5023 Squarefootball Diary - Red Rou
by : Stephen Orford
Squarefootball Diary - Tuesday November 6 2007
Only one place to start this Tuesday, and that is Anfield where Liverpool use up an entire season’s worth of goals in one game.
The Reds spank Besiktas 8-0 in Group A of the Champions League, leaving the cynical among us to wonder just how they managed to lose 2-1 to the same opposition a fortnight ago;
“We have been creating a lot of chances in previous games, but not scoring them.” shrugs Rafa, trying hard not to look surprised as a Yossi Benayoun (pronounced Benyanoon if your name happens to be David Pleat) hat-trick is added to by two each for Peter Crouch and Ryan Babel, and another from Steven Gerrard;
“If you score then you have confidence, that is the difference from the way we have played recently.” explains Rafa. Scoring? Now there’s an idea.
A 2-1 win for Porto over Marseille keeps Liverpool four points off the pace, with the Portuguese to visit Merseyside in the next round of games.
Chelsea miss the chance to seal qualification to the next stage as they are held 0-0 by Schalke in Group B;
“After so many good games in a short time we can have one game that is not in the high level.” croaks Avram, before continuing his endless pursuit of Danger Mouse.
Rosenborg’s 2-0 victory in Valencia is a shock, and leaves the Spanish outfit bottom of the section, with Rosenborg now just a point behind leaders Chelsea.
Celtic get back to winning ways, as Aiden McGeady’s late first half goal seals the points at home to Benfica in Group D;
“Along with his technical ability, his physical ability is fantastic.” says Bhoys boss Gordon Strachan of the Irish international;
“He's always in the gym. The ones who are always in the gym seem to be playing.” he adds, sounding like a salesman on commission from Dave Whelan.
Elsewhere in Group D Milan win 3-0 over Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, helped by a brace from Pippo Inzaghi and a goal from Kaka. The Italians lead the table by three points from both Celtic and Shakhtar, who meet in a possibly decisive match-up next time out.
And so to Group C, where Real Madrid lead the way by three points from both Lazio and Olympiakos, that after being held to a goalless draw in Athens. Lazio’s 2-1 win over Werder Bremen looks to have ended the German side’s hopes of qualification for the last 16.
A veritable feast of Football League action is also on offer tonight. Championship leaders Watford cement their position with a 3-1 win at bottom club Norwich City, while Bristol City are now third, eight points behind after going down 1-0 at home to Charlton Athletic. Alan Pardew’s side lie fourth, while West Brom take over the runners-up spot despite a rather disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday, for whom former Baggie Steve Watson scores a last minute leveller. Wolverhampton Wanderers stay in a play-off position after earning a goalless draw at Southampton. Ipswich Town miss the opportunity to move above Wolves as they are beaten 3-1 by Sheffield United, and are joined one point off a play-off place by Stoke City who win 3-2 at Scunthorpe United.
Slightly better off than poor old Norwich are Crystal Palace, who draw 1-1 at struggling Cardiff City. Behind them come Preston North End (held 1-1 by Leicester City) and Queens Park Rangers who are beaten 2-1 at home to Coventry City.
Colchester United’s 1-1 draw with Plymouth Argyle helps neither, while Burnley appear to be in freefall after losing 1-0 at home to Hull City.
Carlisle United’s League one lead is cut to one point by virtue of their 0-0 draw at Luton Town and Nottingham Forest’s 4-1 home thumping of Southend United. Draws for Leyton Orient at Swindon Town, Swansea City at Millwall and Brighton at home to Walsall keep things very much as you were around the play-off slots. Lurking ominously in seventh are Leeds United after they beat Bournemouth 3-1 at Deans Court.
Cheltenham Town’s 1-1 draw with Yeovil cannot lift them off the bottom of the division, that despite Port Vale’s 1-0 loss at home to Crewe Alexandra. Oldham move out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win at play-off hopefuls Tranmere Rovers, as do Bristol Rovers who beat Northampton Town by the only goal. Doncaster Rovers miss the chance to go above the Merseyside outfit after being held 1-1 at lowly Gillingham.
Huddersfield Town’s 2-0 win over Hartlepool United leaves both sides on 20 points for the season, but is otherwise irrelevant.
Milton Keynes Dons still lead the way in League Two following their 2-0 win over Grimsby Town, a result which leaves the Mariners just one place above the relegation zone.
Closest to Paul Ince’s side at the top are Hereford United, Peterborough United and Chester City, all of whom are four points behind. The latter are surprisingly beaten 2-1 at Bradford City, while Hereford and Peterborough secure wins over Mansfield Town and Dagenham and Redbridge respectively.
Three more teams lie a further point behind, led by Darlington who beat Shrewsbury Town 2-0. Darlo are joined by Chesterfield and Rotherham, winners over bottom placed Lincoln City and Bury respectively.
Outside the play-offs it is Barnet who lead the chase, despite being held 1-1 by Notts County. Brentford miss the chance to make a significant move in the right direction, going down 1-0 to Macclesfield Town. Instead it is Accrington Stanley who are upwardly mobile following their 1-0 win at Morecambe, while Stockport County’s 2-1 success at Rochdale is strictly mid-table fair.
By Stephen Orford
8 November 2007