Oh, hello. With the World Cup finals coming up in five months time, we’ve been discussing coverage of it over the last few days and one of the ideas that has sprung to mind has been live-blogging it all. Fortunately, WordPress has a plug-in which allows this to be done with the greatest of ease (or so they claim), so I thought we’d give it a test drive and see how it works. Or whether it works. In view of this, apologies in advance for if this somehow manages to go magnificently, hilariously wrong. There’s every chance that it will do.
But anyway, this evening features a roster of matches that would do any weekend throughout the course of the season proud. There’s the Merseyside derby, whilst Juan Mata – the undoubted saviour of Manchester United – makes his debut at Old Trafford this evening against bottom of the table Cardiff City. A little further down the food chain, meanwhile, the Championship’s crisis club du jour, Bolton Wanderers travel to Queens Park Rangers, whilst Leyton Orient play Coventry City in League One and there are relegation six-pointers – you know them, they’re the matches where the winners get three points, just like in every other match – aplenty at the foot of League Two, with Portsmouth travelling to Wycombe Wanderers and Bristol Rovers at home against Accrington Stanley.
The weather has already had its say in proceedings, of course – allow me a moment to shake my fist at the heavens – and a handful of matches have already been called off. If you happen to be on your way to any of these, it’s probably best to find the nearest pub instead.
League One: Colchester v Shrewsbury, Port Vale v Crawley, Stevenage v Crewe
League Two: Mansfield v Bury, Newport v Plymouth, Northampton v Rochdale, Torquay v Burton
Conference Premier: Braintree v Macclesfield
Right. I’m off to quickly down forty-four tequilas. Back soon!
I didn’t really drink forty-four tequilas, of course. I went to the shop and bought some cat food, some beer and a packet of peanut butter cups. I received a “look.” I’m almost tempted to eat the cat food now, just to prove a point. But anyway. FOOTBALL.
Getting fifteen minutes of Manchester United in before the Merseyside derby. Cardiff City are in blue. They used to be most of the time, but that doesn’t seem to happen so much these days.
I didnt tell you that potentially bigger news for Manchester United this evening was the return of Robin Van Persie rather than the arrival of Juan Mata, did I? Well, I definitely thought it. It took him five minutes to put Manchester United a goal up against Cardiff.
Elsewhere, in League Two, Chesterfield lead York City by a goal to nil, to put them top of the BBC’s only slightly mendacious live League Two table.
In cases where I don’t know the first name of a player tonight, by the way, I will be making one up. So it is that McGuinness Flint scores an own goal to five Brentford the lead against Bristol City at Griffin Park after eight minutes.
Well, that didn’t last long for Brentford. Three minutes they led for, before George Osborne levels for Bristol City. I never knew he had it in him.
Meanwhile, at Anfield, they’ve started to a fully expected cacophonous din. It’s nineteen years since Everton last won there in the league, for those of you that like absolutely meaningless statistics.
It’s all relative, but there’s a big game at the top of the Conference Premier tonight. Cambridge are three points behind Luton at the top of the table, and this is their game in hand, at home against fourth placed Grimsby. And Grimsby have scored first.
Reason for Manchester City supporters to dance around their living rooms. Southampton lead Arsenal.
All huff and puff at Anfield so far, of course, apart from a decent save from Tim Howard from Luis Suarez. Liverpool the better team, so far.
Elsewhere, in the Football League, Leicester lead at Crisis-Club-In-Waiting Birmingham City, Brentford have retaken the lead against Bristol City and Doncaster lead against Charlton Athletic.
Things I hadn’t noticed this season: Charlton are in the relegation places in the Championship. Well I never.
Jason Puncheon gives Crystal Palace the lead against Hull City at Selhurst Park, and Championship stragglers Barnsley lead Blackburn, which will be a disappointment for all those hoping to see the Venky’s circus trundle back into the Premier League next season.
Twenty minutes gone at Anfield, and Liverpool lead Everton. A corner from the left by Luis Suarez headed in at the near post by Steven Gerrard. Deserved, too, if we’re being honest about it.
