Tag Archives: blushes

John Terry makes Chelsea return and gives away a penalty

Terry makes top flight return after two month absence… and concedes a penalty!

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

17:44 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 12 January 2013

Chelsea captain John Terry made his return to Barclays Premier League action on Saturday afternoon against Stoke.

It wasn't quite the return he would have envisaged, his foul on Jon Walters seeing the Potters awarded a late penalty.

On other days this may have been disastrous for Chelsea, but thanks to two Walters' own goals, a Frank Lampard spot kick and an Eden Hazard belter, the Blues were already 4-0 up.

Back to business: John Terry enters the fray with 10 minutes to go against Stoke

Back to business: John Terry enters the fray with 10 minutes to go against Stoke

Leader: Terry takes the armband from Juan Mata and resumed his role as Chelsea skipper

Leader: Terry takes the armband from Juan Mata and resumed his role as Chelsea skipper

Not making amends: Walters smashed his penalty high over the bar to compound a terrible afternoon

Not making amends: Walters smashed his penalty high over the bar to compound a terrible afternoon

Regardless, Walters saved Terry's blushes anyway by thumping the spot kick over the bar.

Terry was brought on as a substitute for Juan Mata in the 79th minute and instantly took the armband, ignoring the now-traditional abuse from the opposition fans.

The skipper's return capped a superb afternoon for Rafa Benitez, who has not been able to deploy the defender during his time as interim Chelsea manager because of a knee injury.

Terry sustained the problem after a clash
with Liverpool's Luis Suarez on November 11 and although initially he
seemed set for a quick return, only appeared on Thursday night the the
Chelsea U21s.

Benitez said: 'I was trying to give
him some minutes to see how he was. I watched him in the reserve team
but this is totally different, so we played five at the back and tried
to protect him a bit.

'We will see how he trains and if he has no problems, it is a question of fitness now.'

Terry's team-mate for club and
country, Gary Cahill, missed the game against Stoke because his partner
was giving birth to his son.

Benitez
explained: 'We had trained with Cahill but he had to go. The baby is
fine and they are happy, and we are happy, so everything is going well.'

David Luiz retreated from the midfield
position he has been deployed in of late and impressed at the back, with
Lampard stepping in alongside Ramires in the centre.

Warm up: Terry has been out since November

Rafa Benitez has not been able to call on the defender

At long last: Rafa Benitez (right) had not been able to use Terry so far during his time at Chelsea

Terry will now be aiming to start in Chelsea's match on Wednesday at home against Southampton, but the manager admitted he would have to monitor his fitness.

Benitez will be delighted with his
side's show of strength, seeing as no side had been able to turn Stoke
over at the Britannia since February last year.

After
a pitiful defeat against Swansea in midweek in the first leg of his
side's Capital One Cup semi-final stoking the ire of Chelsea supporters,
Benitez needed a result today.

He dropped striker Fernando Torres
after he was booed off against Swansea, but introduced him in place of
Demba Ba with 20 minutes to go.

Benitez
was encouraged and said: 'The attitude of Torres pleased me. He is
fighting for his position, so we had a lot of positives.'

Bench boy: Fernando Torres (centre), sitting alongside Terry, was dropped after a poor midweek showing

Bench boy: Fernando Torres (centre), sitting alongside Terry, was dropped after a poor midweek showing

Stoke boss Tony Pulis was obviously far less happy with proceedings at the Britannia.

'The second goal killed us. The goals we conceded were poor and I'm disappointed with the penalty, Mata's legs collapse and I think it's a soft penalty, but it was a wonder goal from Hazard. I don't think that was a 4-0 today.

'We're disappointed,' he said. 'It just didn't go for us. The referee gives a penalty at 1-0 and it was offside, it was a good call, but if that goes for you it's one each and we have the impetus.

'We didn't deserve to be losing at half-time and until the second goal I felt we were the better team, although Chelsea have some fantastic players.'

Nottingham Forest 2 Crystal Palace 2: Injury-time equaliser spares Alex McLeish"s blushes

Nottingham Forest 2 Crystal Palace 2: Injury-time equaliser spares McLeish's blushes in first game in charge

PUBLISHED:

17:08 GMT, 29 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:37 GMT, 29 December 2012

Alex McLeish's first game in charge of Nottingham Forest ended in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

McLeish, appointed on Thursday after the Al Hasawi family dispensed of Sean O'Driscoll's services on Boxing Day just hours after the 4-2 home win over Leeds, received a good reception prior to kick-off at the City Ground.

