You know the drill.
1. Gentle opener: Rangers pulled off a stunning victory over Lyon. What was the score?
2. Old Classic: Which is the only club in England that, if you wrote out it's name, you wouldn't be able to fill in any of the characters? (e.g. no e, o, p, q, d, etc.)
3. Who holds the record for most hat-tricks in the SPL, and how many?
4. Which 'keeper (amazingly) has made the most saves so far in the Prem?
5. Man Utd + Ipswich previously held the record for the highest scoring Prem game after the Red Devils thrashed Town 9-0. What season was it in?
6. Which Pompey striker was this week pictured with his kit off?
7. Solve the anagram of this Prem player: Heels a Sperm Chick
8. True or False: If Derby keep up their current rate of conceding goals, they will have the highest goals conceded total in Premier League history.
9. Follow the trail: Celtic's No. 46 > Country he plays for > Who they lost to recently in a Euro Qualifier > In that game, this person was sent off > He is hated mainly by this club > This club play another club on Wednesday night > This club's keeper. Who is he?
10. Who's this youngster?
Answers after the click...
2. Hull City
3. Henrik Larsson - 12
4. Hahnemann of Reading (pity he couldn't keep out another 7)
6. David Nugent
7. Kasper Schmeichel
8. False. Oldham conceded 100 way back in 93/94. Derby are on course to concede 99.75.
9. Santiago Canizarez
10. Armand Traore
Here's Ladbrokes' new advert featuring Ally McCoist, Ian Wright, Lee Dixon, Chris Kamara and Jimmy Hill:
Wright: "You know I'm not an expert or anything"
Kamara: "You're right"
Ah, if only somebody involved with the BBC could notice that and remove said non-expert from punditry all together. Still, better than McCoist's tip on Chelsea.
And I wonder how much Dixon got paid for claiming Newcastle, and not ex-employees Arsenal could win the title?
At least good ol' Jimmy hill knew what he was on about.
OK, maybe the pointless Inter-toto cup, but surely not the European Championships? Well that's exactly what's happened.
With 50 teams busting a gut and then some to make it through to the finals, co-hosts Austria have some fans who don't share quite the same vision. This is the message that greats anyone who visits their website Rueckgrat:
"Your entering this site is no coincidence.
It means you care about attractive football.
It means you appreciate a blind pass that actually reaches its destination.
It means you thoroughly enjoy amazing dribbling skills.
It means you jump for joy when a free kick is expertly bent into the far corner of the goal.
In short: it means you love this great sport for the sheer beauty of it.
However, it also means you fall into a dismal state of depression when watching a match featuring the Austrian national football team.
For all those displays of true skill, on a field taken by our team, occur about as frequently as meteorite impacts.
This cannot be blamed on anyone.
Even though we have spent twenty years buying ageing stars, even though wealthy patrons supply one of our clubs with several times their usual budgets only to be rewarded with a fraction of their success of lore, even though twenty-six-year-olds who barely stumble through their second match playing for foreign second-league clubs are discovered as incredibly promising new talents and immediately ordered into the national team – nothing so far has helped.
It cannot be denied: the performance of the Austrian team is an insult to your sense of aesthetics as well as to what you expect from this sport. Their participating in the EURO 2008 is to you a contradiction in itself. We understand.
By signing this Petition you urge the Austrian Football Association (Österreichischer Fußballbund; OEFB) to voluntarily resign from participating in the EURO 2008.
Austria was once a country with a keen sense for aesthetics. „...a people gifted for beauty“, as a verse of our national anthem states – an anthem our players barely manage to stammer along to, as they palefacedly contemplate yet another grueling encounter with the ball and the opponent.
We want to show the world that we still embrace beauty. And at the same time, we want to do something that is as alien to our people as the names of our strikers are to foreign football experts: To show some dignity!
Please help us reach this goal! Thank you."
Crikey. Sign the petition that stops a country with players that 'palefacedly contemplate yet another grueling encounter with the ball and the opponent.' Classic.
Kudos to Who Ate All The Pies for the spot.
Here's the team of the week for the Scottish Premier League. Apparently scoring a hat-trick does wonders for your chances of inclusion...
