All Balls Don’t Bounce

Completely Random Sports Non Sequiturs From A Completely Random Hip Hop Head

Posts Tagged ‘tottenham’

Wheat, Here; Chaff, There

Posted by hiphopmama on September 12, 2009

van persie man city
As much as I don’t want to say it, I feel like this may have been the week where the contenders separated themselves from the pretenders, or where the wheat finally separated itself from the chaff, if you will. It pains me, mostly because I’m an Arsenal fan but also because I’m desperate to see someone (ANYONE) other than ManU hoist that trophy, with as many changes in that top four oligarchy as possible – other than Arsenal’s place in it, of course.

Tottenham 1-3 Manchester United
1-0 Defoe, 1′
1-1 Giggs, 25′
1-2 Anderson, 41′
1-3 Rooney, 78′

So Tottenham playing well was a good thing for me, because, despite their heated rivalry with Arsenal, it was another team putting pressure on the biggies and they had the chance today to knock off the reigning champs. They failed, and big time. They opened the game in brilliant fashion with a laser of a bicycle kick from Jermain Defoe inside of the first 50 seconds putting the North London side up 1-0. But then United did what they always do – slow and steady to the finish line. In the 25th minute, Ryan Giggs curled in a free kick to knot the scoreline, and Anderson blasted one past Cudicini just before halftime to give ManU the lead for good. Paul Scholes had a typical Paul Scholes day, sliding into two dangerous tackles and earning himself a red card in the 59th minute. Being reduced to ten men didn’t hamper United much, though, as Rooney tiptoed right down the lane to slot home Manchester’s third and final goal of the game.

And just like that, Tottenham’s supposed coming-out party was put on ice, if not abandoned altogether, and their 100% record went out the window as well in favor of a clear statement of intent from the defending league champions. Spurs just seemed short of answers today, scoring early but then never really finding anything else to punish ManU with. Perhaps the loss of Modric had a role to play in this, but whatever the case, it doesn’t bode well for the longevity of their stay at the top of the table.

Manchester City 4-1 Arsenal
1-0 Almunia (og), 20′
1-1 Van Persie, 62′
2-1 Bellamy, 74′
3-1 Adebayor, 80′
4-1 Wright-Phillips, 84′
4-2 Rosicky, 88′

I don’t even want to talk about this one. Maybe I’m officially a soccer nut if a loss like this can screw up my whole day, because that’s what it did. I watched the rest of the matches I recorded today after this, but only grudgingly and with the bitter hope that the other big teams would fail too. I’m not going to bother describing each goal, because it will just depress me further. The first was tragically comical in everything from the ball’s lofted trajectory off Micah Richards’ bulbous head to Almunia’s hapless expression as the ball ricocheted off his own melon and into the Arsenal goal. 1-0 City despite Arsenal looking the better side in the opening minutes. Things were pretty even for a while after that, until Arsenal started piling on the pressure in the second half, eventually resulting in a goal by Robin Van Persie to tie things up. For a good ten minutes after that, it seemed inevitable that we would get another and take the lead, but there was some kind of lapse in the aftermath of Adebayor’s very intentional kick to Van Persie’s face and Alex Song’s foul of revenge on his former teammate. City parlayed the resulting confusion into a lightning quick counterattack and a strike from Craig Bellamy to restore their lead. And then Adebayor scored (that’s all the description I’m going to give) before jetting to the other end of the field to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans. Cunt. It might have been the fastest I’ve ever seen him run. If he had hustled like that last season, Arsenal might have competed better down the stretch. But no matter. He got his ticket (check?) out of London and over to the trendy new Manchester side, where it must be said he is playing quite well. He reminds me of my separated parents, only NOW doing all the things he should have been doing all along to salvage his former relationship. Do I sound bitter?

There was one silver lining in this match, and it was the return of Tomas Rosicky, including a sweet goal in his first game back. It came on some gorgeous link-up play between he and Fabregas, who lofted the ball to the little Mozart, who in turn needed just one touch to send it on its way. The whole Arsenal side looked better after he was introduced, so everyone just pray he can miraculously avoid anymore injuries for a while and we may have a winning combination on our hands.