Andy Reid scored Forest's first goal of the McLeish era, equalising in first-half injury time after Glenn Murray had put Palace in front in the ninth minute.

All square: McLeish's reign at Nottingham Forest started with a draw

All square: McLeish's reign at Nottingham Forest started with a draw

Saviour: Sharp rescued a point for Forest with a late strike

Saviour: Sharp rescued a point for Forest with a late strike

Last-ditch: Sharp's goal earned a 2-2 draw for Forest in McLeish's first game in charge

Last-ditch: Sharp's goal earned a 2-2 draw for Forest in McLeish's first game in charge

Match facts

Nottingham Forest goals: Andy Reid 45, Billy Sharp 90.

Crystal Palace goals: Glenn Murray 9, 81.

Att: 23,703

Click here for the latest Championship table, fixtures and results

It looked like there was to be no
fairytale beginning for the Scot when Murray struck again with nine
minutes remaining, but Billy Sharp grabbed an injury-time leveller.

McLeish would probably have named the same team that beat Leeds, but Alan Hutton's sickness bug brought an enforced change.

Dan Harding was restored to the starting line up, meaning Greg Halford moved to right-back with Harding playing at left-back.

Palace manager Ian Holloway also made one change as Andre Moritz was recalled in place of Owen Garvan, who dropped to the bench.

Dexter Blackstock headed an early chance wide for Forest before Murray opened the scoring.

Dean Moxey got to the byline, his low cross evaded everyone and Murray bundled the ball home at the far post.

Julian Speroni preserved Palace's lead in the 15th minute, sprawling to his right to tip Radoslaw Majewski's shot wide.

When Speroni was beaten by Sharp's diving header just before the half-hour mark, the post came to Palace's aid.

Forest were enjoying some good
pressure and finally got themselves level at the end of the first half
with a superb 25-yard shot from Reid that flew across Speroni and into
the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Wilfried Zaha came close to putting
Palace back in front at the start of the second half but his shot fizzed
across goal and narrowly missed the far post.

At the other end, Speroni continued his good afternoon with another fine save to keep out Chris Cohen at the near post.

Solid start: Forest are still in the mix for a playoff place

Solid start: Forest are still in the mix for a playoff place

Thumbs up: McLeish's appointment was met with angry responses from some fans

Thumbs up: McLeish's appointment was met with angry responses from some fans

Tight: Sharp's late goal denied Palace all three points at the City Ground

Tight: Sharp's late goal denied Palace all three points at the City Ground

The Argentinian was at it again midway through the second half, this time pushing away Danny Collins' header.

Murray got his second goal of the game with a superb 81st-minute header.

Yannick Bolasie's far-post cross
looked to have evaded Murray, but the striker somehow generated enough
power to loop the ball back across goal, over goalkeeper Lee Camp and
into the back of the net.

It looked like giving Holloway's team
their first win in five npower Championship matches but there was time
for more late drama.

Speroni produced a superb save from
Blackstock's header to tip the ball onto the post, but Sharp was on hand
at close range and had the simplest of finishes to earn Forest a point.

Felipe Melo saves penalty for Galatasaray

Beyond the call of duty! Brazil MIDFIELDER Melo steps up and saves penalty to secure victory for Galatasaray after keeper sees red

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UPDATED:

20:28 GMT, 24 November 2012

'Are you sure you know what you’re doing, mate' Could be the question posed to Galatasaray midfielder Felipe Melo as he proceeded to put on goalkeeping gloves in the 90th minute.

His side were 1-0 up when Fernando Muslera was given his marching orders after giving away a penalty to opponents Elazigspor, handing them the opportunity to snatch a draw at the death.

Fearful the Turkish side would give up the two points, Melo pulled on the departing keeper’s jersey and gloves.

Scroll down for video

What a stop: Felipe Melo saved a penalty to keep Galatasaray's noses in front

What a stop: Felipe Melo saved a penalty to keep Galatasaray's noses in front

As Goksu Turkdogan took his run up, the 29-year-old Brazil midfielder shuffled tentatively to his left before changing his mind and diving to the right.

The outfield player parried the penalty – rather unconventionally – away from goal, sparing his goalkeeper’s blushes and sealing victory for his team in the process.