GK - A Boruc (CEL)
DF - L Wilkie (DUN)
DF - R Jones (HIB)
DF - C Berra (HOM)
DF - S Hughes (HIB)
MF - J Smith (ABD)
MF - B Kerr (HIB)
MF - R Duncan (ICT)
MF - A McGeady (CEL)*
ST - S McDonald (CEL)
ST - C Donaldson (HIB)
Player of the Week - Aiden McGeady (CEL)
Once again the Green and White Wizard was in inspired form for the hoops, gutting that he chose to play for Ireland and not Scotland (Who needs the likes of Aiden when we've got Gary Teale anyway?).
If you fancied seeing a few spot-kicks at the weekend, Easter Road was the place to be. Referee Stuart Dougal awarded 3 penalties to Hibs on their way to a 4-1 demolition of Kilmarnock. 1 of the penalties should not have been, but when you consider that another penalty was missed, justice was done. Clayton Donaldson grabbed a hat-trick with Antione-Curier scoring the other. Killie 'keeper Alan Combe made several great saves to prevent further humiliation, as Colin Nish replied for the away side. The Hibees remain unbeaten and creep up to 3rd, one point behind the Old Firm.
The top spot changed hands yet again as Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw at Motherwell. A wonderfully worked goal finished by Chris Porter gave the home side the lead, before Kris Boyd knocked home the equaliser, and his 4th goal of the season, to equalise.
This allowed Celtic to go top o goal difference after the beat St Mirren 3-0 in Glasgow thanks to a hat-trick for Scott McDonald. He scrambled home his first after 6 minutes, rounded the 'keeper for his second, and completed the scoring by tapping in Aiden McGeady's cross. It was harsh on Dundee Utd, who had several chances to equalises.
The ever inconsistent Hearts snatched all 3 points against St Mirren in a tight 3-1 encounter. Andrew Driver drilled home the first (funny how all of his goals are drives) for the Jambos, and then Stewart converted a penalty he won himself, albeit by diving. Mark Corcoran's header pulled one back for the Saints, but Hearts had the last laugh, sub Velicka running clear and slotting home.
Aberdeen condemned Gretna to the bottom of the SPL for the 1st time this season following a 2-0 victory. Zander Diamond's looping header found it's way into the net, before Jamie Smith's nonchalant long-range effort doubled their lead.
Caley Thistle were the benefactors after they beat Falkirk 4-2 in Inverness. The goal of the game came from Falkirk's Scott Arfield, who unleashed a brilliant 20-yard volley into the corner of the net. Kenny Milne got the Bairns' other goal, with Wyness (2), Duncan and Black netting for the home side.
Not content with Player of the Week, Elano grabs the goal accolade with this thunderbolt from 30 yards.
BAM! "C'est Magnifique!"
In light of some seriously cack defending and excellent attacking play, we've decided to go for a 2-6-2 attacking formation. Sure it would concede 4 but score 7, something like that, just the way Portsmouth like it.
Who was the cream of the crop for the last weekend in September? Let Liquid Football reveal all...
GK - K Keller (FUL)
DF - M Melchiot (WIG)
DF - M Laursen (AVL)
MF - C Ronaldo (MNU)
MF - S Larsson (BIR)
MF - M Arteta (EVE)
MF - S Davis (POR)
MF - M Petrov (MNC)
MF - D Bentley (BLA)
ST - B Mwaruwari (POR)
ST - Elano (MNC)*
Player of the Week: Elano (Manchester City)
The Brazilian was on fire for the Light Blues, opening up the Newcastle defence like a chest of well-oiled drawers. Oh, and his goal wasn't too shabby either.
It's that time of the week again to see if we need a new set of tarot cards (remember, 1 point for predicting one side of the score correct, and 1 point for getting the result correct):
Birmingham 0-0 Man Utd (0-1, 1 point)
Chelsea 3-1 Fulham (0-0, 0 points)
Derby 1-1 Bolton (1-1, BOOM! 3 points)
Man City 1-1 Newcastle (3-1, 1 point)
Portsmouth 3-0 Reading (7-4, 1 point, who the hell would have predicted that?)
Sunderland 2-2 Blackburn (1-2, 1 point)
West Ham 1-2 Arsenal (0-1, 1 point)
Wigan 1-3 Liverpool (0-1, 1 point)
Everton 2-0 Middlesbrough (2-0, ker-ching! 3 points)
Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa (4-4, 0 points, again...)
An average 12/30 this time, down on last week's score, and that crafty Lawro has caught up with me. How did everyone else fare then?
Straight from the Sun, this is not for the faint-hearted, especially the first one.