Tonight isn’t going too well for Charlton. They’re now losing two-nil at Doncaster, they’ve had a man sent off, Barnsley are winning and now Yeovil Town are two up away to Derby County. never send to know for whom the bell tolls, Chris Powell, it tolls for thee.
Tonight isn’t going too well for Charlton. They’re now losing two-nil at Doncaster, they’ve had a man sent off, Barnsley are winning and now Yeovil Town are two up away to Derby County. Never send to know for whom the bell tolls, Chris Powell, it tolls for thee.
Blackburn level at Barnsley, and Carlisle United lead *mumblemumblemumble*, which may go someway towards pulling them clear of trouble at the foot of League One.
Goals in the Football League are starting to flow a little, now. QPR lead Bolton, Walsall lead Swindon, Rotherham lead at Tranmere and Chesterfield have doubled their lead at York. And Rodnito Trotta has given Brentford a 3-1 lead against Bristol City.
Carlisle lead *thosewhosenamemustnotbementioned* by two, now, and Hartlepool score at Wimbledon. Meanwhile, Everton are starting to show signs of life at Anfield, for about the first time this evening. They’re still behind, though.
Liverpool 2-0 Everton: Beautiful through-ball from Countinho and Daniel Sturridge rolls the ball past Howard.
Liverpool 3-0 Everton: Chaotic defending from a long ball allows Daniel Sturridge in again (there used to be an offside trap over there), Howard is too hasty off his line, and Sturridge lifts the ball over him.
Other Premier League half-times: Manchester United 1-0 Cardiff City, Southampton 1-0 Arsenal, Norwich 0-0 Newcastle, Swansea 0-0 Fulham.
There’s still eight minutes of the first half left to play at Anfield. This might be a very long eight minutes for Everton.
Half-time at Anfield, and it’s 3-0 to Liverpool. It has been an impressive first forty-five minutes, but Everton have, thanks to the paucity of their defending, been at least partly responsible for the severity of their half-time deficit. All this and a late yellow card for Garrington Barrington, which broke up another decent spell of possession for Everton, which kinds of sums up their half. Decent spells, intersected by some sort of death wish.
Southampton 1-1. Giroud, three minutes after the break. Meanwhile Derby pull one back against Yeovil and a big goal at the bottom of League Two – Portsmouth lead Wycombe Wanderers by one to nil.
ARSENAL! Santi Cazorla gives them the lead at Southampton. Two goals in three and a half minutes.
And in League One, Ronald McDonald gives Wolves the lead at Oldham. Leyton Orient could do with a goal against Coventry, considering that Wolves and Brentford are both leading, now.
(Yes, I’m still making up first names)
Someone has slipped some Ex-Lax into the half-time tea at St Mary’s. It’s now Southampton 2-2 Arsenal, thanks to Adam Lallana. Elsewhere, Cambridge United (whose own Twitter feed described them as “off colour” at half-time) have levelled against Grimsby and Southend United, who are chasing automatic promotion from League Two, have taken the lead in the Guttural Accent Derby at Dagenham.
Scratch what I said about Cambridge a couple of minutes ago. The colour in their cheeks turned out to be a red herring. Grimsby lead by two goals to one. In the Premier League, Ashley Young has doubled Manchester United’s lead against Cardiff and Carlise United now lead *muttermutter* by three to nil.
Right on cue, a goal comes for Leyton Orient. Dean Cox gives them the lead against Coventry City. And in the Championship, Bournemouth now lead as well, against Huddersfield Town.
Another Premier League goal, and it’s an important one at the bottom of the table. Jonjo Shelvey gives Swansea City the lead against Fulham. (And a couple I missed from earlier, QPR now lead Bolton two-nil and Brian McDermott’s season is going from bad to worse – Ipswich lead by a goal to nil at Leeds United)
And just as I say that, Leeds equalise against Ipswich.
“Honey, pass me my tequila, will you?”