Liverpool 4-0 Burnley
1-0 Benayoun, 27′
2-0 Kuyt, 41′
3-0 Benayoun, 61′
4-0 Benayoun, 82′

Stoke City 1-2 Chelsea
1-0 Faye, 32′
1-1 Drogba, 45′
1-2 Malouda, 90′

Two very different victories here, but with very familiar overtones. Liverpool absolutely ran rampant over Burnley, with Yossi Benayoun netting a hat trick and effectively setting up Dirk Kuyt for the fourth by blazing the shot that Brian Jensen parried into Kuyt’s path. Chelsea, on the other hand, needed another late-game winner to beat a bottom half side, but they, like Manchester United, proved that it doesn’t matter how you earn those points, as long as you get ’em. They secured all three today and kept their perfect start going, now having won five games in five tries. Only they and Manchester City can claim a 100% record going forward, with Chelsea having played one more game at this point.

Which brings me to a question I have for my own theory: if the true title contenders are separating themselves from the pack this week, what does this say about Man City? Because I don’t really consider them contenders for anything other than a Europa League, or at least I didn’t before the season started. I’m hoping I’ve just come up with a faulty explanation for the weekend’s turn of events, but I’m beginning to worry. They can’t be the real deal, can they?

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Random Week 1 Predictions

Posted by hiphopmama on August 19, 2009

In a very limited number of matches, there have already been quite a few surprises and the question now becomes whether or not particular teams are as good/bad as they looked in their earliest outings. These are my gut feelings as to which teams are pretenders and contenders at this most preliminary of stages.

  • Manchester United are finally going to fall off their championship pace, but not by as much as many think (or as I would like). I know they’ve looked pretty mediocre in their first two matches, but they are a historically slow-starting team and Sir Alex is a strong enough coach that I’m sure they will eventually settle in and start rolling off games. If nothing else, Rooney will at some point hit a groove and score something like 30 goals in 4 matches to earn them a few points. Will it be enough to keep them at the top of the table? No, but they’ll do better than they should based purely on quality of management.
  • Manchester City will both exceed and fall short of people’s expectations. Now a lot of this depends on whose expectations we’re talking about, but the point is true nonetheless. They will exceed expectations because haters and hypocritically bitter opponents (see Chelsea fans’ “money isn’t everything” banter) are already writing them off as impostors masquerading as the real deal and are predicting middling returns on their investments. While I believe their weaknesses at the back will eventually be their undoing – and while I would love to see them flounder in general – I find it hard to believe that the assembled group of superstars won’t at least mildly improve their fortunes over last year, when they finished 10th. That said, I don’t see them making any drastic jumps in the table, and they will probably be lucky to qualify for a European spot at all. Having splashed out close to £100 million in the summer transfer market, mere qualification will inevitably not satisfy the owners and some supporters, who will have their own ideas about how the money might have been better spent. If a top four spot is in their future, it’s a long-term plan at this point.
  • Last season’s upstarts will be under pressure even if they produce similar results. I expect both Martin O’Neill and David Moyes to be on the hot seat at some point this year, mostly because they got their teams to perform so admirably last year. Everton and Aston Villa secured their positions as the best non-Big Four teams in 2008-’09, but this will be more of a curse than a gift in ’09-’10 as both will be expected to improve upon last year’s performances despite the improbability of this task. Fair? No, not particularly, but I see it on the horizon nonetheless.
  • Tottenham will be all up in the mix. No one doubts that Harry Redknapp produced magic when he took over for Spurs last season, but I fully expect him to continue the upward movement at the club and get the most out of a typically underperforming yet talented squad. Bringing both Robbie Keane and Jermaine Defoe back into the fold will bolster the team, as will the addition (again) of Peter Crouch. They’re currently sitting at the top of the Premiership table, and while that certainly won’t lost, don’t be surprised to see them hovering around the danger zone till late in the season.
  • Arsenal will surprise people with the consistency of their challenge. Yes they’re still young and still a bit iffy at the back, but they are no joke and this year Wenger’s faith in his youngsters will finally start to pay off. In just two games, we’ve already seen improvement from players like Denilson and Song, neither of whom was dubbed as having much potential to rejuvenate the squad last season. Now, with another season under their belts and that much more savvy to draw on – not  to mention with a healthy Fabregas and Arshavin for the full season – they will take their game to the next level. Look for them to be challenging for the title till the bitter end.
  • Chelsea are indeed that good and will likely win it all this year. They finished not far off the pace last season, and that was after a horrendous run under Luiz Felipe Scolari. Now, with a squad almost entirely carried over from last year’s, further time to gel, and (hopefully) some consistency in coaching, they are poised to reclaim the title and bring it back to London. Liverpool only just missed a chance to win the Premiership last season and would have been the obvious choice to hoist it this year had they not last their midfield maestro Xabi Alonso. Without him pulling the strings in the center of the park and making things go, I just don’t see them mounting the same kind of challenge. Chelsea, on the other hand, have essentially the same team they had last season with the potentially key addition of Yuri Zhirkov to bolster an already strong left side that includes Ashley Cole, Florent Malouda, and Joe Cole. Couple that with arguably the strongest central defensive pairing in the league in John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho, as well as a playmaker with metronomic consistency in Frank Lampard and you have the recipe for a Premiership champion. I’m an Arsenal fan at heart, but I believe they’re a year and a defender away from true contention, so a Chelsea title would be the next best thing. Say it with me now: Anybody But United.

