Archive for the ‘Minute by Minute’ Category

Man Utd vs Everton Live Minute by Minute!


It’s the second FA Cup semi final between Man Utd and Everton today as we find out who wins the right to face Chelsea in the final in six weeks time. Everton will want to reach their first final of any description since 1995 while Fergie’s side look to get a step closer to a quintuple.



Everton’s recent record in the cup is pretty poor and this is the first time they’ve been beyond the quarter finals since 2002. United meanwhile have won the cup a record eleven times, but not since 2004, having lost against Arsenal in 2005 and Chelsea in 2007. Everton’s FA Cup win was against Man Utd of course, when Paul Rideout headed in from about four yards and Everton sneaked a 1-0 victory in 1995.

Everton were rubbish that year.

Everton were rubbish that year, coming 15th in the league.



Man Utd: Foster, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Fabio Da Silva, Welbeck, Gibson, Anderson, Park, Tevez, Macheda.

Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Evra, Berbatov, Nani, Scholes, Evans.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Fellaini, Pienaar, Cahill, Saha.
Subs: Nash, Yobo, Castillo, Vaughan, Jacobsen, Rodwell, Gosling.

Fergie picks just two of his first choice eleven with Rio and Vidic playing in defence. The rest of the team is filled with reserves and Carlos Tevez. Macheda gets his full debut after hitting two in two in the league coming off the bench. Rooney and Ronaldo are left in Manchester. The Da Silva twins both play meaning confusion for everyone. If G Nev comes on, he’ll join brother P Nev who captains the Toffees. The Everton team is pretty much full strength bar the injured Arteta. Saha decides he is fit enough to play, but I’ll bet any money he doesn’t complete the 90.

Mike Riley referees but the game isn’t at Old Trafford so maybe he won’t give Man Utd a penalty.

Groundsmen prepare Wembely for the big game.

Groundsmen prepare Wembely for the big game.


1 min: Everton kick off. Glorious day at Wembley.

3 mins: Screech Fellaini has won a couple of headers already. Vidic will have to be at his best today to keep him at bay.

5 mins: Macheda turns and shoots but it goes wide.

7 mins: The game is being played at a higher tempo than yesterday’s match between Arsenal and Chelsea. The relative freshness of both teams (neither effectively played midweek bar Vidic and Rio) should mean an entertaining game.

10 mins: Phil Neville breaks free down the right wing but he slips whilst shooting and his shot skews high and wide.

13 mins: Lovely interplay by United as Welbeck and Macheda thread a ball through to Tevez. He steps past a defender but is off balance thus his shot lacks power and trickles wide. Welbeck could have shot but was quite unselfish there. Everton will be concerned about the ease that chance was created with.

15 mins: Baines has time to cross from the left but it’s easily dealt with by Ferdinand.

21 mins: Foster makes a bit of a boo-boo. He tries to take a touch too many after a backpass and just manages to clear before the oncoming Saha after the first attempt hits the Frenchman. This new Wembley doesn’t seem to like reserve keepers. Just look at Fabianksi yesterday…

23 mins: United almost score at the other end. A cross comes in a Welbeck shoots. It deflects of Joleon Lescott and goes just the wrong side of the post. Lescott didn’t know too much about that.

27 mins: Rafael holds back Baines and gets booked for his trouble. Everton free kick in a good position just outside the box. How they’d like Arteta on the pitch right now.

28 mins: Rubbish free kick but a corner is won. Rubbish corner too and eventually the ball is mopped up by the Man Utd defence. Pienaar’s deliveries haven’t been too good thus far…

30 mins: It’s quite open so far but without any real chances being made.

32 mins: The team in red knock it about quite nicely and it’s laid off for Rafael (or Fabio? One of the two) to have a dig from 25 yards. Obviously possessing no power in his left foot, he instead dinks a chip into the box which results in nothing but an Everton free kick after some shirt tugging/pushing by Welbeck.

35 mins: Tevez booked for a foul on Pienaar

36 mins: Tevez pings one in from about 30 yards but it goes across goal. Anderson tries to win it but flies in two footed and a foul is given. Not really sure why he’s moaning to be honest. Clear free kick.

37 mins: Riley penalty watch – Pienaar is muscled off the ball by Rafael in the box. Everton appeal but it would have been very harsh I reckon. He was stronger, pure and simple.

40 mins: Welbeck, who is playing quite well dribbles inside. Tevez passes to Macheda who gives it back to Welbeck who had continued his run towards the box. The left foot shot is sliced high and wide. 

41 mins: Welbeck again get some space down the left. Tevez waits in the box but the resulting cross is terrible and goes straight out. The youngster is playing well but is constantly having to do stuff with his left foot, which is not his strongest.

43 mins: Some crowd shots as we head to half-time. Seems a bit restrained and quiet. I imagine a lot of people are very tired having had to make to journey to London from the north west. Not that much to cheer about either to be honest. 

45 mins: Macheda tried to play in Welbeck but the pass was overhit and Howard gathers.

Half-time: Goalless at the break. No real clear cut chances but the game is entertaining enough I suppose. United’s youngsters are playing quite well but this games needs a goal to liven things up. Everton have had a bit of joy down the left flank with Baines and Pienaar but the final balls need to improve if Fellaini is to use that afro to score. As usual, I plan to avoid the thoughts of Teddy Sheringham (seems to be a full time gig he has these days with ITV) and shall be making some tea instead.

Basically I'm a human cliche.

Basically I'm a human cliché.


46 mins: Man Utd kick off the second half.

49 mins: Vidic looks winded. That reminds me that I have to photoshop him for this week’s Guardian gallery.

50 mins: Fellaini handballs but only because Rio was holding him from behind and he couldn’t actually move his arm out of the way. Bit harsh. 

51 mins: Saha is barely running about at all. Not in a injured way, just in a unfit lazy way. He’s literally just standing around doing nothing. 88141 have come down from the north-west and from Surrey. Which is 38 more than came from N5 and SW6 yesterday…

53 mins: Much better atmosphere now. Cahill strikes a good shot at Foster who saves well. It was just about to bounce as it reached the Man Utd number two, who did well to palm it away.

56 mins: Both teams pushing forward a bit more now, and the crowd have responded in kind to the extra action. Still no clear cut chances though.

58 mins: Anderson “takes” a terrible free kick. He lined up, I blinked, the next thing I saw was it was an Everton goal kick. It must have been pretty poor. Like any good pro, he looks down at the pitch and shakes his head. I think it’s not the pitch that is to blame but his mediocrity.

60 mins: Fellaini awaits in the box for a free kick. Cleared easily again though.

62 mins: Fabio looks injured. 

63 mins: Park cuts inside and shoots outside of the post.

64 mins: Evra on for the injured Fabio. Typing the words Fabio injured always reminds me of when cover star of a thousand trashy romance novels Fabio, killed a bird whilst on a rollercoaster. Don’t ask me where I first heard about that, might have been Eurotrash or something.

That would make for a good cover.

That would make for a good cover.

67 mins: Darron ‘with an O’ Gibson hits a good shot but it’s too close to Howard to cause him any problems.

68 mins: Scholes on for Park. Welbeck tackled by Jagielka in the box. Looks a penalty but amazingly nothing given by Riley. Replays show he didn’t really get the ball but probably didn’t take enough of the man to warrant the penalty. Well that’s Riley’s excuse anyway. Did Moyes’ comments during the week have an effect? Fergie is absolutely fuming. It would have been given at Old Trafford. Fact.

70 mins: As predicted, Saha comes off. He’s been worse than useless. Anonymous all game. Jack Rodwell comes on to replace.

71 mins: Ironic cheers as a free kick is given against Vidic for a high boot.

74 mins: Everton corner. Fails to clear the first man. They’ve played ok but have really missed the expertise of Arteta at dead balls.

76 mins: Anderson strikes from a tight angle. Just over but not a bad effort.

77 mins: Really open now in the sense that it’s end to end but still no real opportunities. Not sure I can be dealing with 30 minutes of extra time.

79 mins: Man Utd are edging closer it seems. A bit of scramble in the box as Macheda and Welbeck both try and get a shot. Both fail.

83 mins: Welbeck runs at Hibbert before trying to curl one in from the edge of the box. Too high. Sportboy sigh.

84 mins: Fellaini gets his first yellow since February. Pretty impressive given his previous record of about 11 until then. Once again he was challenging for the ball whilst using his elbow. He caught Ferdinand in the face with his fist. Plenty more players have come off worse this season.

86 mins: Macheda mishits a volley. Goalless games do not make the Sportboy jolly.

87 mins: Berba warming up. Fellaini gets blown up for something or other (handball I think). Feels he is being persecuted. It’s a fair claim given he didn’t handball it.

89 mins: Everton corner. Pienaar actually puts in a half decent ball in but Rio prevents Joleon from doing anything with the header.

91 mins: Everton free kick in a good position. Baines swings it in high and deep. Fellaini challenges Foster but a foul is given. Thought it was a fair challenge I think.

Full time: Goalless at the end of 90 minutes. Extra time looming. Arse. Pretty even, Man Utd could/should have had a penalty, but there has been very little action in the box. Why do I always pick the dull games which go to extra time?

Fergie shows his feelings on the game. Plus forgets to trim those nostrl hairs.

Fergie shows his feelings on the game. Plus forgets to trim those nostril hairs.



91 mins: Berbatov comes on for Macheda. Everton kick off the first period of extra time.

92 mins: I always feel if I’m to sit through 120 minutes of a dull neutral game then the least I should get is a penalty shoot out for my efforts. None of this 118th minute winner business.

93 mins: Scholes booked. Cahill fires a good shot on goal from a very tight angle in the box. Foster saves with his foot.

95 mins: Scholes is playing some nice balls forward in midfield. Though just as I say that he gives the ball away.

96 mins: Everton play it down the left. The ball comes to Fellaini in the box who chests, turns and shoots. It’s blocked though.

