The FA Cup third round tie from Deepdale.
The FA Cup is back on ITV. Apparently a friend of mine is in the opening credits but I missed them so I’ll have to take her word for it.
The main angle is that Preston striker Neil Mellor used to play for Liverpool. There’s a feature about him which prompts Sam Allardyce to say something about how it’s hard for young English guys as more and more academy players are foreign. He mentions Wenger as an a prime exponent of this. I can’t be bothered to explain how many English premier league careers Wenger is responsible for. That can wait till another post. Needless to say Fat Sam likes a fair few foreigners himself.
Preston: Lonergan, Jones, Mawene, St. Ledger, Davidson, Sedgwick, Chaplow, McKenna, Wallace, Parkin, Mellor.
Subs: Chris Neal, Brown, Nicholson, Carter, Whaley, Nolan, Elliott.
Liverpool: Cavalieri, Carragher, Hyypia, Agger, Insua, Alonso, Mascherano, Babel, Gerrard, Riera, Keane.
Subs: Reina, Torres, Aurelio, Leiva Lucas, Ngog, El Zhar, Skrtel.
Jim Beglin and Clive Tyldesley commentate.
Gerrard leads Liverpool out. He looks like he’s had a tough week…
1 min: Liverpool kick off.
2 mins: The pantomime villain tonight is certainly Gerrard. Booed for his first touch.
4 mins: Agger fouls McKenna. Preston win a free kick.
5 mins: Ross Wallace strikes it left footed. Cavalieri sees it round the post. A good effort, but Preston’s corner comes to nothing.
7 mins: Parkin is known as the Beast. Feed the beast and he will score. That’s what they used to say about Baptista. He never did. I’m willing to wager Parkin won’t either. He really is fat though.
9 mins: Preston have started pretty well. They win a free kick but it comes to nothing again. I suspect that how well they cross will be the key to them getting anything from this game.
10 mins: Gerrard tries a one two but loses it. He’s booed again. This could be quite funny as the game goes on. I reckon he’s hasn’t quite got the same determination that C Ron does in terms of ignoring the opposition crowd.
12 mins: Riera skins three players and lays it back to Keane. Keane fluffs it quite nicely. I think there should be a compilation of his great misses this season. This would be up there.
13 mins: Gerrard has a good shot saved by the Preston keeper. The crowd start singing something about him. I can’t tell if it’s Preston taking the piss or Liverpool supporting him.
16 mins: Liverpool’s centre backs go up for a free kick. Alonso’s free kick doesn’t find them though.
19 mins: Liverpool in control without really doing anything. I imagine they will pass Preston to death.
21 mins: Chaplow pings it from 25 yards but it’s straight at the keeper.
22 mins: Liverpool pass it about, loses it, Preston break and try to curl it from around 20 yards round the keeper, like Thierry Henry used to do. They don’t have Henry in their team hence Cavalieri saves it.
24 mins: GOAL! Preston 0-1 Liverpool! Liverpool corner. Alonso’s crosses it to the first man who clears it. The second ball eventually reached Riera who cuts inside from the right and smacks it into the roof of the net. Keeper saw it late but he had no chance due to the pace. Reminded me of a Van Persie goal against someone a few years ago. Think it was Blackburn.
26 mins: That has settled things down. Liverpool now controlling possession.
28 mins: Gerrard works some space for himself but skies his left footed shot.
31 mins: The ball is worked down the right and Carragher lobs it through to Babel. He is free in the box but hits an air shot as he tries to take it on the volley.
33 mins: Sir Tom Finney is shown in the crowd. He looks rosy cheeked and in good health. When I say rosy cheeked I mean a pint of bitter and two brandy chasers rosy cheeked.
36 mins: An Agger stepover pre-empts a shot which deflects off a defender for a corner. The corner is laid for Alonso to run on to and shoot but he skews it well wide. Clive Tylsdely raised his voice in expectation but was disappointed.
38 mins: Robbie Keane is played in, he switches feet but his shot is saved by Lonergan. Keane does nothing with the follow up. It was a good save by the keeper.
40 mins: Wallace nutmegs Carragher and crosses it but it’s too close to Cavalieri. He’s having some joy on the left though.
41 mins: Liverpool have a couple of nervous moments. Cavalieri makes a crap punch but the Preston player can’t get to the loose ball and shoot at the empty goal. The follow up sees him rush out needlessly but the ball is eventually dealt with.
43 mins: Keane is through again but the keeper reaches it first and punches clear. Alonso shoots from 40 yards but it’s a bit of a pea roller.
44 mins: Oh dear oh dear. Keane is having a bit of a nightmare. Again. Gerrard sends over a great left footed cross which Keane just has to slot home from six yards. He puts it well, well wide though. It was off the ground but he had time to watch it and put it where he wanted it. I guess he just wanted to put it wide across the goal.