After Melo palmed Turkdogan’s shot to safety, rather than getting to his feet, he crawled along the floor, pulling a silly face to celebrate as his team-mates rushed to congratulate him.

Who could blame him for this strange display though After all, he had just gone beyond the call of duty and saved a penalty kick – despite being a defensive midfielder.

Unorthodox: Melo crawled along the floor after keeping the penalty out

Unorthodox: Melo crawled along the floor after keeping the penalty out

After stepping up and pulling off an incredible act of heroics for his side, Melo might have replied: 'Did you just see that Of course I know what I’m doing!'

Melo's team's 1-0 win over Elazigspor was their second in succession. Galatasaray beat the visiting Manchester United in Istanbul in the Champions League in midweek.

VIDEO: WATCH FELIPE MELO'S PENALTY SAVE

Edin Dzeko says Roberto Mancini can"t ignore his goals

My message to Roberto! Dzeko says Mancini can't ignore him anymore after bagging ANOTHER goal from bench

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UPDATED:

16:26 GMT, 11 November 2012

Edin Dzeko hopes manager Roberto Mancini can no longer overlook him for a regular starting role after stepping off the bench to be Manchester City's matchwinner again.

Dzeko netted in the 88th minute to grab the winning goal in a 2-1 success over Tottenham after the champions had trailed.

A first-half Steven Caulker header shocked City and it was not until the 65th minute that Sergio Aguero levelled. Dzeko, who had twice already retrieved losing positions for City this season, then proved decisive again as time ticked down.

Ignore that! Edin Dzeko came off the bench for Manchester City to spare their blushes again

Ignore that! Edin Dzeko came off the bench for Manchester City to spare their blushes again

Asked if he had a message for his boss after the game, Dzeko told Sky Sports 1: 'The goals are my message. That's the only thing.

'It's not the first time (Dzeko has scored the winner) but it is a good feeling of course.'

City goalkeeper Joe Hart was left red-faced for Spurs' opener, although the home defence allowed Caulker the space to get on the end of the free-kick.

Job done: City kept in touch with rivals Manchester United by beating Tottenham at home

Job done: City kept in touch with rivals Manchester United by beating Tottenham at home

And while Dzeko admitted City's recent defensive lapses were a cause for concern he believes the character of the team shone through.

'Again from a free-kick we conceded a goal as stupid as against Arsenal,' he said.

'We have to improve there. But after goal we were the better team for the 90 minutes and in the end we deserved it.

'Even when we are losing we come back. I hope next time we winning 1-0 and then go on and win the game. This is much harder to play.'

Soft: Steven Caulker headed past Joe Hart, who could not hold onto the ball

Soft: Steven Caulker headed past Joe Hart, who could not hold onto the ball

Soft: Steven Caulker headed past Joe Hart, who could not hold onto the ball

Soft: Steven Caulker headed past Joe Hart, who could not hold onto the ball

Manchester City 2 Tottenham 1: Match report

Manchester City 2 Tottenham 1: Aguero and Dzeko strikes spares Hart's blushes after howler

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UPDATED:

15:51 GMT, 11 November 2012

Edin Dzeko lived up to his super-sub billing by firing Manchester City to victory against Tottenham.

Dzeko struck three minutes from time to complete a defiant second-half comeback from the unbeaten Blues, who closed the gap on Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United to two points.

It was the Bosnian's seventh goal of the season, six of which have come from the bench, after Sergio Aguero had cancelled out Steven Caulker's first-half header. It also extended City's unbeaten home Premier League record to an incredible 35, and their present unbeaten league run to 16, adding weight to manager Roberto Mancini's pre-match dismissal of any sense of crisis at the Etihad Stadium.

Edin in the right direction: Dzeko came off the bench to score the winner for City

Edin in the right direction: Dzeko came off the bench to score the winner for City

Edin in the right direction: Dzeko came off the bench to score the winner for City

Edin in the right direction: Dzeko came off the bench to score the winner for City

MATCH FACTS

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic (Maicon 56), Clichy, Toure, Barry, Silva, Tevez (Dzeko 73), Kolarov, Aguero.

Subs: Pantilimon, Maicon, Dzeko, Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Toure, Razak.

Booked: Zabaleta

Goals: Aguero 65, Dzeko 88.

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker (Dawson 78), Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Sandro, Huddlestone, Lennon (Naughton 87), Bale, Dempsey, Adebayor (Defoe 80).

Subs: Lloris, Naughton, Defoe, Dawson, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Carroll.