97 mins: Welbeck offside from a through ball. Tight but right.

99 mins: United play it forward and Berbatov has it in the box. He has time to lay it back to the onrushing Welbeck but the youngster completely misses it. Air shot.

102 mins: Fellaini coming off. James Vaughan coming on. Thought Moyes would have kept him on and taken off Osman maybe but that would be too positive a change for his liking.

104 mins: Everton corner.

105 mins: Dealt with. At the other end Tevez fires a tame shot at Howard.

Halftime: Fifteen minutes till penalties. 

106 mins: Man Utd kick off. Fourteen minutes till penalties.

107 mins: Oooh, what a poor miss. Baines crosses it in, Vaughan has an age to pick his spot but scuffs it with his left foot. It deflects off Vidic meaning Cahill can’t tap it in. No corner given though. That was a terrible miss. He had time for a touch if he wanted but hit it first time and wasted it.

109 mins: Eleven minutes till penalties.

110 mins: Cahill booked for clipping Vidic and then moaning about the foul that was given. Silly.

111 mins: Skip.

112 mins: To.

113 mins: The. 

114 mins: End.

117 mins: A couple of corners for Man Utd amount to nothing.

119 mins: Foster tries to clear but his kick is charged down by Vaughan. He then rushes out out to try and deal with it but fouls an Everton player out wide. The resulting free kick is inches from Cahill’s head.

Full time in extra time: So I get what I asked for and this will be decided by a penalty shoot out. Man Utd have already won a penalty shoot out at Wembley this season, following Foster and his iPod antics against Spurs. They did lose their last FA Cup shootout though against Arsenal in the 2005 final. Most of United’s penalty takers will be at home.  Everton’s most recent shootout was a loss against Fiorentina last season.

Penalty shoot out (Everton score first):

0-0: Cahill takes the first penalty and misses with a blast high and wide. 

0-0: Berbatov misses! Lazy, lazy penalty. He just rolls it to Howard’s right. Keeper easily saves. Shocking.

1-0: Baines scores! Power high down the middle.

1-0: Rio Ferdinand misses! Howard saves. Sort of in the corner but not enough. Nice height to save.

2-0: Phil Neville scores! Sends Foster the wrong way, great penalty.

2-1: Vidic scores! Just. He checks Ronaldo style and rolls it just inside the post.

3-1: Vaughan scores! Giant steps and places it in the corner. Foster can’t quite get there.

3-2: Anderson scores! He keeps it alive. Sends Howard the wrong way, calmly placing it the left corner.

4-2: Jagielka sends Everton to Wembley! Oh wait, they’re already there. But you know what I mean. He puts a great penalty low in the corner and sends Everton to the FA Cup final! Nice moment for him as he missed the key spot kick against Fiorentina last season.


So Everton win through 4-2 on penalties. It was perhaps the most likely way for them to win but all in all it was a pretty even game. Fergie will be vindicated that he played his youngsters given it went to extra time and beyond. Have to wonder why Vidic and Rio were taking penalties even if the former scored. Scholes and Tevez were nowhere to be seen (though presumably one of those would have taken the fifth) while the youngsters like Welbeck didn’t seem to fancy it. In any case, there were some pretty poor kicks. The quintuple dream ends and United are left to concentrate on the league and Europe which is what Fergie wanted all along.



Coventry vs Chelsea Live Minute by Minute!


It’s FA Cup quarter final weekend, except for at the Emirates tomorrow where it will be FA Cup fifth round weekend. Today we see Championship mid-tablers Coventry take on Premier League big boys Chelsea at the Ricoh Arena. Chelsea are strong favourites but were humbled by Barnsley at this stage last season. Coventry are now managed by Chris Coleman and his pondering face.

The art of looking thoughtful

The art of looking thoughtful


Pre amble

Today’s studio guests are Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce and Graeme ‘Robbie Fowler thinks I’m gay‘ Le Saux. Not really sure why they’ve wheeled in Pearce, he only played for  Coventry for a couple of years. You associate him with Forest more than anyone else. Coventry of course are famous for their 1987 win over Spurs in the FA Cup Final. Chelsea are most famous for, erm, no scrap that they don’t have any history.



Coventry: Westwood, Wright, Dann, Turner, Hall, Henderson, Gunnarsson, Doyle, Eastwood, Best, Morrison. 

Subs: Marshall, Ward, Beuzelin, Osbourne, McPake, Simpson, Thornton.

Chelsea: Cech, Cole, Terry, Alex, Bosingwa, Lampard, Mikel, Ballack, Malouda, Drogba, Kalou.

Subs: Hilario, Essien, Carvalho, Di Santo, Quaresma, Belletti, Mancienne.


Ashley Cole sobers enough up to play for Chelsea, and they field pretty much a full strength side despite having a big game away against Juve on Tuesday night. Michael Essien is on the bench for the first time since being injured in August, goodness knows Chelsea have missed him this season. I won’t pretend to know all of Coventry’s players but Clinton Morrison can be a decent striker on his day and apparently the midfielder Gunnarsson is well thought of and has good delivery from the wings. Freddie Eastwood isn’t bad either. This is the first time Coventry have sold out their new stadium since moving in three years ago.


1 min: Coventry kick off.

2 mins: Drogba holds up the ball on the edge of the box, turns Turner (hehe) and fires a left shot just past the far post. Coventry will be hoping that doesn’t happen too often. This is the kind of game in which Drogba could terrorise defenders. That was a good chance.

4 mins: Ashley Cole boozed up booed, brilliant. 

6 mins: Eastwood fires just wide but the whistle went as Doyle hustles Lampard unfairly.

7 mins: Ballack shoots over. All his goals this season have come in the cup.

8 mins: Bosingwa runs towards the box and then aimlessly shoots from a ridiculous angle. Unsurprisingly it goes well wide.

9 mins: Cole booed some more. I wonder if he still has a hangover.

10 mins: Malouda has styled his hair like Jon Obi Mikel. It looks interesting…

A hungover dog which is in now way representative of Cole.

A hungover dog which is in no way representative of Cole.

13 mins: You can always tell when there isn’t much going on in the game when the camera starts cutting to the crowd. We focus on Abramovich who has his usual smug but glum look. He’s wearing a nice looking jacket for once. When you consider how much money he has and that his girlfriend Dasha Zukhova is a model/designer/editor/curator and whatever else she feels like doing, his dress sense when not in a suit is appalling.

15 mins: GOAL! Coventry 0-1 Chelsea! Drogba scores out of nothing. The ball is played back to Dann in defence but he dilly dallies on the ball and Drogba dispossesses him and runs towards goal. He’s slightly wide as he takes it past the keepr but finds the net with no trouble. Poor by Coventry but a great finish.

17 mins: Coventry have responded pretty well to going a goal down. They cross a couple of balls in but they are easily dealt with.

20 mins: Coventry playing a dangerous game as Drogba is caught just offside from a through ball by Ballack. Dann and Turner not having the best of games at the back.

24 mins: Leon Best who is wearing a comedy face mask runs at the Chelsea defence. He cuts into the box but then skies his shot. I have the Coventry website open and they are also doing minute by minute updates. They reckon it was just over. It wasn’t.

27 mins: Chelsea in control, just passing it around. I’m sure they don’t want to expend too much energy before Tuesday.

29 mins: Alex bundles into Leon Best and Coventry win a free kick near the Chelsea box. Henderson plays it in but it part cross, part curling shot. It drifts just wide having failed to curl enough.

32 mins: Stuff is kind of happening but kind of not. I’m finding this game a little boring.

33 mins: Kalou runs down the right and lays it to Mikel who scuffs his shot having got the ball stuck between his legs. It then gets knocked about a bit more before Malouda wastes it.

35 mins: Cole fouled about 35 yards out. Chelsea free kick taken by Lampard and it’s a good effort. He takes it Ronaldo style by striking through it so it goes up and under rather than curling. Westwood tips it over. I wonder if him and Eastwood have turf wars on the Coventry training ground. 

Gang wars, sort of.

Gang wars, sort of.

4o mins: I can already sense that the most interesting aspect of this game will end up being Michael Essien’s second half substitute appearance.

41 mins: Kalou looks for a free kick as he tackled outside the box but nothing is given. Replays suggest he was unlucky, the defender scything him down somewhat.

44 mins: Coventry survive a sustained bit of Chelsea pressure, with several players running at them from various positions. No one can really produce the bit of skill for the breakthrough and eventually the Sky Blues clear their lines.

Half time: The half comes to a close with Chelsea in control. They have their goal and are dominating possession by just passing it around at ease. Every so often someone decides to run at Coventry and it’s only a final ball away from being 2 or 3-0.

I had been hoping Graeme Le Saux would just be providing analysis with Pearce but I’ve had to listen to his co-commentary all game. Maybe that’s why I’m finding it so boring. I haven’t heard him since he announced he was quitting the BBC before the last World Cup. I wish he had stayed retired per se.

Meanwhile, despite Chelsea’s dominance they are only one up so Coventry still have a chance.


46 mins: Chelsea kick off the second half. They have taken off one infuriating winger who can’t cross in Kalou and brought on another infuriating winger who can cross but has the consistency of really horrible hot chocolate that has been made with water instead of milk, in Ricardo Quaresma.

It's fair to say he's inconsistent...

It's fair to say he's inconsistent...

50 mins: Time ticks by some more, Chelsea still in control.

54 mins: Coventry win another free kick in a good position but yet again the delivery is woeful. It sails harmlessly over. It’s clear that set pieces are Coventry’s best hope of getting back into this but at the moment they have been unable to produce a single telling ball. I think Henderson should stop taking their free kicks. Maybe on Football Manager Chris Coleman saw he had a low set piece rating but persisted because Henderson somehow had lots of assists anyway. I would suggest he finds a player with 15+.

59 mins: Wright bundles into Malouda who is still on the pitch for some reason. When I say bundle I mean leaps three feet in the air and charges into his back. Escapes a yellow impressively. Beuzelin comes on for Doyle.