45 mins: Keane has the ball in the six yard box again but fearful of missing again, he instead chooses to lay it to Riera. He takes so long to decide that the defenders have time to block Riera’s shot.
Half time: Liverpool well worth their lead but if Keane knew how to play football they would be about 4 or 5 up by now. Torres is on the bench. For the love of god bring him on. Also, we see Alonso limp off for some reason.
Time for tea.
Amazingly we have an interesting piece of analysis at half time. The slow mo replay zooms in on Lonergan’s feet as Riera shot. As the keeper couldn’t see anything he hadn’t set his feet meaning he couldn’t jump when he eventually did see the strike.
Also, Keane is responsible for Alonso’s injury. His dithering meant Riera’s shot was blocked and Alonso injured himself in the follow up.
I don’t know what it is about Sam Allardyce but he has such a punchable face.
46 mins: Lucas on for Alonso. Preston kick off.
47 mins: Torres is warming up. Keane has another half chance but fails to make contact with a cross. I’ll let him off that one. Actually on second thoughts…
48 mins: This is getting contagious. Agger has a free header from the corner but directs it wide.
49 mins: We have the option of watching this game in HD apparently. We can watch Keane’s super low quality play in super high definition visuals.
51 mins: Mellor has a chance, well not really but he touches the ball. He has been a bit anonymous.
52 mins: The ball breaks through to the centre back St. Ledger (great name) but he can’t get to it before Cavalieri.
55 mins: Even Jim Beglin is hating on Keane now. Keane appeals for a free kick and doesn’t get it. Beglin witheringly says that he’s moaning for nothing.
56 mins: Nolan on for Davidson. I was thinking earlier that Davidson looked really familiar and it was only now that I realized it was Callum Davidson, ex Spurs joke. We now only have one left on the field: Robbie Keane.
57 mins: Mascherano has time for a shot but with the outside of his boot he curls it just too wide and just too over.
59 mins: Gerrard thinks about passing to Keane but rightly decides against it as it would come to nothing. He instead chooses to shoot from 25 yards. It curls straight to the keeper.
60 mins: He tests him this time though. A much better effort which Lonergan saves, but he concedes a corner.
62 mins: Elliott comes on for Mellor, who’s had about four touches all game. Completely anonymous.
63 mins: Big moment. Preston win a free kick in Liverpool’s half. The cross comes and Parkin and Carragher fall over. The second ball is swung in by Chaplow from the left and St.Ledger heads it in at the back post. It’s disallowed as Parkin holds Carragher as they were both getting up.
66 mins: Agger and Parkin hold each other in the box. Vague shouts for a penalty but nothing given.
68 mins: It’s getting a bit feisty at the moment. Preston are on top and need to score really.
70 mins: Preston still swinging plenty of balls into the box but haven’t quite made it count yet. Rafa looks nervous in the stands.
72 mins: Insua gives away a free kick on the left had edge of the box. Wallace’s delivery is terrible though and it sails over.
73 mins: Torres on for Keane. Thank goodness for that.
74 mins: Wallace outpaces Carragher and then falls over, winning a cheap free kick. McKenna drives it in from the left wing and it pings off someone but safely falls into Cavalieri’s hands.
76 mins: Torres turns and runs and shoots from 25 yards. It slices wide but it’s a sighter no doubt.
81 mins: Nothing’s really happened these past few minutes bar a Gerrard shot and I’ve been trying to find the RVP goal I was on about on Youtube. It was against Southampton in 2004. Here it is. Oh and Nicholson has come on for Chaplow.
83 mins: Aurelio on for Mascherano. Rafa’s looking to close this out.
85 mins: Preston’s momentum seems to have gone. As has the crowd’s.
86 mins: Torres makes another good run but this time lays off to Gerrard. Again, it’s straight at Lonergan though.
87 mins: Babel tries to break but gives away a foul. Wallace crosses the free kick straight to Cavalieri. This straight to the keeper stuff is getting tedious.
89 mins: Jim Beglin chooses Liverpool’s Albert Riera as ITV E-On man of the match.
90 mins: The Preston announcer tells us the George Banks the Jeweller (seriously) man of the match is Preston’s Andy Lonergan. Hilarity.
93 mins: GOAL! Preston 0-2 Liverpool! Nicholson has a late chance but can’t get his shot away. Liverpool break and it results in Gerrard and Torres bearing down on Lonergan with no defenders in sight. I have a fiver on Torres to score last at 4/1 so am urging Gerrard to pass, pass, pass. He does, Torres taps in from two yards, 2-0. I’m happy, Liverpool are happy, everyone is happy. Except Robbie Keane.
Full time: Preston 0-2 Liverpool. That was the last kick of the match. Liverpool did the usual Liverpool thing of making hard work of it but ultimately having too much quality. I’m off to spend my winnings.