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DirecTV Hates Me

Posted by hiphopmama on April 25, 2009

dtvWord of warning: This post contains nothing informative whatsoever, except incidentally. It is simply a rant, no more no less. Proceed accordingly.

So DirecTV fucked up another Saturday of soccer-watching for me. They keep hitting us up with these specials that allow us to get every channel under the sun for a few months, in the hopes that we’ll screw up and forget to cancel it when the deal runs out. We never do, so they make no money off us for it, but whenever we call to cancel their little “premium” package, they ALSO delete all our other extras, including Setanta, the sports package, and our DVR service. Therefore, this morning, in the middle of the first match of the day (in this case, West Ham-Chelsea), my husband makes the call and they flip the switch and my recordings all mysteriously cut off because I’m no longer “authorized” to view their “content.” Bleh. By the time I notice it, it’s a couple hours later, all my recordings have been effectively ruined, and I have to sit on the phone for 45 minutes to try to clear up the problem, itching to be watching Tottenham with a two-goal lead over ManU at Old Trafford. Oh the humanity.

Then, of course, they’re not re-airing any of the games I missed because of the snafu, meaning I won’t get to see the rest of a thrilling encounter between London rivals (sarcasm here) or the better half of the Tottenham game. I can, however, see Man City-Everton multiple times between now and midnight, which doens’t help me much since I don’t give two shits about that game, but I’m assed out when it comes to Chelsea and ManU. Double bleh.

All of which illustrates my complete and utter dependence on soccer (and sports in general – woe betide anyone who ever fucks with my Lakers coverage), as it essentially ruined my morning. You mean to say I’ll miss out on approximately 90 minutes of soccer spanning two games? And you won’t be rebroadcasting it?? How do you expect me to live like that? It’s not like I don’t have anything else to do – this weekend I actually do have plans – but I can’t stomach the idea of missing the big games, even if they would only occupy the fringes of my time. Does that make me more or less of a loser? The debate rages on….

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Tightening at the Top of the Premier League

Posted by hiphopmama on March 15, 2009

  • Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool (Ronaldo 23′ (pen), Torres 28′, Gerrard 44′ (pen), Aurelio 77′, Dossena 90′)
  • Arsenal 4-0 Blackburn (Ooijer 2′ (og), Arshavin 65′, Eboue 88′, 90′ (pen))
  • Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City (Essien 17′)
  • Aston Villa 1-2 Tottenham (Jenas 5′, Bent 50′, Carew 85′)

I’m happy to report that all the games of the top five teams went my way this weekend. I already gushed about Liverpool’s thrashing of Manchester United, but Arsenal also gave out a thumping to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, continuing their rejuvenated scoring streak. Their first goal could have been credited to Arshavin, who was its originator, but it was heavily deflected and Ooijer got the distinction of being awarded the own goal. Arshavin did eventually score his first goal for Arsenal, and it was a beauty. He smashed the ball into the top of the net from a ridiculous angle for the game’s second goal. Then, miraculously, Emmanuel Eboue doubled the Arsenal lead. His first was a tap-in off an Arshavin miss, and his second came from the penalty spot after Carlos Vela was brought down in the box. Blackburn didn’t even bother trying to score, instead playing typical Sam Allardyce football, which meant sending everything at Arsenal in WWE fashion. If they were allowed to bring out a steel chair, they would have, along with some tables, ladders, and chairs. I’m not gonna go into the disgraceful tactics or the red card that should have been (yeah fuck you, Diouf). It’s enough to say that the suckers got what they deserved in the 4-0 loss. 