61 mins: Coventry Henderson wastes another free kick. 

64 mins: Essien about to come on for Chelsea. I think had he been fit, Scolari would probably still be in a job. 

65 mins: Mikel off, Essien on.

66 mins: Terry goes on a run into the Coventry half but then remembers he lacks skill and pace and doesn’t know what to do. He tries to knock it past someone, loses it and then attempts to take out the offending opponent.

67 mins: Coventry’s long throws are causing more problems then their set pieces right know. Gunnarsson chucks it in, Cech flaps and misses but Coventry can’t get a decent shot away. They then win a second throw on the opposite side of the pitch and again the ball almost breaks to Morrison and Best but neither could quite turn and shoot. Chelsea need a second goal to kill this off.

71 mins: A clash of heads between Alex and Drogba. The earth moved, both come off temporarily. Chelsea have to defend a throw with nine men.

72 mins: GOAL! Coventry 0-2 Chelsea! And defend it they do. A super lightning break. Quaresma runs down the right, crosses into the box and Alex all people has run 50 yards to finish with aplomb with his left foot. Both him and Drogba had just come back on, and both were part of the four on one break. Great cross, great finish, great goal. That would be that I would think.

77 mins: Slightly bizarre moment. Chelsea player fouled and the free kick gets taken quickly. Lampard has it and while Coventry wait for the whistle he runs to goal and sets aim from 25 yards. He scuffs it badly and a low shot goes wide. It would have stood though.

79 mins: Fat Frank is through on goal again but can’t lift over the oncoming keeper.

80 mins: Drogba comes off and is replaced by youngster Franco Di Santo.

82 mins: Coventry’s best chance. Morrison is through on goal and Alex lunges in on him. Morrison stays on his feet instead of going down and thus can’t get his shot away. Cech smothers, Morrison complains. It’s hard to say as didn’t go down but that would have been a penalty had Morrison made more of it.

85 mins: Here’s a shock for you. St Mirren have knocked Celtic out of the Scottish Cup. That’s St Mirren who hadn’t beaten Celtic in 19 years and lost 7-0 to them just last week. Ex Coventry manager Gordon Strachan will not be a happy bunny.

This man got Coventry relegated.

This man got Coventry relegated.

88 mins: There has been some bits of excitement in the last few minutes but none that I feel were particularly worthy of writing about.

90 mins: Drogba given man of the match. About right I’d say, he gave the Coventry defence all sorts of problems in his 80 minutes on the field.

Full time: Coventry 0-2 Chelsea. A comfortable win for Chelsea in the end. Coventry had their spells of pressure but couldn’t turn it into real chances for Morrison and Best. Class prevailed with Drogba scoring a great early goal and the decider coming on the break after Chelsea had introduced Quaresma to stretch the Coventry defence.



Shakhtar Donetsk vs Tottenham Live Minute by Minute!


Live UEFA Cup action as Ukraine’s finest take on London’s finest, north London’s finest, N17’s finest (just about).


Spurs play a weakened side as they try to get knocked out so they can concentrate on surviving in the Premier League. Harry’s been moaning (as usual) about having six matches in seventeen days. The price of success hey? We are only at the last 32 stage here. The winners get to play Aston Villa or CSKA Moscow.


Shakhtar: Pyatov, Srna, Chigrinsky, Ischenko, Rat, Jadson, Fernandinho, Lewandowski, Willian, Ilsinho, Gladkyy.
Subs: Khudzamov, Fedetskiy, Shevchuk, Duljaj, Seleznyov, Luiz Adriano, Chyzhov.

Spurs: Gomes, Gunter, Huddlestone, Dawson, Chimbonda, Jenas, Zokora, Parrett, Bentley, Giovani, Campbell.
Subs: Jansson, Gilberto, Smith, Bostock, Mason, Obika, Bent.


Bent is on the bench and Dean Parrett makes his full debut. Keane was signed too late to play. Croatia star Dario Srna plays for Shakhtar.

Kevin Ratcliffe (who has never played for Spurs) and Tony Jones provide the commentary for Channel 5. Their budget must be pretty low. Either that or no one good could be bothered to travel to the Ukraine. Everything about this match screams low budget and can’t be arsed. The analysis (we have Colin Murray anchoring), the kick off time, the teams, this minute by minute… 

Spurs have a pre match huddle – “Come on boys let’s just stay like this so we keep warm.”

Spurs huddle, (San Antonio) Spurs huddle, Spurs' Huddle(stone)

Spurs huddle, (San Antonio) Spurs huddle, Spurs' Huddle(stone)


1 min: Spurs kick off.

2 mins: Lots of strange lines on the pitch, some kind of protection from the -7 degree temperature.

5 mins: The ball flicks off Parrett in the box. A snap shot from Jadson goes wide.

7 mins: Nothing really happening so far. Shakhtar have quite a cool orange shirt.

Day glow

Day glow

8 mins: Jenas stick out his leg on Fernandinho and gives away a free kick.

9 mins: Srna hits it straight in the wall.

10 mins: A deep crossfield ball finds Rat-a-tat-tat, whose first time volley flashes wide.

12 mins: Bentley. Cross. Overhit. I may need a keyboard shortcut for that sentence I think.

15 mins: Chimbonda fouls Fernandinhho. The free kick comes in and causes some confusion. Suspicions of a Parrett handball.

18 mins: Spurs have a decent spell of possession.

19 mins: This leads to Bentley finding some space. Cross. Dealt with easily. I don’t really understand why he’s regressed so much this season. Perhaps he should spend less time kicking footballs off rooftops and more time practising his crossing.

21 mins: Shakhtar completely in control here.

26 mins: Gladkyy wastes a great chance. A deep cross comes in and he chests it down whilst going past Chimbonda at the same time. He then fluffs his lines completely slicing away from goal when standing on the edge of the six yard box.

27 mins: Another great chance. A low cross from the right byline flashes across the face of the goal but no Donetsk player can get their foot to it to poke it in.

31 mins: I’ve just noticed Chimbonda is wearing 97 on his shirt! I know squads are big these days but seriously.

Yep, that's 97.

Yep, that's 97.

32 mins: Giovanni has Tottenham’s first attempt of the game. A close one too! He’s on the left hand side of the box almost by the byline and decides to shoot at goal despite having no angle. His curling effort clips the outside of the post. The keeper was struggling.

34 mins: Ilsinho carries the ball forward, waits an age and shoots at Dawson.

40 mins: Bentley lines up a free kick. Straight at the keeper. Rat gets booked for encroaching so Ratface Bentley gets another shot at passing it straight to Pyatov.

41 mins: Bentley takes it again. He surpasses himself and hit it straight at the wall. So predictable.

43 mins: Rat hits a decent shot but Gomes saves comfortably.

44 mins: Ping pong football in the Spurs box but it’s eventually cleared.

Half time: The ref blows his whistle right on 45 mins. He must want his half time cuppa. Or maybe something stronger. I may go the same way as the ref, it’s been that sort of scrappy game.

Shakhtar have dominated really bar one Giovanni shot for Spurs. Bentley has been justifying his reputation as second choice Tottenham right winger. Stanley Victor Collymore is providing some good analysis (as is Pat Nevin), it’s just a shame Colin Murray is making stupid points. 


46 mins: Shakhtar kick off the second half.

48 mins: A great chance for Shakhtar. William has time in the box. He controls and shoots across goal with his let foot but Ilsinho can’t quite get to it and it goes wide.

51 mins: Pyatov races out of his goal to clear a ball, makes a mess of it, but the onrushing Jenas can’t guide it into the empty net. Three defenders crowd him out and clear. 

55 mins: Spurs showing a bit more attacking ambition at the start of the second half. Darren Bent is warming up. I imagine he’ll come on for Frazier Campbell who’s been a little anonymous thus far.

58 mins: Nothing to report at the mo. I just sipped some tea if you’re interested.

60 mins: Dawson gives away a soft free kick about 30 yards out. Fernandinho belts it at some pace but it deflects over.

61 mins: The resulting corner comes to nothing.

65 mins: Spurs are pretty solid at the mo, and are doing a good job of frustrating the home side. The crows are starting to whistle loudly.

68 mins: Some changes are afoot. No not an sudden spell of good football but some substitutions. Ilsinho off, Luiz Adriano on for Shakhtar. Ilsinho goes straight down the tunnel. I imagine this is more because he’s cold and wants a shower rather than being annoyed at coming off. Bent coming on for Giovanni.

72 mins: A half chance for Spurs. Sort of. The ball falls to Parrett in the box and he tries to lift it back central over the oncoming keeper. He doesn’t though.

73 mins: Gomes annoys ‘Arry with some sloppy, rushed distribution. Spurs annoy me with some sloppy, boring football.

77 mins: A Spurs break see them three on two and bearing down on the Shakhtar goal. Parrett plays in Bent but the ball is just knicked from his feet by Ischenko.

78 mins: GOAL! Shakhtar 1-0 Tottenham! Donetsk make a change with Gladkiy off, Seleznov on. Jadson swings in a teasing free kick and with his first touch Seleznov heads it in. Brilliant substitution! Gomes came and missed and nearly knocked himself out in the process while the centre-backs were nowhere to be seen. Comedy from the Spurs keeper


Yet another blunder...

81 mins: Gomes is treated for a few minutes but eventually is alright to continue.

84 mins: Shakhtar press for a second. Spurs resorting to long balls. 

88 mins: GOAL! Shakhtar 2-0 Tottenham! Jadson scores a lovey second goal but once again terrible defending by Spurs. He has the ball on the right hand side of the pitch starts to dribble infield, dribbles a bit more, plays a nice one two with William, dribbles some more until he is past the penalty spot, then shoots across Gomes, wrongfooting everyone and scoring. No challenge forthcoming, so he ran and ran and picked his spot. Harry not pleased with that. I am though…

89 mins: Bostock on for Parrett.