Booked: Walker, Adebayor.

Goal: Caulker 21.

Attendance:

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

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Arriving at the ground, it was hard to escape the feeling of agitation at City, no matter what soothing words are spoken.

In his programme notes, Mancini
accentuated the positives. That long, unbeaten home run, a 10-game total
of 22 points exceeded only once by the Blues during the Premier League
era – last season – and the opportunity to equal the club's unbeaten
record in this particular competition.

“None of this evidence points to us being as badly out of form as some people would have the world believe,” the Italian said.

There is another view though – that City are now conceding goals that would have been unimaginable 12 months ago.

Two against Ajax in this stadium on
Tuesday leave City knowing even a defeat of the mighty Real Madrid will
probably not save their Champions League skins and midway through the
first half today came another calamity.

A straightforward free-kick delivered
from the touchline by Tom Huddlestone found Caulker, who had been given
too much room to make his run. The header should still have been
stopped. This time, goalkeeper Joe Hart, so often City's saviour, only
managed to shovel it in.

Mancini, seeming to make a conscious effort to curb his trigger-happy temperament, could only watch on in disbelief.

Level terms: Aguero slotted home the equaliser in the 65th minute

Level terms: Aguero slotted home the equaliser in the 65th minute

Level terms: Aguero slotted home the equaliser in the 65th minute

This might not have been so bad if
City had been awarded at least one of the two penalties they were
adamant should have come their way before the break.

William Gallas was the first
offender. And whilst he did block Aguero's flick at close quarters, his
arm was extended in a manner that, in the modern game, tends to result
in an infringement.

On the second occasion, Pablo
Zabaleta was bulldozed over by Huddlestone. That referee Michael Oliver
declined both merely intensified City ire against the official, with
Zabaleta and the returning David Silva among the more demonstrative home
players.

Back after five matches out with a hamstring strain, Silva had started brightly without finding a killer pass.

Howler: Hart allowed Caulker's header to slip through his grasp

Howler: Hart allowed Caulker's header to slip through his grasp

Howler: Hart allowed Caulker's header to slip through his grasp

For the visitors, Emmanuel Adebayor,
starting his first game of the season against his old club, was an
irritation more than anything, luring Zabaleta into a tackle he dived
over to get his one-time colleague a booking.

The introduction of Maicon for his
belated home debut offered an extra twist given it put him up against
Gareth Bale, who famously terrorised the Brazilian during his Inter
Milan days.

It also triggered a return to the much-derided three-man defence.

Yet Mancini's rejig worked.

Salvation: City were made to labour for their equaliser

Salvation: City were made to labour for their equaliser

Salvation: City were made to labour for their equaliser

On a day when little seemed to be
going right for the hosts, they profited from a couple of fortunate
bounces, allowing Yaya Toure to get on the end of Silva's pass, then
Aguero to collect possession inside the Spurs box.

Caulker got a quick lesson in how
swiftly the Argentinian can turn as he found himself heading in
completely the wrong direction as Aguero dispatched his precise shot
into the bottom corner.

From that moment on, there only seemed likely to be one winner.

With Aguero scheming, Andre Villas-Boas was forced into his own reshuffle.

Taking a tumble: Adebayor returned to his former club but failed to get on the scoresheet

Taking a tumble: Adebayor returned to his former club but failed to get on the scoresheet

Silva was denied by Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel's flying feet-first save before the veteran American denied Aguero.

Tottenham were creaking though. And
when Silva found Dzeko in the box three minutes from time, the Bosnian
kept his nerve to complete another memorable comeback.

Josh McEachran dreams of Chelsea despite Middlesbrough success

EXCLUSIVE: Josh gets his teenage kicks with Boro but he still dreams of Chelsea

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UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 8 November 2012

Did you ever think you would hear a teenage Premier League footballer use the phrase ‘jumpers for goalposts’ Meet Chelsea’s Josh McEachran. That was his childhood growing up in Oxfordshire.

He was handed his first Chelsea strip by the club at the age of eight and wore it every day in the family back garden, if he could be bothered to get out of his school uniform. Two versus two with his three brothers, who can all play a bit and are all midfielders.

Josh, 19, is the oldest so teamed up with George, the youngest, now 12 — who has followed Josh’s footsteps, and their parents Julie and Mark’s car journeys, to the Chelsea academy. Their opponents were Billy, now 14, and second oldest Zak, 18, who was released by Chelsea five years ago and now plays for Oxford City. Got that Josh and George v Billy and Zak.