Chelsea was similarly dominant in their game against Man City, but they weren’t able to finish as well as Arsenal. (How often do you say that??) Michael Essien scored his second goal in as many games when Lampard took advantage of some lax City defense with a quick free kick and found the recently returned midfielder at the edge of the box. It did come off his shin, but it was still a superb strike that floated right over the head of the keeper. In the end it was all Chelsea would need to get the win, but with all the chances they had to score they should have added a couple more to their tally. 

Tottenham completed my perfect weekend by knocking off Aston Villa, who can’t seem to buy a win lately. There was a time about a month ago when it looked like Arsenal would have quite an uphill battle to regain their Champions League spot, but Villa sure helped them out by falling off quicker than Chris Brown’s advertising revenue. Jermaine Jenas was responsible for putting Villa on the back foot when he tapped the ball in off Brad Friedel’s deflection of Aaron Lennon’s shot. Villa had plenty of chances to equalize but came up empty-handed, and Tottenham got their second early in the second half when Darren Bent headed home a Robbie Keane cross. Carew’s late header made the scoreline more respectable but couldn’t change the outcome, which saw Villa fall to fifth place behind Arsenal on goal differential. As it should be.

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Soccer Thoughts

Posted by hiphopmama on March 3, 2009

It’s been a crazy few days, so all I can offer are the following notes on the weekend’s happenings in the soccer world. Because they are my opinions, they can be elevated to the level of fact. Take note.

  • Flippin’ Manchester United should have lost to Tottenham. Not because of any bad call or the result going against the run of play; just because I hate them and they shouldn’t be able to win everything. Carling Cup: check. Club World Cup: in hand. EPL: commanding lead. FA Cup: quarterfinals. Champions League: good position to make the quarters. Two down, three to go. It seems absurd to believe that all the games won’t eventually catch up with them, but just like Phil Jackson in the NBA, Fergie knows how to pace his guys to have them peaking at the right time. It will be interesting to say the least.
  • Speaking of ManU, that wasn’t a penalty on Cristiano Ronaldo. It wasn’t a dive, either, at least not a yellow card-worthy one (especially by his standards), and it should just have been a play-on. He was looking for the penalty the whole way – which isn’t a crime in itself – and he was already on his way down before the contact came. He put the ball so far out in front of him to bait the defender, but both players held up just enough to prevent enough of a collision to ensure a penalty. Yeah he stepped on his foot, but CRon was already headed to the ground by that point. 
  • Balotelli’s wasn’t a penalty either. I’m not gonna jump into the fray over officials and greasy hands and the powers that be. All I know is that it was a weak call in a big game, and it affected the outcome in a very definite (and very familiar) manner. [Adriano? Hand ball? Nothing retroactive? Gimme a break.] We’re a few years removed from the heart of the Calciopoli scandal, but Serie A still lacks a lot of credibility and they aren’t helping themselves any with all this. Does anyone really believe Inter were the only innocent ones in all that mess? Oh, and Mourinho needs to shut the fuck up or he can suck my Special One.
  • How about Real Madrid?? Barcelona is still in the driver’s seat, but they can feel the Merengues breathing down their necks now, which should make for an exciting finish. For Real to pull it off, they will have to continue their near immaculate play and hope Barça drop a few more points. A win over the blaugrana at the Bernabeu would go a long way toward helping Madrid narrow the gap, but I’d wager that they’d still have a shot if they could secure even a draw in that game. One game at a time for now…

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What I’m Watching This Weekend

Posted by hiphopmama on December 12, 2008

As if you gave a damn. =) I’m looking forward to a good weekend of sports viewing, and I just had to share it all with you. Because I’m self-centered like that.

El Clasico: Barcelona v Real Madrid

This is numero uno on my schedule this weekend. As impossible as it sounds, I’m kind of indifferent to the outcome of this game, so I can just enjoy the intensity of it all without sweating the result. Barcelona is currently six points clear at the top of the table, while Real Madrid sits in fifth, nine points adrift of the Blaugrana. I expect it to be a hotly contested affair with lots of highlights, but I also expect that it won’t be particularly close in the end, with Barça winning it in their typical eye-popping style. As long as both teams come to play – as I fully expect – and not just to thwart the other team, it should live up to the hype. 