Full time: Shakhtar 2-0 Tottenham! A little bit of effort on Spurs’ part to try and snatch an away goal but Shakhtar close it out. They fully deserved this victory, Tottenham were woeful and created nothing at all. Donetsk on the other hand kept testing the Spurs defence with teasing crosses and eventually found a way through. Jadson then showed what happens when your ‘defensive’ midfielder is Jermaine Jenas as he waltzed past about six Tottenham players who decided it wasn’t worth trying to tackle him and slotted a lovely shot into the corner. I’m glad this finished early, I’m off to watch Masterchef.



Derby vs Man Utd Live Minute by Minute!


So, after their two games in the Carling Cup semi final, Derby and Man Utd meet each other again in the FA Cup fifth round. Derby beat Utd 1-0 in the first leg at Pride Park and battled bravely before succumbing 4-2 in the return match. Will they be able to cause an upset again?

Lots of focus on Clough Jnr vs Fergie. Let’s just hope ITV let us see the goals this time…



Derby: Bywater, Connolly, Addison, Albrechtsen, Stewart, Barazite, Green, Savage, Teale, Commons, Hulse.

Subs: Carroll, Sterjovski, Nyatanga, Davies, Todd, Pearson, Porter.

Man Utd: Foster, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Park, Fletcher, Gibson, Nani, Giggs, Ronaldo.

Subs: Kuszczak, Vidic, Scholes, Welbeck, O’Shea, Tevez, Possebon.


A slightly weakened side from Ferguson but Ferdinand plays to marshall the defence and Evra finally makes his comeback after injury. Giggs and Ronaldo up front which is interesting. No doubt Carlos Tevez will be a bit annoyed. Robbie Savage and his Armani tattoo play and look out for Nacer Barazite who’s on loan from Arsenal. 



Edward Sheringham Esq. joins Steve Rider and Andy Townsend in the studio. He played for Clough Snr, with Clough Jnr, and for Fergie OAP so is well placed to offer an insight. Probably.


1 min: Man Utd kick off. Peter Drury and Jim Beglin commentate. Darron (why does he spell it like that?) Gibson has an early shot from 30 yards. Not too far over.

3 mins: Nani gets a bloody nose from a man sandwich of Evra and a Derby player. He’ll be alright though.

5 mins: Ronaldo reckons he’s fouled by Savage by nothing given. He gets annoyed when Savage tries to help him up. Savage will definitely play pantomime villain here. Ronaldo will probably be his sidekick though.

7 mins: Good atmosphere at Pride Park today.

10 mins: Barazite makes a run down the right wing. He goes past Fletcher but with no one to support him is eventually dispossesed.

11 mins: Derby win a corner. Commons swings it in high but Ben Foster claims it.

12 mins: Ronaldo tries to make space for himself but is tackled strongly by Savage. 

14 mins: A lovely bit of quick passing sees the ball break to Fletcher who hits a strong drive which is well saved by Bywater. A United free kick on the left wing is then driven hard at the wall by Ronaldo. He may well have been aiming for Robbie Savage’s head.

15 mins: Bywater makes a great reaction save from Ji Sung Park who had made a late run at the back post. United on top at the mo.

19 mins: United free kick 35 yards out. Ronaldo spits, wipes his nose then hits a drive straight at Robbie Savage’s cojones. That must have hurt. I reckon C-Ron is aiming at him.

21 mins: A decent turn and hit from Hulse.

25 mins: Derby have a shout for a penalty. Hulse goes down under a challenge from Rio Ferdinand but it was dive pure and simple. Rio’s not impressed with that. He shouldn’t be sticking his leg out like that though.

27 mins: Ronaldo tries some stepovers but Savage isn’t buying it. His pass then goes astray.

29 mins: GOAL! Derby 0-1 Man Utd. Nani scores a lovely goal. One we got to see live too. Ronaldo nearly connects with a Park cross but the ball is cleared. It is worked to Nani on the left hand side of the pitch. He takes it inside, runs past a couple of player and hits a curling drive from the edge of the box into the corner of net. About six somersaults follow.

35 mins: Derby still looking to play their game. A Commons free kick is easily saved by Foster but nothing has really happened since the goal.

37 mins: GOAL! Derby 0-2 Man Utd. Giggs plays through Ronaldo who is clear of everyone and slots it past Bywater. United celebrate but the goal is then disallowed for offside. It’s all a bit ludicrous. The offside decision was marginal but why wait so long to rule it out. Ronaldo and Fergie are not happy to say that least. It was genuinely about 15 seconds after he slotted it in. 

41 mins: We’re told it took so long as the linesman wasn’t sure if Giggs had flicked it on, so had to check with the ref. Something like that anyway. It was pretty obvious Giggs had flicked it, it was a pretty good bit of skill.

44 mins: GOAL! Derby 0-2 Man Utd. Another United free kick 35 yards out, Ronaldo takes aims at Savage once more. He hits the the wall, somewhere near Savage’s head. The ball breaks to Gibson who shoots past Bywater. This one counts.

There's only room for one poser in this town...

There's only room for one poser in this town...

Half time: United good value for their lead. Derby have come from two down against both Forest Green and Nottingham Forest in this season’s FA Cup but they surely can’t do it a third time. Can they?

Tea time.

46 mins: Derby kick off the second half.

48 mins: GOAL! Derby 0-3 Man Utd. Park pressures Derby into conceding a corner. Giggs swings it in and Ronaldo places a header from 10 yards into the top corner. Simple stuff. He barely had to jump.

50 mins: United almost score again but for a fine double save from Bywater. This could get ugly.

53 mins: Evans needlessly fouls Hulse outside the box. Derby pass it about before it’s eventually crossed in. Foster punches away just before Hulse gets his head to it.

55 mins: Double change for United. Park and Evra off, O’Shea and Welbeck on.

56 mins: GOAL! Derby 1-3 Man Utd.  Commons crosses it in from the left and Addison powers a header in from 12 yards. A good goal but Derby had all the time in the world to cross it in. O’Shea was sleeping a bit there and no one tracked Addison’s run.

59 mins: Derby try to work the ball into a good position. Gary Teale tries to blast in a 35 yarder with the outside of his right boot. It goes horribly wide and over.

63 mins: Barazite off for Derby, Sterjovski on.

67 mins: This is end to end now as Derby push for another to make it interesting while Utd hope to catch them on the break and end it. Teale makes a decent run down the left and threads it to Hulse in the box. His touch is poor and he lays it off to a United player.

69 mins: Porter on for Hulse. Giggs and Ronaldo combine but the Portugeezer slashes a left foot shot over.

71 mins: Nani goes past Connolly, knocks the ball too far then falls over. He’s shocked he doesn’t get a free kick. What a fool. He’s hard to like is Nani. 

72 mins: Possebon replaces Ronaldo. Savage has no one to tackle now. On second thoughts there is Nani. He’s probably more thankful no one will aim at him from free kicks anymore.

77 mins: Teale hits a very good shot low and hard from outside the box. Foster makes a great diving save to give away a corner. From the resulting set piece, Commons finds Addison who heads just wide. Derby still looking for another.

81 mins: GOAL! Derby 1-4 Man Utd. Welbeck wraps it up. Some lovely one touch football from United who work it to Welbeck who’s lurking on the left hand side of the area. He opens up his body and curls a great first shot time past Bywater into the far corner. Lovely finish, reminiscent of Thierry Henry in the way he just bent it round the keeper.

82 mins: Savage off to a warm round of applause. Steven Pearson on.

87 mins: This one has settled down. Nothing really happening as both side wind down the clock.

89 mins: Darren Darron Gibson gets man of the match. He’s been neat and tidy and got his goal. Giggs would be the other contender I guess but no complaints here.

Full time: Derby 1-4 Man Utd. A comfortable win for Fergie’s side. His youngsters impressed whilst there was enough experience with Giggs, Ronaldo, Rio etc to make sure there would be no repeat of the Carling Cup first leg. Derby battled bravely and got the goal they deserved. United scored some nice goals, the pick of which I’d say was Welbeck’s.


The draw for the quarter finals follows straight after and comes out like this:

Blackburn or Coventry v Chelsea

Swansea or Fulham v Man Utd

Cardiff or Arsenal or Burnley v Sheffield Utd or Hull

Everton v West Ham or Middlesbrough



Everton vs Liverpool Minute by Minute!


Join us for live minute by minute action of the FA Cup fourth round replay between Everton and Liverpool.*

Kick off is at 8.10pm.

*Or five minute by five minute coverage if it’s well boring, which lets face it, it may well be.



The two teams have drawn 1-1 once and then twice in recent weeks and meet again tonight, but this time at Goodison Park. Having sold Keane, Liverpool are down to one good striker in Torres (or remain at one, depending on your point of view). Having sent Anichibe home for dropping the F-bomb on Moyes, Everton are once again down to no strikers.


Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Fellaini, Neville, Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill. 

Subs: Nash, Yobo, Van der Meyde, Castillo, Jacobsen, Rodwell, Gosling.

Liverpool: Reina, Dossena, Carragher, Skrtel, Arbeloa, Kuyt, Alonso, Gerrard, Leiva Lucas, Riera, Torres. 

Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Agger, Benayoun, Babel, Mascherano, El Zhar.


Andy Townsend is the sole ITV guest. We’ll just skip to the end with what he has to say. Lots of talk about a fifth round replay in 1991 which produced a 4-4 draw and caused Kenny Dalglish to resign. “There may be another classic here tonight.” I guarantee this match will not finish 4-4. I can’t even find odds for that score but if you like to lose your money you can probably get about 100/1.

This is Dalglish stressed. And happy. And angry.

This is Dalglish stressed. And happy. And angry.


1 min: Liverpool kick off. Tyldesley and Beglin commentate.

3 mins: Pienear works his way down the left but gets crowded out by several Liverpool players and it’s eventually cleared.