It seems to be an evening for leads not lasting very long. Huddersfield were behind for four minutes at Bournemouth, but have now levelled the scores.
Game, set and match to Liverpool at Anfield. Phil Jagielka has what I can only describe as “a moment” and drops the ball at the feet of Luis Suarez on the half-way line. Problem is, he’s the last man and Suarez runs through to score. Liverpool 4-0 Everton. Only three more needed before I have to start bracketing the score, here.
Pavel Pogrebnyak – a very enjoyable name to say in a cod-Russian accent – has extended Reading’s lead to three-nil against an increasingly stricken-looking Blackpool.
At Anfield, Daniel Sturridge twangs a penalty kick over the cross-bar in front of the Kop. Could have been his hat-trick. Could have been 5-0 for Liverpool. No English player will ever score a penalty kick ever again.
More Football League goals: Dagenham 1-1 Southend, Doncaster 3-0 Charlton, Millwall 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Tranmere 0-2 Rotherham.
Even more Football League goals: Wimbledon 1-1 Hartlepool (Antwi) and Barnsley 2-2 Blackburn. In the Premier League, that training ground punch up at which no-one threw a brick seems to have done Swansea City some good. They now lead Fulham by two to nothing.
Two goals in two and a half minutes for Wimbledon, who now lead Hartlepool United by two goals to one. Hanging on there might put them up to ninth place in League Two. Bournemouth are back in front, too. They lead Huddersfield again. And Swindon have levelled things up at Walsall.
Millwall level at home against Sheffield Wednesday, and Blackpool pull one back against Reading (cue player putting the ball under his arm and trotting meaningfully nd purposefully back to the half-way line).
And then, in the Premier League, there’s a sudden red card frenzy. Flamini is off for Arsenal, whilst at Carrow Road Remy and Johnson get first dibs on the team hairdryer. *Insert Joe Kinnear joke here*
Leyton Orient are almost home and dry against Coventry City. They now lead by two goals to nil. And Blackpool’s revival didn’t last very long – they’re now 4-1 down at Reading.
Birmingham City will be peering anxiously over their shoulders at the bottom of the Championship table. They’re two down now at home to Leicester, who now have an eleven point cushion between themselves and third-placed Burnley.
Some late Football League goals: Oldham 0-2 Wolves, Birmingham 1-2 Leicester, QPR 2-1 Bolton.
In the Premier League, Manchester United 2-0 Cardiff and Swansea 2-0 Fulham are full-results. Tranmere Rovers have a late consolation goal against Rotherham.
If Yeovil end this season ended by less than three points, they’ll regret tonight. They led Derby County by two goals to nil. It’s now Derby 3-2 Yeovil.
Last minute goals: Oldham 0-3 Wolves (all three of the top three in League One win), and an important goal at the bottom of League Two – Bristol Rovers 0-1 Accrington Stanley. Rovers continue their slide into trouble. Finally, Reading lead Blackpool by five goals to one.
More Premier League full-times: Southampton 2-2 Arsenal, Norwich 0-0 Newcastle.
If you’re wondering why I’m all quiet on Anfield, that would be because it’s all quiet at Anfield. Liverpool seem to have settled for 4-0 and have quietly strangled this match.
(Watch them score a fifth, now)
Full-time at Anfield. Liverpool 4-0 Everton. That was a disastrous night for Everton, who were bright in patches but were defensively disastrous. Meanwhile, Liverpool continue to impress. It’s also full-time at Selhurst Park, where Crystal Palace have beaten Hull City by a goal to nil.
And that, I think, is about that for the night. Two points dropped for Arsenal tonight and a workmanlike win for Manchester United against the division’s bottom club. In the Premier League, though, the story of the night was Liverpool, who stay in touch at the top of the table and are still showing few signs of the frailties that have haunted them so much in recent years.
More importantly than this, the software I was trialling works and I’m still sober enough to be able to see without putting a hand over one eye. Have a lovely rest of the evening.