Tottenham v Manchester United

Dimitar Berbatov returns to White Hart Lane to take on a surging Spurs side that has remade its season under Harry Redknapp. The newly crowned Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo will be entertaining as always, even if only in his monstrously exaggerated attempts to get fouls calls on the opposing team. 

Chelsea v West Ham

Chelsea will hope to regain their form at the formerly formidable Stamford Bridge (I know, I know, excessive) in the London derby against the East End Hammers. Only trailing Liverpool by one point, Chelsea have a chance to overtake them at the top of the table depending on how it all shakes out. Drogba is finally back in action, so Scolari has the (un)enviable problem of deciding how to play his star-studded front line with both Didier and Anelka chomping at the bit. Anelka has been outstanding this year, but he has been less than stellar at the Bridge and Drogba is coming off a spectacular goal against Cluj in Champions League play this week. West Ham are looking to stop a horrendous slide in which they haven’t won a game since September. Good luck turning it around against Chelsea.

Juventus v AC Milan

These two teams will be duking it out for sole possession of second place in Serie A, behind only Inter in the standings. Milan have moved into prime position in the table despite some middling performances, while Juve have been on a bit of a tear. A win would be more of a statement for Milan at this point.

Buccaneers v Falcons

Atlanta is currently one game behind Tampa Bay, who sits one game behind Carolina in the shockingly good NFC South. With the Panthers facing a tough three games to close the season, this game could help propel either of these teams into the playoff mix.

Giants v Cowboys

Yet another crucial game in the always tough NFC East. Go Eli. That’s all I’m gonna say.

Timberwolves v Lakers

This SHOULDN’T be a good game, but with the Lakers you never know. As I just heard Stu Lantz say, this is the most misleading 18-3 (now 19-3) record you will see. Still, the Timberwolves shouldn’t be able to push us too hard. Right? I think I’m trying to convince myself.

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Arsenal Woes Continue

Posted by hiphopmama on November 5, 2008

Making a long couple weeks even longer, Arsenal were held to a 0-0 draw with a Fenerbahce team they recently ran through, beating them 5-2 in their last Champions League match-up. The beginning of this most recent slide began with a 4-4 draw against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, a match they should have won, being up 4-2 in the 88th minute. Some defensive lapses and their inability to just hold the ball and run out the clock – for a measly 5 minutes or so – cost them two points and a lot of pride. In a supposed bounce-back match against lowly Stoke City also produced a pitiful performance, with the Gunners beaten by two long throws by Rory Delap and evincing a significant lack of aerial presence at the back, as well as a lack of fighting spirit in such an important game. 

With this as the backdrop, and with significant injuries – to Gallas, Eboue, Walcott, Adebayor – Arsenal lined up to compete for redemption at home at The Emirates. So much for the talk of regaining focus, of the renewed sense of team commitment. They couldn’t even manage a single goal against a notoriously porous Fenerbahce defense. You know, the same one that allowed Arsenal to score 5 goals in the away match of this fixture. They seemed to really miss the attacking play of Walcott and Adebayor, and consequently seemed content to launch long balls over the top of the defense in the hopes of catching them out. Maybe this works with a point man like Drogba or Fernando Torres up top. Aiming for Van Persie all alone on the front line? Not so much. And this from an Arsenal team that prides itself on beautiful build-up play, often failing to pull the trigger in search of that perfect goal. 

I don’t know how to respond, nor how they will. It’s not exactly the kind of preparation you want going into a match against Man Utd on Saturday. They lucked out with Tottenham scoring a late goal to defeat Liverpool, keeping the gap between Arsenal and the leaders relatively reasonable, but they can’t count on that kind of luck to continue, especially when they’re failing to make any of their own. During November, in addition to Man Utd they will also face Aston Villa, Man City, and Chelsea, which could end up being better than you might expect. Maybe, after all the humiliation, they will actually psyche themselves up for these big games and get back on track, closing the point gap at the top of the table in the process. Maybe stringing together a good few games – and hopefully getting healthier in the starting XI – will set them up to make a serious run for the title and give the other three a run for their money. Then again, maybe they’ll continue to suck balls and fall out of the race altogether. With Van Persie facing suspension after his idiotic red card in the last League game, the latter seems more likely for now.

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Tottenham?? Are You F*cking Serious?