4 mins: Bit of  a late challenge on Dossena by Osman. Alan Wiley has a word but nothing more. Gerrard’s crossed free kick comes to nothing.

5 mins: Liverpool are wearing black armbands in honour of their announcer who died on Monday.

6 mins: Torres win a corner off Lescott who follows through on him and leaves him limping slightly. It would be quite funny if El Nino got injured. Not for him obviously but for Rafa and everyone else.

7 mins: The corner initially comes to nothing but then Alonso gets the ball outside the box and pings a low 30 yarder just wide.

8 mins: Villa already two up on Doncaster and Sunderland lead Blackburn. Riera volleys off target.

10 mins: Would Angela Someoneorother or Jordy Whatshisname contact their nearest steward. That was a very loud announcement.

12 mins: Hansen and Dalglish sit in the crowd. As is always the case with teams who play each other lots in quick succession, the teams know each other inside out meaning it’s quite a measured game so far. Liverpool probably have more possession.

15 mins: Benayoun is warming up… It appears to be Gerrard struggling though not Torres. Liverpool fans should be concerned.

16 mins: A massive roar goes around Goodison. Gerrard off, Benayoun on. Fergie delighted.

Happy Fergie

Happy Fergie

18 mins: Fellaini fouls Alonso but despite a long lecture escapes a booking.

19 mins: Cahill challenges Carragher. Suspicion of an elbow as they rose. Cahill looked and lent in. He knew what he was doing and gets booked for his troubles. It’s just beginning to get feisty.

21 mins: Carragher now has every touch booed. To be fair it was his teammates making a big deal of it not him. Riera late on someone, no booking.

22 mins: Torres late in on Lescott, again just a free kick. 

24 mins: Arteta spreads the play and Hibbert’s cross is punched away by Reina. Kuyt gives away a free kick.

25 mins: Arteta’s free kick cleared by Lucas. Osman then has a half chance on the volley but it goes over. Gerrard has a hamstring problem apparently.

27 mins: Dossena and Hibbert are involved in a slow motion sprint to the ball. Hibbert is the wrong side of him and Dossena just kind of falls over and wins a free kick.

28 mins: Alonso’s delivery is woeful.

29 mins: All sorts of action in the Liverpool area. Bit of a scramble and then Cahill goes down while trying to shoot. Arteta dinks it to Baines (I think) who then wins a free kick outside the box on the left by stepping past Arbeloa who just sticks his leg out. Arteta drives the free kick straight at the first defender. 

31 mins: Couple of Riera shots go straight at someone.

32 mins: It’s calmed down for about 30 seconds. I smell red cards in this game though.

34 mins: Carragher blocks an Arteta shot. 

35 mins: Arteta tackles Dossena as he gallops down the left wing. The Italian moans about it in that classically Italian way, all arms and gestures.

36 mins: Torres involved in another little niggle, this time with Phil Neville. 

37 mins: Pienaar mistimes a challenge on Lucas. No foul but Everton give it back to Liverpool when play resumes.

40 mins: Dossena crosses well once, the ball gets worked back to him and second time round it goes straight in the crowd. Italy’s first choice left back apparently. How I’ll never know.

42 mins: Fellaini gives Skrtel a little dig in the back of the leg as the ball goes out. Wiley again lets it go.

43 mins: Pienaar catches Lucas again. He’s late and stamps on top of his foot and is finally booked. He has the temerity to moan about it too.

45 mins: Pienaar goes down with a hamstring problem. He might not make it out for the second half. Tyldesley makes a good point about why players get them in such games. He seems to be walking it off though.

47 mins: Liverpool win a corner right at the end of the half… Comes to nothing.

Half time: Well that was erm, interesting. A dull half to watch in terms of chances (precisely none) saved only by a few flashpoints and fouls, only a couple of which have been punished. Andy Townsend sympathises with the game of course. I’m sorry but it was pretty bad to watch. Bruce Grobbelaar reckons it will go all the way to penalties. I reckon if Bruce Grobbelaar was playing, I’m sure he could ensure it didn’t. Anyway, let’s try and make it through the second half…

He can sort you out...

He can sort you out...

46 mins: Everton kick off the second half. Please can we have a goal. I really don’t want extra-time.

47 mins: Torres has been in a mood all game. Everything is annoying him. Meanwhile people are throwing socks on to pitch. No me neither.

48 mins: The Neviller is late on Alonso and is booked. There’s something about Alonso in this game and on Sunday against Chelsea. He’s been acting very petulant and making meals of every challenge. Good player but I can see why he’s getting tackled like he is. Liverpool fans are told in no uncertain terms to sit down by a female announcer.

49 mins: Lucas booked.

50 mins: Jagielka easily deals with Torres and a ball down the line. Torres is struggling a bit tonight.

52 mins: Gosling on for Fellaini. He’s a central midfielder. This is so boring. I could be watching Grand Designs, something called New Tricks on BBC1 or a programme about Terry Pratchett and Alzheimer’s. Instead I’m trying to make a minute by minute on the niggliest, chance free game I’ve seen in ages interesting.

56 mins: Cahill tries a long range half volley which goes wide. Reina had slipped but it was mile off target.

58 mins: “And it goes to Dossena, who can cross the ball…” Needless to say the next thing that happened was a piss-poor cross behind any attacking players and posing no danger at all.

59 mins: Alonso free kick finds Torres but the ball was out before he could head it back across. Random things still raining down on to the pitch.

60 mins: Lots of socks. I don’t get the reference. 17 year old Jack Rodwell comes on for Pienaar.

That'll be the famous Scouse humour...

That'll be the famous Scouse humour...

62 mins: Woah was that a chance? I think it was. The ball is thread through by Alonso to Riera who is racing Howard to it. He reaches it first but his shot is blocked by the keeper. Torres sort of pulled up during all that.

65 mins: Nothing really happening.

68 mins: Torres tries to make space for a shot but it lacks sting. A follow up is wasted by a heavy touch.

70 mins: Tyldesley and Beglin admit that it’s unlikely the game will end 4-4. I take one goal at this stage, let alone eight.

71 mins: Everton hit the post! The best chance of the game falls to Osman who smacks a half volley against the post. Alonso lost the ball in midfield and then Cahill lays the ball to Osman in the box but he can’t take advantage. Should have scored, but I probably would say that. Arteta then got booked.

73 mins: Aston Villa have once again made it nervy against lower opposition but are through 3-1. Derby meanwhile came from 2-0 down to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 away. Nigel Clough faces Fergie’s United in the next round. That will be your TV match for sure.

76 mins: RED CARD! Lucas Leiva gets booked again and thus sent off. A needless foul on Lescott in the middle of the pitch means he has to go. Right in the centre circle, there was really no need to go in like that.

77 mins: Monster Mascherano prepares to come on. I reckon it could be for Torres.

79 mins: Everton enjoying all the possession now but yet to do something with it.

80 mins: Mascherano comes on but it’s for Albert Riera.

82 mins: Everton win a corner. Ten minutes to avoid extra time. Lescott and Cahill look up to something. Arteta plays it short and then drives in the return ball. It’s dangerous but goes through everyone and is cleared.

83 mins: Rodwell has all the time in the world to size up a shot but skies it.

86 mins: A useful cross Rodwell is played into the Liverpool box but it’s just behind Cahill. Neville and Torres then clash in the centre circle and Torres stays down. Everton want to play on but eventually put it out. Torres gets up. Torres is booed.

89 mins: Alonso fouls Hibbert and is booked. He only brushed behind him but was deliberately stopping a counter attack.

90 mins: Arteta floats the resulting free kick straight to Reina. Four minutes of added time.

91 mins: Kuyt wins a corner. Please score, I don’t think I can handle another 30 minutes of this dross. First corner headedd out. Second corner cleared. Grrr…

94 mins: Everton corner. Last chance of the game. Cahill gets to it but it’s headed away. It then comes in again and Cahill tries to set himself up for a volley. Carragher clears, final whistle blows.

Full time: Everton 0-0 Liverpool. Wonderful. What an amazing game. Let’s enjoy the next 30 minutes. It’ll be like a third of the game being replayed. The only salvation in all this is that we’ll get a penalty shootout. Time to make a quick cup of tea.

I'm so bored with this stuped game.

I'm so bored with this stupid game.


91 mins: Everton kick off the first half of extra time. No changes. Torres tries to go on a run but loses it. He’s not even bothering trying to close people down. Something is definitely being nursed.

92 mins: Baines send a low cross in from the left which thanks to Carragher just evades a sliding Cahill.

93 mins: In case you’re wondering (I know you’re not), Blacburn and Sunderland are also in extra time. They at least have had two goals to cheer.

94 mins: Mascherano fouls Arteta. Free kick. It’s played short and rolled to Osman in the area who turns but can’t get any power on his shot.

95 mins: Liverpool are playing for penalties, no question. A man down and their best player on the pitch is barely walking.

97 mins: Mascherano misses an interception allowing Osman to shoot. Reina palms it to a onrushing Gosling but the shot is well blocked by the Spaniard. Cahill gets his head on the corner and it goes just wide.

98 mins: Everton are having a real go, as well they might being at home with a man advantage. They’re camped in Liverpool’s half.

100 mins: Hibbert is at the byline but his cross is over everyone.

101 mins: Torres trudges off to replaced by Ryan Babel. He looks knackered and may well have a knock. Babel will push Everton back a bit as he can actually close people down.

102 mins: He wins a corner straight away. Kuyt helps it on but it goes straight to Timmy Howard.

105 mins: Liverpool give away a free kick 30 yards  out. Arteta sizes it up. It deflects off the wall for a corner. Reina was not entirely covering it. The corner is cleared.

Halftime: All Everton but they still search for the decisive goal. I would slightly favour Liverpool if it went to penalties I think.

106 mins: Quick change of ends. Liverpool kick off.

107 mins: Andy van der Meyde comes on for about the first time in 18 months (literally). He replaces Phil Neville. He looks, how shall we put this, a bit Frank Lampard around the waist area. 