Shining light: Josh McEachran is loving life on Teesside after being sent out on loan from Chelsea

Shining light: Josh McEachran is loving life on Teesside after being sent out on loan from Chelsea

Loan star: Josh McEachran

Blue boy: Josh McEachran

‘We were lucky we had a good relationship with the neighbours and they’d always throw the ball back,’ Josh said. ‘It was all we did. Two v two after school every day. As soon as we got in, we’d chuck the bags down and head out there. It was a small garden, no grass on it, just mud, we’d put down little jumpers for goalposts, get a proper ball out and batter the fences.

‘It was really competitive. They are all good footballers and it usually ended in a little row and we’d sort it out the next night. My grandad played semi-pro in Scotland and my dad only played locally but he reckons he could play. I think he thinks he is better than he was but it’s weird he has sons who are all pretty good.’

Asked who is the best of the McEachrans, he gives it some thought, blushes and smiles when he nominates himself. It is a rare moment of bravado from a shy young man who is certainly not afraid to express himself on a football pitch.

Those who have seen him play will not be surprised that his skills were honed in an enclosed backyard. He can also play a bit. He has played in 22 Chelsea games since his debut in the Champions League against MSK Zilina two years ago when he became the first player to be born after the competition started (November 1992) to play in it.

On the ball: The Oxford-born midfielder is one of four football-mad and rather talented brothers

On the ball: The Oxford-born midfielder is one of four football-mad and rather talented brothers

But a loan spell at Swansea last season fell flat, despite his style suiting Brendan Rodgers. He played five games in five months, three as a substitute.

‘I went at a bad time,’ he said. ‘They wanted to stay up, they were playing really well and Brendan didn’t want to change the team so it was tough to get in. Gylfi Sigurdsson came in a week before me, he was on fire from the start so he had to play. They did well and I can’t blame him.’

Now on loan at Middlesbrough, he is a regular in their midfield, playing a pivotal role in Tony Mowbray’s typically free-flowing side, who can go top of the Championship with a victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.

McEachran is enjoying his time on Teesside. He lives at the luxurious Rockcliffe Hall adjacent to the training ground, spending an ideal day off with his girlfriend, whom he mentions a lot, even though she is supposed to be off limits. She is Coronation Street actress Brooke Vincent, aka Sophie Webster.

It is the football I’m interested in and McEachran believes the move to the most northern Championship club is helping his development. It is working for Middlesbrough, who are looking for their biggest crowd for four years, despite the Sky cameras, after luring fans back with a half-price ticket offer. It helps that Mowbray’s methods are working.

Pass master: McEachran (left) has been a big hit at Middlesbrough playing under Tony Mowbray

Pass master: McEachran (left) has been a big hit at Middlesbrough playing under Tony Mowbray

Happy couple: Josh with girlfriend Brooke Vincent

Happy couple: Josh with girlfriend Brooke Vincent

McEachran said: ‘I could have gone to a few teams but I met Tony, got on with him and his assistant Mark Venus, saw the training ground. I know his style is to get the ball down, pass it through midfield, so it was an easy choice. He drums it in every day in training. I am playing games, which is what I came to do, and Middlesbrough are doing well. The standard is good, really competitive, anyone can beat anyone.

‘My body is getting used to it but I am feeling fitter than ever and training is not as intense because of all the games.’

McEachran is under constant review from Chelsea and he is in regular contact with assistant first-team coach Steve Holland.

He has watched recordings of seen every Chelsea game. They could recall him in January, so he wants to be primed for that. While Middlesbrough is a happy temporary location, he did not sign a five-year contract last season for the sake of it.

He said: ‘I don’t see Mata, Hazard or Oscar in my position. It would be good to play with those players, they are all on fire. I am a deeper midfielder, so that’s my favourite position, where Mikel, Lampard or Ramires play.

‘I’ve been there since I was seven and came through the youth system, so that is my dream club. That is who I want to play for, but this experience can only help me.’

FA Cup shocks continue as Dorchester beat Plymouth

FA Cup shocks continue as Dorchester beat Plymouth and Altrincham hold Burton

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UPDATED:

19:44 GMT, 4 November 2012

Jake Gosling's second-half strike helped non-league Dorchester produce another FA Cup upset this weekend as they reached the second round with a 1-0 win over npower League Two side Plymouth.