Click here to view the pictures, and read below for commentary (plus a special bonus injury!).
1. Djibril Cisse - Horrible. Disgusting. Terrifying. The worst one on the list.
2. Schumacher on Battiston - The most famous. The ref didn't even give a free-kick despite Battiston being knocked unconscious.
3. David Busst - Peter Schmeichel threw up on the side of the pitch after this.
4. Kieron Dyer - Hard to see, but this double leg break rules him out for most of the season.
5. Colin Healy - Bye bye ankle. You can see that the unimaginable pain nerves haven't reached his brain yet.
6. Henrik Larsson - Came back stronger after this horrific leg break against Lyon.
7. Luc Nillis - Can legs actually physically bend that way?
8. Alan Smith - That's what you get for blocking a John Arne Riise bullet...
9. Jimmy Bullard - Parker, the man making the challenge, looked physically distraught after dislocating Jimmy's leg in about 15 different places.
10. Jacob Oleson - Gyah!!! His foot's POINTING THE WRONG WAY!
11. Djibril Cisse - The Frenchman clearly was unsatisfied with one snapped shin.
12. Pierluigi Casiraghi - Knee + Flying Shaka Hislop = 10 operations before early retirement.
13. Petr Cech - Stephen Hunt is even booed by Czech fans to this day.
My flatmate and I were watching a MOTD last season, before both standing up shouting 'OOOOO!!!!' at this nasty tackle. Put the sound on for maximum teeth-crunching effect.
Bet: Fulham to lead at half time, Chelsea to win - 28/1.
Result: Draw at half time, Draw at full time.
OK, so Fulham to lead at half time, with Chelsea winning at full time was a possibility. It could have happened! And if you think long and hard about it, Fulham winning one half and the Blues winning the other is kind of a draw... in my books anyway... maybe not the actual bookies.
In my defence, 28/1 was a long shot. One day I will get a Liquid Bet right, you'll see.
An interesting post on Reuters' Blog today, speculating about what credentials are needed to be a successful manager in the Premier League, and continuing on to give a couple of examples of who they see as ideal candidates for the Chelsea job.
A lot has been flying about regarding Hiddink, Klinsmann and Van Basten, so it's refreshing to see 2 new names pop up; Delio Rossi and Armin Veh.
Both have apparently had modest playing careers, but had great success at club management level, much like Ferguson, Wenger and Mourinho.
In his first season at Lazio, Rossi managed to steer the troubled club to a UEFA Cup place, only for it to be lost as part of the Italian Football Scandal. But, despite an 11 point deduction for the start of last season, the Italian still managed to guide Lazio to a 3rd-placed finish and a Champions League spot.
As for Veh, a broken leg stopped his football-playing career at the age of just 23, so he can be forgiven for not having made that much impression as a player. However, he brought the German title to Stuttgart as a manager last year, ending their 15 year wait.
You can read the full article at Reuters Soccer Blog.
From the BBC Website, Gerrard has run over a small boy, breaking his leg.
Incredibly, Stevie G is claiming that the boy ran out into the side of the car. Just how slow was the Reds captain driving for that to have happened? Kudos, for your safe driving, commiserations for it actually causing an accident.
And what is it with English football captains breaking things recently?
How do you spend your Saturday afternoons? I like my day off with a nice cold Grolsch, coupled with some left-over Chinese/Indian/Pizza, and of course Jeff Stelling on my TV screen.
During my usual 6 hour dosage of Sky Sports Soccer Saturday (the best thing ever to hit Freeview), I noticed Mr Stelling exclaiming that there was 'yet another hat-trick' in such and such game. Indeed, there were an unusual amount of three-goal heroes flashing up on the videprinter.
In light of this, I went hunting for all hat-trick scorers in Scotland and England, and found no fewer than 6! Six! It truly deserves the title of 'Hat-trick' weekend, so here at Liquid Football, we have decided to honour those who can repeatedly hit a cow's arse with a banjo.
Benjani Mwaruwari (Portsmouth 7-4 Reading)
Anthony Elding (Stockport 3-1 Brentford)
Stuart Fleetwood (Forest Green 3-1 Cambridge Utd)
Scott McDonald (Celtic 3-0 Dundee Utd)
Clayton Donaldson (Hibs 4-1 Kilmarnock)
Paul McManus* (East Fife 7-0 Stenhousemuir) *4 goals