Posted by hiphopmama on November 2, 2008

Tottenham Hotspur secured points in their third consecutive game with Harry Redknapp at the helm today, and against formerly unbeaten Liverpool, no less. After beating Bolton in Redknapp’s first managerial appearance and coming from behind incredibly against Arsenal (down two goals with four minutes to play), Spurs scored another late goal against Liverpool to hand the team its first defeat of the season and help Chelsea leapfrog them on goal differential. Roman Pavlyuchenko’s late goal got Tottenham out of last place and up to illustrious 18th position in the table, still tied for second worst point total with Newcastle (9) and only one ahead of Bolton. 

I guess all they really needed was a shake-up in their mental approach to the game, because I highly doubt Redknapp has made any significant strategical moves so quickly. The Juande Ramos experiment failed miserably, so anything would’ve been a step up. This – however meager – is a “one small step for man” moment for the team. Maybe they can avoid relegation yet.

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Wednesday EPL Results

Posted by hiphopmama on October 30, 2008

Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham

  • 0-1 David Bentley, 13′
  • 1-1 Mikael Silvestre, 37′
  • 2-1 William Gallas, 46′
  • 3-1 Emmanuel Adebayor, 64′
  • 3-2 Darren Bent, 67′
  • 4-2 Robin Van Persie, 68′
  • 4-3 Jermaine Jenas, 89′
  • 4-4 Aaron Lennon, 90′

I didn’t get to see the match – along with devalued currency, one of the perils of living in the U.S. – but I can certainly say that it’s a disappointing result for the Gunners. There were plenty of storylines here, not the least of which was Harry Redknapp’s second game at the helm for Spurs, and he proved himself yet again with a high-stakes draw secured at the last second (almost literally) when Aaron Lennon put the ball in off the rebound after Modric’s shot bounced off the post. Plenty of yellow cards, mostly for Spurs (Diaby did get one at the very end), and hotly contested throughout. Or so I heard.

Hull 0-3 Chelsea

  • 0-1 Frank Lampard, 3′
  • 0-2 Nicolas Anelka, 50′
  • 0-3 Florent Malouda, 75′

Chelsea got back on the bandwagon after the loss against Liverpool over the weekend broke their undefeated streak at Stamford Bridge. The Blues burst Hull’s bubble, bringing the recently promoted team back down to earth and reminding them how hard it is to compete against this level of competition for a whole season. Hull were tied with Chelsea on points (behind in goal differential) going into the game, but Chelsea were light years ahead of them on the pitch. Lampard’s 3rd minute chip shot set the tone, and Chelsea never really let up. Hull got themselves some good chances to equalize, but the next score came from Anelka in the 50th minute as the half drew to a close. Malouda added the third in the 75th to seal the deal. Chelsea remain in second place, three points behind LIverpool, and Hull drop to fifth, tied at 20 points with Aston Villa and Man Utd.

Man Utd 2-0 West Ham

  • 1-0 Cristiano Ronaldo, 14′
  • 2-0 Cristiano Ronaldo, 30′

Liverpool 1-0 Portsmouth

  • 1-0 Steven Gerrard, 75′ pen

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Carling Cup Surprises

Posted by hiphopmama on September 25, 2008

The biggies are all still alive (Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool), but Tuesday’s Carling Cup action saw a couple of big upsets, the most startling being Man City’s penalty shootout loss to League One team Brighton. All the goals came late in the game, with Fernandes Gelson netting the first in the 64th minute and Stephen Ireland scoring the last to tie it up in the 108th minute. Brighton ended up winning 5-3 on penalties when goalkeeper Michel Kuipers stopped Michael Ball’s spot kick and Matthew Richards nailed one past Kasper Schmeichel. 

Aston Villa were ousted by Championship side Queens Park Rangers (QPR) 1-0. Villa had a number of good chances, many off of play by the continual bright spot which is Ashley Young, but they were unable to convert, allowing QPR to secure victory on a 58th minute goal by Damion Stewart.

Elsewhere, Tottenham edged Newcastle 1-2, essentially kicking them while they were down, and Chelsea routed Portsmouth 0-4, handing Pompey its second wipeout defeat in as many games. Everton also got the boot at the hands of Blackburn, 1-0, as Martin Olsson and Robbie Fowler combined nicely, leading to Olsson’s first goal for Rovers.

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