The Pilgrims got off to the worst possible start when Conor Hourihane picked up two yellow cards inside the opening 10 minutes.

Exeter loanee Gosling, released by Plymouth aged 16, converted from close range after a left-wing cross had been flicked on by long-serving defender Mark Jermyn to book the Blue Square Bet South side a second round clash at fellow non-league outfits Luton or Nuneaton.

Happy days: Dorchester Town celebrate their shock win over Plymouth

Happy days: Dorchester Town celebrate their shock win over Plymouth

Only a late strike from Calvin Zola prevented another surprise result as Burton snatched a 3-3 draw at home to Blue Square Bet North side Altrincham.

Albion are play-off contenders in League Two and although Altrincham striker Damian Reeves saw his fourth-minute spot-kick saved, they still took a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to Carl Rodgers' strike and Nathan Stanton's own goal.

Zander Diamond halved the deficit and Robbie Weir missed a penalty before Jacques Maghoma levelled proceedings.

Lucky escape: Zander Diamond scores Burton's second goal against Altrincham

Lucky escape: Zander Diamond scores Burton's second goal against Altrincham

Burton still looked to be heading out when defender Damien McCrory put through his own net in the 86th minute but Zola spared their blushes to ensure a replay, with Crewe awaiting the winners.

Gloucester City and Leyton Orient's clash as well as Braintree's encounter with League One leaders Tranmere both fell foul of the weather, with Alfreton and Chesterfield awaiting the respective winners.

New dates for the rearranged games are yet to be announced.

Mersey Beat: Goodison Park curse

Rodgers must overcome the curse of Goodison Park

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UPDATED:

09:31 GMT, 26 October 2012

The Merseyside derby. A game to stir the emotions, a collision that generates national fascination but a fixture that, for new Liverpool managers heading to Goodison Park, have proven to be nothing short of a nightmare.

As the man who takes Liverpool across Stanley Park on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers – who has been saying all week how he is looking forward to his first experience – can be assured of a hot reception when he steps out at Goodison but what can he expect at full time

If history is a pointer, then he will have to endure the sound of Evertonians celebrating. Of the 18 previous managers in Liverpool’s 120-year history, only one – Kenny Dalglish – has managed to make his first trip to Goodison a winning one.

Curse: Mikel Arteta strikes to help beat Roy Hodgson's Liverpool in October 2010

Curse: Mikel Arteta strikes to help beat Roy Hodgson's Liverpool in October 2010

At first glance, that statistic seems wholly improbable. But flick through the record books and you will see that some of Liverpool’s most famous names, with the notable exception of Dalglish, have all suffered some kind of frustration at the hands of the Blues.

Take Roy Hodgson and Rafa Benitez. Both men underestimated the power and significance of the fixture, losing 2-0 (October 2010) and 1-0 (December 2004) respectively after overseeing displays that were way below what was expected.

Those men, of course, followed Gerard Houllier. The Frenchman had a fine record against Everton but his first trip to Everton’s home in sole charge of Liverpool (April 2000) ended with them benefiting from extreme fortune and a 0-0 draw should have been a 1-0 defeat.

That game was memorable for little other than Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld smashing a free-kick into Everton’s forward Don Hutchison in the final minute then watching in horror as the ball trickled goal-wards. Referee Graham Poll spared his blushes by controversially blowing for time before the ball had finished rolling.

Nothing so dramatic could save Roy
Evans in November 1994 when Joe Royle unleashed Everton’s ‘Dogs of War’
and Duncan Ferguson’s efforts ensured that Royle’s first game in charge
of Everton ended in a 2-0 win.

Clash: Sander Westerveld (left) and Francis Jeffers come to blows in 1999

Clash: Sander Westerveld (left) and Francis Jeffers come to blows in 1999

Removing Dalglish – more on him later
– from the equation, the next four Liverpool mangers escaped with
draws. Graeme Souness (1-1 December 1991), Joe Fagan (1-1 March 1984),
Bob Paisley (0-0 November 1974) and Bill Shankly (2-2 September 1962)
all took something from behind the old enemy’s lines.

Going back into the 1950s, neither Phil Taylor nor Don Welch had the opportunity to manage a Liverpool side at Goodison as both clubs spent that decade in different divisions but the men who preceded them in the main suffered misery.

George Kay, manager of Liverpool’s title winning side of 1946-47 He lost 2-0 in September 1936. What about his predecessor George Patterson Lost 1-0 in September 1928. And it goes on and on.

