Sunday, January 07, 2007

FA Cup 3rd Round

Liverpool 1 - 3 Arsenal
To quote YNBA: Well, that sucked.

Liverpool had the majority of the possession but completely failed to do anything with it. I was astonished to see that they actually had 15 shots on goal, because I didn't remember nearly that many, but then I noticed that only 5 of those were actually on target. Arsenal, on the other hand, only had 5 shots in the whole game, but 3 of them went in. That pretty much sums things up.

A few other things, in no particular order:

  1. Xabi Alonso getting booked for diving. This, as far as I'm concerned, is bullshit. The tackle was late, there was contact from the defender, that's a penalty. Is he just supposed to stand there and let Gilberto take his ankles out? I don't think so. (Also, let me just point out that Steve Bennett is the same referee who sent Alonso off against Arsenal last season for slipping on the wet turf and accidentally knocking over Mathieu Flamini -- despite the fact that he had his back to the play at the time. Well done.)
  2. Why was nobody picking up Tomas Rosicky? Especially after he'd already scored on them once, the last thing the Liverpool defenders should've been doing was watching as he waltzed towards the penalty area. Now, it's possible they share my belief that he is secretly a woman, but nevertheless you have to mark him. Actually, I suspect the yellow card for Alonso didn't help with this, because it meant that he had to be more careful with his tackles. Still, why didn't somebody just take the fucker down?
  3. Rafa Benitez apparently makes a policy of using Jerzy Dudek in cup games like this instead of Pepe Reina, but his performance just underlined why he's not their number one keeper any more. I can't say for sure, but having seen the way Dudek flapped ineffectually at all three of the Arsenal goals, I think Reina would've stopped at least one of them. Arsenal were also playing their backup keeper, but they had the advantage in that Almunia didn't, you know, suck.
  4. I was thoroughly enamored with the way Emmanuel Eboue fouled Luis Garcia and then rolled around in agony in hopes of avoiding a booking. And then, a few minutes later, proceeded to crumple to the ground again when Liverpool were trying to take a corner. What a whining, cheating little dickwad.
I did at least get a little bit of entertainment from whoever's done the captions for Propaganda's photos from this match. This one, in particular, is a classic.

Manchester United 2 - 1 Aston Villa
Thank god for aging Scandinavian strikers, eh? Henrik Larsson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer contrived to rescue the game for United; although Aston Villa fought hard, I don't think they played well enough to have deserved a replay. United did get a bit lucky with the second goal, which Kiraly should've saved, but that's what you get with a goalkeeper who wears pajama bottoms.

It's only been one game, but I'm impressed by Larsson so far. He looked very sharp today -- no sign of having been out of action for a couple of months. Hopefully Wayne Rooney was watching and taking notes on how to score, because his form was mediocre once again. I know he went through a similar slump at the beginning of the season and eventually played himself out of it, so maybe that's what he needs this time too. Or maybe he just needs a rest, but as long as Saha's out injured, that's not very likely.

A couple things I was less impressed by:
  1. How easily Park Ji-Sung kept getting muscled off the ball. I know he will gladly run his little legs off for 90 minutes, which is great, but perhaps he wouldn't have to run so much if he could just hang on to possession.
  2. Michael Carrick's attempts on goal. Somebody should sit him down and tell him that he doesn't have to be a goal-scorer. It's okay, really. Better than shanking it wide every time.

Anyway, at least one of my two teams made it through, so I'll have someone to cheer for in the next round. Anyone but Chelsea, who thumped poor little Macclesfield 6-1 after they had their goalkeeper sent off. That's just mean, y'all.


ynba said...

And again your team gets the easy draw. Meh.

Jen said...

Hey, if you want to talk about easy draws, look at Chelski. At least Pompey are in the Premiership.

linda said...

Eboue's a good player, but a world-class diver. I still wince thinking about the freekick he 'won' off Puyol in the Champions League final. Man, if Arsenal had hung on to their lead, there would have been hell to pay.

But yay, Larsson! I'm totally convinced that he'll be successful in the Premiership, but who knows how long he'll be staying?

200percent said...

So, tonight is probably the wrong time to mention tonight's re-match, right?

Prediction: Tomorrow's headline in "The Sun" = "DUDEK LIKE A LADY".

Jen said...

On behalf of ladies everywhere, I think I'm insulted.

God, that was awful. As I said after Arsenal scored their fifth goal: FUCKETY FUCK FUCK CUNTING FUCK.

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