverpool played out a miserable stalemate at Eastlands as they battled for fourth place in the Premier League. Roberto Mancini and Rafael Benitez have their sights set on a place in next season’s Champions League – but this was a wretched advert for their lofty ambitions in an encounter that plumbed the depths for long periods.” (BBC)

Manchester City 0 Liverpool 0: match report
“Even the return from injury of Craig Bellamy and Fernando Torres could not inspire either Manchester City or Liverpool to win the game neither team could afford to lose. Bellamy featured for half an hour just days after a reported spat with manager Roberto Mancini, while Rafael Benítez allowed Torres, who has not played since the FA Cup defeat to Reading on January 13, a 15-minute run-out. Neither talisman, though, could break the deadlock as two under-performing teams cancelled each other out.” (Telegraph)

Manchester City 0-0 Liverpool – Recap and Video Highlights
“Manchester City hosted Liverpool on Sunday, February 21, 2010 looking to remain 4th place in the English Premier League. Both clubs are fighting for the last UEFA Champions League spot along with Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal, Man United, and Chelsea are clearly the top three sides separating themselves from the rest of the league. The match was at the City of Manchester Stadium.” (The 90th Minute)

The banality of football broadcasting

February 21, 2010

” A few years ago you never got to hear what football supporters thought. Players, presenters and pundits told us black was white and right was wrong. All we could do was scream at the TV so loud we frightened the kids or whack the off button on the radio so hard it wouldn’t go on again. Now it’s phone-ins, discussion programmes, reality TV and invitations to text your views, email your comments or reply to some blog or other.” (WSC)

Mourinho Stretches a Record and Our Patience

February 21, 2010

José Mourinho
“There might never have been a coach more intent on turning his teams into a sideshow to his own performance than José Mourinho. Yet he is not the pretty sight he imagines. On Saturday night in the San Siro, his Inter Milan was reduced by foul play and gamesmanship to nine men before halftime for the second match running. No matter, Mourinho applauded them, mocked the referee, and boasted that a team of his would have to be reduced to six players to lose a home game. He is a bitter and twisted man — and a successful one.” (NYT)

One small step forward, two giant leaps back

February 21, 2010

“First, the now traditional apologies for this site’s dormancy over the past week. For once, this was down to technical problems. The main Smog PC has fallen ill with viruses, indeed so riddled has it become that I’ve waved a white flag, declared myself to be out of my depth and sent it off to be fixed. Using Mini Smog’s computer as an emergency back-up, it turned out that this too had virus problems, but for some reason they were treatable, though it took a few days and working through various routines to put it back in order. I wish I could blame inappropriate site visiting for these issues to have happened, but in reality I think it had more to do with running computers that hadn’t been using properly maintained checking software for some time.” (Smog Blog)

Guardiola hoping for more from returning Henry

February 21, 2010

“Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was happy to see Thierry Henry return to the side with a goal in Saturday’s 4-0 win at home to Racing Santander and believes the Frenchman has much more to offer the Catalan side.” (ESPN)