108 mins: What is about linesmen that they always look so dishevelled and as if they just found some bloke down the pub?

109 mins: Liverpool have only ever lost one of the eleven penalty shoot outs they have contested in their history.

110 mins: Babel wins a free kick. He’s look lively since coming on. Alonso overhits it, again.

111 mins: Can we just fast forward the ten minutes please. Blackburn scored a winner four minutes from time through Benni McCarthy. They’re through to play someone or other.

113 mins: Hibbert booked for fouling Alonso who during this game I’ve grown an irrational dislike for.

114 mins: A deep Alonso free kick actually reaches a teammate for once. Benayoun wins a corner. It’s swung in again by Chavvy Alonso but it’s cleared for another corner but from the other side. Alonso takes again, foul given to Everton, I just lost 90 seconds of my life.

117 mins: Jagielka gets the Man of the Match. I don’t care enough to disagree. 

118 mins: We lose ITV pictures. Brilliant. It goes to ad breaks. What’s going on?!

119 mins: GOAL! Everton 1-0 Liverpool! That’s just bizarre. We return to ITV pictures showing Everton players jumping on each other. We missed a bloody goal! Typical! The replay showed van der Meyde play it in to Gosling in the box. He’s surrounded by about three defenders but showed quick feet to make enough space to get a shot away. He curls it past the outstretched Reina. A slight deflection off Skrtel perhaps but a nice goal all the same.

120 mins: I still can’t get over how we had to sit through two hours of turd and then ITV screw up and we miss the goal. This why people say they shouldn’t show football. 

Full time: Everton 1-0 Liverpool. Steve Rider apologises to those who missed it – erm, that’ll be everyone then. No one really deserved to win, it was a dire match. Everton made their man advantage pay in the end though and are through to play Aston Villa at home. ITV are absolute amateurish mugs, someone will be getting the sack in the morning. It’s like me trying to make a point about –SORRY AD BREAK, BE RIGHT BACK– and yeah so that’s why I think Liverpool didn’t win. Stuff the full time analysis. Thanks for reading.

A genuine photo of my ITV picture five minutes after the programme ended.

A genuine photo of my ITV picture five minutes after the programme ended.



Southend vs Chelsea minute by minute!


Live minute by minute coverage of the FA Cup 3rd round replay between Southend and Chelsea.


The game had been called off due to fog but it has cleared and the match now goes ahead.

Drogba and Deco are dropped from the squad completely. 

A night in for him

A night in for him



Southend: Mildenhall, Sankofa, Clarke, Barrett, Herd, Grant, Christophe, Moussa, Stanislas, Barnard, Revell

Subs: Francis, Walker, Freedman, Betsy, Joyce, O’Keefe.


Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, A Cole, J Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Ballack, Kalou, Anelka.

Subs: Cudicini, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Di Santo, Belletti, Mancienne, Stoch.


ITV go with the angle of Chelsea crisis. Lots of that echo-ey commentary over the top of images of newspaper headlines. It was a bad defeat but they’re hardly out of the title race. We only get Andy Townsend in the studio, obviously they couldn’t persuade any ex-Chelsea players to make the trek to deepest Essex…

Anthony Grant is an ex Chelsea youngster which could be a mildly interesting angle if he does anything.

1 min: Southend kick off and win a free kick within about seven seconds. It’s only in the centre circle though and the long pump forward comes to nothing.

2 mins: Chelsea settle into possession. Their yellow away kit is almost as bright as the grass at Roots Hall.

3 mins: Kalou runs through everyone down the left but his pass in the area evades everyone. Ballack gets on to it late but his side foot shot is off balance and lacks any real power.

4 mins: The Southend crowd is well up for this. They ask Michael Ballack “Who are ya?” It is a shame he can’t reply. If he could perhaps he talk about how twice in his career he has finished a season being runner up in four competitions.

5 mins: The first instance of the celery chant by the Chelsea fans.

If she don't...

If she don't...

6 mins: Joe Cole fires in a shot from the angle but the keeper saves with his leg.

9 mins: Chelsea well on top, the Southend players aren’t really closing them down that much. When they do get the ball it is given away after a few passes.

11 mins: Fat Frank slices a shot well wide. Meanwhile Man Utd are already 1-0 up at Wigan, Rooney having scored in the first minute.

13 mins: Chelsea win a corner. Alex gets his head to it but there are defenders to block. Southend kind of break but then lose the ball.

15 mins: Alex and his club foot tries a back pass and whacks it so hard he gives away a corner as Cech can’t reach it. Cech punches the first corner away for another one. 

16 mins: GOAL! Southend 1-0 Chelsea. I was bout to say Chelsea had men on the post but they didn’t really. The second corner came in and the Southend captain Barrett has a free header, which he plants in the corner where a man should be. Chelsea were marking the zone not the man.

18 mins: Chelsea are stunned by that but immediately set about trying to equalise. A Ballack header from a corner is blocked and there are half hearted appeals for handball in the resulting melee but nothing given.

19 mins: Mikel shoots wide. 

22 mins: Bosingwa crosses to Anelka who heads wide. It was decent chance to be fair. Chelsea have had 79% possession. This reminds me of those Football Manager games where you dominate and have about thirty shots but the opposition score with their only attack. 

25 mins: Chelsea almost equalise. About three shots are pinged in in quick succession – Lampard’s initial effort is a pure reaction save from the keeper who didn’t know much about it. Cole tries the second but it’s blocked and the third shot is high and wide and Southend are let off. Chelsea are 1/6 to score next. Understandably so.  

28 mins: Southend are defending so deep and inviting pressure. In an odd way this is perhaps the best policy as they completely nullify Anelka.

29 mins: Just as I say that he runs form deep and takes a shot. Straight at Mildenhall though.

30 mins: Lampard played through and tackled in the box just as he’s about to shoot. Fair tackle and no penalty.

32 mins: Lampard dinks a nice ball into the box and Anelka shoots. They win a corner but it comes to nothing.

34 mins: Ballack chests and dips a volley at goal. It goes over. 

35 mins: Southend have never beaten a Premier League team in the FA Cup. They did beat Man Utd in the Carling Cup a couple of years back though.

37 mins: Big Phil looks in disgust as Mikel needlessly fouls from behind. If looks could kill…

Angry Big Phil

Angry Big Phil

38 mins: Southend again waste possession, Stanislas giving it away. They gain it back though and this time Grant sends in a great cross from the right. Revell gets his head to it but Cech makes a good low save. Stanislas shoots over from the follow up.

39 mins: Mikel booked for a foul in the break above. 

40 mins: Confusion in the Southend box as Lampard nearly gets his shot away. Keeper was there.

42 mins: Lampard flicks on a Chelsea corner but it goes wide instead of to a teammate.

44 mins: Club foot hoofs another back pass to Cech but luckily it reaches him this time.

45 mins: GOAL! Southend 1-1 Chelsea. Bosingwa send in a cross and Mildenhall comes and punches. It’s a rubbish punch which falls straight to Ballack on the edge of the box and he finishes superbly with the outside of his boot on the half volley. Poor mistake by the keeper as his centre back could have headed it away but it really was a great finish. Ballack had a lot to do and just guided over the covering defender and into the top corner. 

Half time: Chelsea fight back after that shock goal and deservedly go in level. I sense that if Southend were to have a proper go they could knock Chelsea out here. More likely is that Chelsea get a earful from Big Phil and score two or three in the second. 

Time for tea.

Half time cuppa

Half time cuppa

Andy Townsend says he’d like to see Kaka at Man City. I’d like to see Messi at Arsenal but you can’t always get what you want.


46 mins: Belletti on for Mikel. Chelsea kick off the second half. Ballack has an early shot but it goes over.

47 mins: Stanislas sends a testing cross into the box but Revell can’t get to it.

48 mins: Cashley Cole gives away a free kick on the touchline. Grant sends it in but whoever connected with it headed wide. 

50 mins: Ashley Cole shoots from 25 yard plus, it’s low and hard and forces the keeper into a tricky save.

53 mins: Chelsea win about four consecutive corners and there is all sorts of confusion before Kalou shoots and the ball deflects off an arm and goes wide. It’s ball to hand though and only (another) corner is given.

55 mins: Southend corner. Chelsea clearance.

56 mins: Bosingwa has some space down the right and decides to shoot. Slice. Goal kick.

58 mins: Alex gives away a corner. Close up of his face. I don’t know what’s going on in his prviate life but he looks like he some real personal demons. Christophe gets a head to the corner but it goes wide. Could have done better.

59 mins: Lampard shoots, get his deflection but it’s straight at the keeper.

60 mins: GOAL! Southend 1-2 Chelsea. Lovely goal by Salamon Kalou. Joe Cole gives him a cross field pass, Kalou runs into the box, sidefoots past a defender and places a shot in the far corner beyond the keeper. Good finish.

62 mins: Joe Cole shoots from the angle but it goes high. Frank Lampard is not impressed.

65 mins: Chelsea are hungry for more. They are probing around the Southend box but are yet to find the key pass.

69 mins: Corner to Chelsea. Lampard takes, Terry lurks. Joe Cole tries to flick it and it goes out for another attempt. The second corner is cleared but Southend’s break fizzles out.

71 mins: Joe Cole is caught by Grant and goes down in agony. There was minimal contact judging by the replay but this is Joe Cole we’re talking about.

Is he faking it?

Is he faking it?

72 mins: Oh look he’s fine and running about. Meanwhile Lampard crosses in the free kick and it falls to Anelka who shoots over. Some changes coming up.

73 mins: Dougie Freedman on for Barnard.

74 mins: My bad, Joe Cole pulls up and holds the back of his knee. He’s seems to have twisted or locked something. Yet another game he doesn’t finish. 

76 mins: Di Santo replaces him.

78 mins: GOAL! Southend 1-3 Chelsea. Anelka slots in the third. Lampard runs from deep, lays it wide to Kalou. He waits for Anelka to arrive in the box and without breaking stride the Frenchman puts it in the corner. This one is over.

80 mins: Southend change. Francis on for Grant.

81 mins: A Southend corner fails to beat the first man. Anelka and Kalou break two on one and manage to get called up offside due to inability to pass to each other at the correct time.

85 mins: Chelsea are toying with The Shrimpers. Di Santo can’t quite get to a Bosingwa cross. 

86 mins: Betsy on for Revell.

88 mins: The remaining Cole (Cashley) is Jim Beglin’s man of the match. No one has stood out really but I guess it’s always nice when they don’t just go with Lampard. Kalou has done quite well too.

89 mins: Man Utd have beaten Wigan and climb above Chelsea into second place in the league.

90 mins: Three minutes of Joe Cole stoppage time.

91 mins: GOAL! Southend 1-4 Chelsea. Fat Frank gets his goal. Chelsea wait and wait and eventually Kalou lays it off to Lampard who hits it effortlessly high into the roof of the net from about 15 yards. Simple stuff. The whole team celebrate together. Ahh, look how united they are.

93 mins: Full time. Southend 1-4 Chelsea. Di Santo shoves over a defender as the full time whistle blows. Class told in the end and Chelsea’s fitness and superior skill did for Southend but not without a scare. Big Phil still has a lot to work on, especially as set piece specialists Stoke are the next opponents.



Preston vs Liverpool Minute by Minute!


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.

Feed the Beast and he'll probably lumber around.

Feed the Beast and he'll probably lumber around.

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.

I'll drink to that...

I'll drink to that...

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…

It's not my fault. Well yes, yes it is actually.

It's not my fault. Well yes, yes it is actually.

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.

Not the man of the match.

Not the man of the match.

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.



Chelsea vs CFR Cluj Minute by Minute!


Join us from 19.30 as we find out if Chelsea can qualify for the UEFA Cup!

Buildup: Chelsea need a win to guarantee progress to the Champions League knockout phase. A draw would see them get knocked out if Bordeaux manage an away win at Roma. Please please please let this happen! Chelsea have just one win in five at home and are missing Frank Lampard. 

Here’s hoping for some JT tears this evening:

Please make this happen

Please make this happen


Chelsea: Cech, Cashley, Terry, Alex, Bosingwa, Kalou, Deco, Mikel, Ballack, J Cole, Anelka.

Subs: Cudicini, Ivanovic, Drogba, Bridge, Ferreira, Belletti, Stoch.

CFR Cluj: Claro, Pereira, Alcantara, Cadu, Panin, Muresan, Dani, Culio, Trica, Dubarbier,  Kone.

Subs: Hirschfeld, Peralta, Prette, Deac, De Souza, Emmanuel Kone, Ruiz.


Surprisingly, the match is sold out.  Usually Chelsea have to take out ads in the Evening Standard to shift Champions League group stage tickets. Must be the free scarves they’re giving everyone.

The studio guests are Andy “In my book that wasn’t a foul” Townsend and Dan Petrescu.

Apparently it is unthinkable that Chelsea could get knocked out tonight. I beg to differ. It would be great. Big Cup is the one they really want after all.

Big Phil clarifies that he was joking when he said that he would go back to Brazil if they fail to win. Journalists are stupid.

Peter Drury instead of Tyldesley. Result.


1 min: Cluj kick off.

2 mins: The Cluj keeper is making his Champions League debut. He collects a through ball from Ballack which sees Anelka offside.

3 mins: Mikel lashes a shot high and wide. He was probably trying to do this.

4 mins: Pleat tells us Cech and the ref are wearing the same colour jersey and this could be confusing. For who exactly? When have you ever seen the ref and the keeper be right next to each other in a passage of play?

7 mins: Pereira shoots from about 25 yards. A curling, bouncing pea roller away from Cech who palms it away from danger.

10 mins: A nice passage of play sees the ball break to Trica. He has a bit of space to shoot from outside the box but hits it as it rises. Unsurprisingly it goes over.

11 mins: Some nice play between Kalou and Deco sees the latter cross into the box. Ballack is lurking but the keeper claims it.

12 mins: A Cole is fouled. As in the left back.

13 mins: Alex heads at goal from a free kick but it’s bounces down and over.

14 mins: Some end to end action. The Cluj left winger twists past Bosingwa but the cross is behind the strikers and no one is making a late run into the box. Chelsea break and Kalou sets up Anelka whose shot is charged down.

15 mins: Alex challenges the keeper from another free kick but Claro claims it.

16 mins: A bright start from both teams, it’s a decent game thus far.

17 mins: Cluj win a corner. Taken short, Coolio Culio (great name) eventually crosses after twisting Bosingwa and Cole inside out and finding some space. Headed at goal by Alcantara but cleared off the line by Mikel. That was rather close.

Cluj's left winger, coming to a Premiership team near you.

Cluj's left winger, coming to a Premiership team near you.

20 mins: Terry is clearing things up well at the mo. Lots of headers out and some good calm play on the ground.

21 mins: Cluj are getting a lot of joy from crosses. Another from the left finds a Cluj midfielder outside the box but his attempt at a Van Basten volley goes somewhat wide. Claro then comes for a Chelsea cross but misses it. Comes to nothing though.

23 mins: A break in play as Panin is down. An opportunity to speculate on potential Pleatisms this evening. We have Jon Obi Mikel and Michael Ballack playing which could confuse him as well as Jose Bosingwa who I guarantee will be pronounced Bosswinger at some point.

26 mins: Chelsea’s best effort. Ballack gallops down the left and passes inside. It’s worked to Joe Cole but he shoots wide.

28 mins: As Alanis would say, Big Phil has one hand in his pocket (scratching Little Phil by the looks of things) and the other hand in the air.

29 mins: Kone tries an ambitious shot from an angle. Doesn’t succeed.

30 mins: Big Phil is up and telling everyone to calm down.

31 mins: A cross from the right by Chelsea is cleared for a corner. Ballack (or maybe Anelka) was about to head at goal. The corner comes to nothing.

33 mins: A Kalou shot deflects over. Chelsea corner. Deco takes but it is cleared at the near post.

35 mins: Ballack is starting to run things in midfield. He skips past someone and lays it wide to Cashley. He overdoes the cross and the attack breaks down. 

38 mins: Ballack does a Cruyff turn to break from defence but he catches Panin’s head as he comes into tackle. Panin stays down and is eventually treated but then gets up quick enough.

40 mins: GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Cluj! Trica is booked for a foul on Ballack. It’s a needless foul in the middle of the pitch which Ballack makes a meal of. Deco floats in the resulting free kick. As Terry goes down in the box, Kalou finds himself in acres of space to control and last the ball home. Lots of confusion amongst the Cluj defenders there meaning Kalou had all the time he wanted to put it away.

43 mins: Kalou nearly gets a second. A long ball sees a race between him and the keeper. Clara makes it first and clears.

44 mins: The goal sees Chelsea playing with much more confidence. Bosingwa crosses a low ball inbetween the keeper and defence and it is unconvicingly dealt with. They’re starting to carve Cluj open. It wouldn’t surprise me if they scored 2 or 3 more in the second half.

47 mins: Neat play as Chelsea try and close out the half. Pereira then tries a shot from around 30 yards but it is well off target. He had about five seconds to set himself. A close up shows he has the biggest eyebrows I have ever see.

Plucking hell, what big eyebrows he has.

Plucking hell, what big eyebrows he has.

Half time: Chelsea probably just about deserve their lead but Cluj have given them more than a few scares. The second half will be interesting.

Time for tea.

46 mins: Chelsea kick off the second half.

49 mins: A claim for handball against Panin. It’s ball to hand though so is waved away. Drogba gets some cheers as he warms up. Take note Arsenal fans.

50 mins: If Coolio Culio wants to play in the Premiership he has to work hard all the time. So says David Pleat. I will now intermintently name Premiership players who are lazy yet have a career. No 1. Abou Diaby.

52 mins:  Mikel goes in hard from behind on Dubarbier. Ooh er missus.

53 mins: Chelsea break three on two but Joe Cole is tackled just as reaches the box. No2. Emmanuel Eboue.

54 mins: Chelsea loiter with the ball around the box. Kalou works it out of his feet and passes to Anelka in the 6 yard box. Clara smothers very well.

55 mins: GOAL! Chelsea 1-1 Cluj! Cluj break down the right. Panin crosses into the box and Kone loses Alex and plants a great header past Cech into the roof of the net.

57 mins: Joe Cole has a great opportunity to equalise. He controls a Deco cross in to the box and shoots with his second touch. The keeper is quick to close and he saves. No 3. Dimitar Berbatov. 

58 mins: Big Phil looks distinctly unimpressed on the bench.

59 mins: Muresan blasts one over. Cue a substitution of Emmanuel Kone on for Dubarbier. Two Kones on the pitch means confusion for me, meltdown for Pleat.

Pleat can't handle Kone, Kone, Cole & Cole

Pleat can't handle Kone, Kone, Cole & Cole

63 mins: Bosingwa plants a low cross into the box but it goes straight to the keeper. A few seconds later he tries again but Cole gets it stuck under his feet. Meanwhile Roma take the lead v Bordeaux. Bordeaux now need two to knock Chelsea out as it stands. Hmm.

64 mins: Didier Drogbarrr (© John Motson) comes on for Kalou.

66 mins: Deco whips in a free kick at pace but the Cluj defence deals with it. No 4. Titus Bramble.

67 mins: Drogbarrr strays offside and fires a volley at the keeper. Good effort though. No 5. Mark Viduka.

68 mins: The last five minutes has seen most of the play in the Cluj half. Lots of balls whipped in at pace but nothing overly testing though.

71 mins: GOAL! Chelsea 2-1 Cluj! Wonderful goal by Didier Drogbarrr. Chelsea break from defence. Mikel works it to Cole on the egde of the box who dinks a chip to Drogba. One touch to control, one to poke it past the keeper. Great finish.

72 mins: Peralta on for Trica.

74 mins: Belletti on for Joe Cole. I’m always a bit baffled when they show the distance run stats when a player comes off. They have the individual one and a team average which is always lower. Could this be because the keeper doesn’t do any running so thus brings average right down.

76 mins: Belletti makes his mark by being booked for taking out Pereira.

79 mins: Roma now two up. Chelsea are through.

81 mins: Mikel dives in late on Dani and gets a booking.

82 mins: Belletti thinks about a long shot but decides against. Half a minute later he gets the ball again and drives in a low shot from 25 yards. Clara makes a good save. No 6. Elano.

85 mins: Clara makes a camera save from Ballack’s left foot shot. The second phase sees him rush out to try and claim the ball but Bosingwa beats him to it. He can’t pick out a Chelsea player though.

87 mins: Wayne Bridge comes on for Mikel. Deliberately disproving my theory, Mikel’s distance covered is less the team average. Maybe he was playing in goal?

88 mins: Bridge instantly shows how much better a crosser of the ball he is compared to Cashley. He finds Drogba whose flick doesn’t trouble anyone.

90 mins: Scrappy now as both teams can’t be bothered any more.

92 mins: Coolio Culio wins a corner. He takes it but it misses everybody. It eventually gets played back in and Cluj win a free kick. A late equaliser perhaps?

93 mins: No.

94 mins: Anelka tamely shoots straight at the keeper.

Full time: Chelsea 2-1 Cluj. A relatively comfortable win in the end, thanks in part to Roma being in control against Bordeaux. Cluj played well and caused many problems but Drogba’s class proved the difference. Chelsea will be disappointed not to have qualified for the UEFA Cup but I guess the Champions League second round is decent consolation. Barcelona will knock them out in the next round though.

The key to Chelsea winning the Big Cup

The key to Chelsea winning the Big Cup



Germany v England Minute by Minute!


A minute by minute report of Germany v England!


Tyldesley and Pleat commentating. ITV coverage. Joy.

Apparently (Jon Obi) Mikel Ballack is missing for Germany. I thought his name was Michael Ballack.


Germany: Adler, Friedrich, Mertesacker, Westermann, Compper, Schweinsteiger, Rolfes, Jones, Trochowski, Gomez, Klose.

Subs: Wiese, Hinkel, Tasci, Helmes, Podolski, Marin, Hitzlsperger, Schafer, Weis.

England: James, Johnson, Terry, Upson, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Carrick, Barry, Downing, Defoe, Agbonlahor.

Subs: Carson, Robinson, Lescott, Richards, Mancienne, Davies, Parker, Bullard, Young, Crouch, Bent.

The start is delayed while some ex players shake the current players’ hands.

1 min: We’re underway.

2 mins: First mention of that Owen hat-trick in Munich seven years ago.

3 mins: Decent start by England, Downing gets by his man but skies his cross. Who is this mysterious Mikel Ballack?

6 mins: Nervy moment for Terry as he nearly gifts a backpass to Germany instead of James.

7 mins:  Joachim Loew is wearing a very nice coat. A black mac type number with a trendy high collar. 



8 mins: England win a corner. Germany deal with it.

12 mins: 77% possession for England thus far.

13 mins: England free kick. Downing bizarrely lines up like a fly half to take the kick. Barry plays the secondary ball wide to Agbonlahor who beats the keeper to it but the ref blows up for a foul.

15 mins: We are told Jermaine Jones is of American descent. I have had many years of wishing that Germany would stop nicking Poland’s best players. If Klose and Podolski played for Poland they would actually be a decent team. Instead they have to make people like Emmanuel Olisadebe Polish…

19 mins: We almost had the first mention of Crouch has good feet for a big man. Instead we get he has a good touch. A wright Phillips corner comes to nothing again. Germany clear.

21 mins: England are playing with confidence. Agbonlahor is using his pace well to try and get in behind the German defence.

23 mins: Goal for England! 0-1! The German keeper Adler makes a Heurelho Gomes style mess of a Downing corner and Matthew Upson scrambles it in. They’ve fully deserved it too. That really was poor keeping by Adler though. He tried to punch away but his left hand was blocked meaning he missed it completely. It bounces off Agbonlahor’s head and Upson pokes it in. Fully deserved too.

26 mins: Klose wins a free kick on the left, which is fired in by Trochowski (yet another stolen Polish player). James makes a slightly awkward punch but eventually England clear their lines.

30 mins: Capello is wearing an Umbro puffa jacket. I guess if you’re being paid £5million a year you wear what you’re told.

Well I guess it's warm at least

Well I guess it's warm at least...

33 mins: Bastian (Schweinsteiger) Pigforeman drives in a free kick from midfield. Westermann gets his head to the ball but it goes wide.

34 mins: SWP gets in behind and tried to centre the ball to Agbonlahor. It’s a poor cutback though and the chance comes to nothing.

36 mins: Agbonlahor is just offside from an SWP through ball. He puts it in the net anyway but the whistle had long gone.

38 mins: Johnson wins another corner. Adler looks about 12 but makes the punch this time.

39 mins: Try a Pukka pie? No thanks, I’m good. Germany corner. Comes to nothing but they get another. Headed away by Downing. England have a great chance to break but Gabby’s (I’m not writing Agbonlahor anymore) ball to SWP is very poor.

42 mins: Jimmy Bullard amuses Ashley Young and Carson on the bench. He’s a right character…

43 mins: A few whistles for Gomez as he’s muscled off the ball by Carrick.

44 mins: This half has gone very quickly. Bit of a lull as the players set towards half time.

45mins: Just as I type that, Downing belts a shot in from the left wing. Adler parries it to SWP but the wee man fails to test the keeper.

Half time: A good display from England thus far. The pace of Downing, SWP and Gabby is causing Germany all sorts of problems.

I’m off to make some tea and avoid Teddy Sheringham.

46 mins: Half time changes – Bent on for Defoe, Carson for James. Germany bring on Wiese for Adler.

49 mins: Germany have a decent passage of play (well, better than anything they’ve done thus far) but can’t create an opening. They fire in a shot instead. Their movement off the ball hasn’t been great this evening.

50 mins: Terry takes out Westermann on the right wing. Got the ball though so in Andy Townsend’s book that’s ok.

52 mins: Capello is angry at something or other on the touchline. I find Capello angry quite funny. I would therefore probably not be in Capello’s squad.

54 mins: We just heard a random shout of “Hey, Fabio!” It sounded Scouse. I thought all the Liverpool boys were out injured.

55 mins: It’s been a quiet start to the second half so far. Carrick and Barry are passing well though. Downing skips past a German player who did not look bothered at all and fires a shot in wide.

57 mins: Podolski on for Gomez. The crowd respond positively. Every time I’ve seen Gomez he’s been a bit pants. I’m sure he ruined many a Euro 2008 fantasy team. This is Podolski’s 60th cap and he’s only 23. And they say there are too many meaningless friendlies…

62 mins: SWP wins a corner. Downing takes it Arsenal style and it fails to beat the first man.

63 mins: Terrible miss by Bent. Johnson does well to win the ball, Barry plays a lovely through ball and Bent rounds the keeper but slips as he tries to slide it in with his left foot. It goes wide. Reminds me of his miss against Arsenal last year.

64 mins: Goal for Germany! 1-1! They go straight down the other end. Terry is very hesitant with a long ball and he tried to shepherd it back to Carson. Carson makes half an attempt to come out and clear and in the middle of this Helmes nips in and slots it in through Carson’s legs. Terry should have cleared it but you have to think Carson told him he was coming for it. Poor from both players really and as captain Terry should have dealt with it.

67 mins: How will England respond? Gabby is played through by Carrick and uses his pace to go past the defender. He fires in a good shot and the keeper makes a decent save. No corner given though.

70 mins: Tasci on for Friedrich.

71 mins: Downing fires in a free kick which just bounces in front of the keeper. Wiese makes a good save.

72 mins: The rain is starting to affect footing. Meanwhile Bent has a small penalty appeal as he tackled by Wiese. It was a good challenge though, no penalty.

75 mins: Germany are definitely on top at the moment. Marin takes a good low shot and Carson makes a decent parry wide to his right. The England defence looks a bit nervy right now.

77 mins: Ashley Young on for club mate Agbonlahor. Schafer on for Commper.

79 mins: SWP smacks a great shot against the post. He skips past a player and pings it from 25 yards. It was swerving away but Wiese got fingertips to it. The England bench have their heads in their hands. Capello reacts to the shot by taking a step forward. Does that mean he was impressed?

82 mins: It’s end to end as both teams search for a winner.

84 mins: Goal for England! 1-2! Terry grabs himself The Sun headlines in the morning by getting his head to a Downing free kick. He strays offside at the back post, but jumps higher than (fouls) his marker and flicks a header over Tim Wiese. Maybe he really does care about playing for England. Even Capello smiles.

87 mins: All the noise is coming from the England fans. England look to break in search of another. Young’s cross sails harmlessly over though.

88 mins: The boys in the studio (Townsend, Le Saux and Sheringham) have decided that man of the match is Mattew Upson. Not too sure about that. I would give it to Downing probably. Or SWP. Or Carrick even. All had more of an impact.

Man of the match? Ich don't think so

Man of the match? Ich don't think so...

90 mins: This game is petering out know, I think both teams have settled for this result.

91 mins: Germany’s final attack comes to nothing.

92 mins: England still push forward though. Downing curls a right footer but Wiese punches away.

93 mins: Large for little. Crouch comes on for SWP. He even gets a touch before full time.

94 mins: Full Time. Germany 1 England 2. The final whistle blows. A deserved victory for England, their fifth in a row. Some good performances for the reserve midfielders will certainly give Capello something to think about. I’m won’t watch the post match analysis as I sincerely doubt anything Teddy Sheringham says will give me something to think about…



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