Matt McQueen saw his team beaten 1-0 in October 1923, Dave Ashworth secured a 0-0 draw in December 1919, while Tom Watson (1-2 October 1896) and John McKenna, the first man to cross Stanley Park with Liverpool, (0-3 October 1894) also suffered defeat.

It is remarkable, then, that the first time Dalglish set foot on Goodison in both his spells in charge of Liverpool, he ended up victorious. If the 3-2 win in September 1985 was dramatic – a game that is still spoken about on Merseyside – last October’s 2-0 success was more comfortable.

Old foe: Dalglish (right) has enjoyed success against Everton

Old foe: Dalglish (right) has enjoyed success against Everton

So what must Rodgers do on Sunday if he
is to stand alongside Dalglish and not suffer the fate of so many other
Liverpool managers It sounds simple but he cannot afford to
underestimate how significant this meeting is.

He will be coming up against the best Everton team of David Moyes’ era, one that can play elegant football but one that also has the ability to fight, battle and dominate opponents. If Liverpool don’t want to do the dirty work early on, it is quite possible the events of October 2010 will be repeated.

After Everton demolished Liverpool that day, Hodgson infamously suggested it had been his side’s best performance of the season and they were unlucky to lose. Not a bit of it. Everton dominated from start to finish and 2-0 did not reflect their superiority.

There has been a sense on Merseyside that the balance of power has started to shift ever so slightly and it is Everton who will be the most realistic contenders for a European place via a place in the Barclays Premier League next spring.

For the moment that is all conjecture. Only at 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon will see whether that is true – or if Rodgers has managed to lift the Goodison curse of the new Liverpool manager.

Ashley Cole available for selection for England but likely to be rested

Hodgson to spare FA blushes by resting Cole despite being told he can pick under-fire Chelsea star

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UPDATED:

21:14 GMT, 8 October 2012

Ashley Cole will not be banned from playing for England for his Twitter attack on the Football Association.

Officials at the FA have chosen to leave the decision with Roy Hodgson and it is up to the England manager if he now wants to inform Cole that he will not play against San Marino on Friday as a punishment for branding the governing body a ‘bunch of t**ts’.

But the FA did hit the England and Chelsea left back with a misconduct charge on Monday for his remark on Twitter and Sportsmail understands Hodgson has no intention of taking any action of his own.

Training day: Cole with England at St George's Park on Monday

Training day: Cole with England at St George's Park on Monday

In allowing Hodgson to decide if Cole should be suspended, the FA are inviting criticism. Former England captain Alan Shearer led the calls for him to be suspended for being so disrespectful towards the FA – sparking a fresh Twitter riposte from Cole – and such leniency will be seen as the governing body failing to display proper leadership as the moral guardians of the game.

The FA could respond by pointing to the stance they have taken on John Terry, both in stripping him of the England captaincy and in dealing with the race row at Loftus Road. They could point to the way they reprimanded Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, too.

But they also refused to discuss whether Terry would have been allowed to continue representing England in the wake of the hearing. Instead, Wembley officials cited the fact that Terry had made the decision for them by retiring from international football the night before appearing before the independent commission that banned him for four matches and fined him 220,000.

It is unlikely Cole will play in this week’s World Cup qualifier at Wembley, but only because Hodgson plans to rest the player with a slight ankle problem – in the knowledge he can call on a more-than-capable understudy in Leighton Baines – and so make sure Cole is fit for next week’s clash with Poland in Warsaw.

Starting role: Baines will feature if Hodgson decides to rest Cole

Starting role: Baines will feature if Hodgson decides to rest Cole

It does also solve a problem for the FA – sparing the governing body the embarrassment of seeing their chairman David Bernstein shaking Cole’s hand in the pre-match line-ups before a capacity Wembley crowd. But officials will still have to endure the sight of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meeting Cole at the official opening of St George’s Park on Tuesday. The Duke is also the president of the organisation which the 31-year-old insulted after last Friday’s publication of the independent commission’s report into the Terry affair.

Hodgson contacted Cole on Friday to ascertain whether his anger towards the FA was about to lead to him following Terry into international retirement.

The defender assured Hodgson it was not and on Monday Cole reported for international duty with the rest of his colleagues at the new National Football Centre. It is understood Hodgson once again reminded all his players of their responsibilities as England internationals on Monday night.

The FA were concerned that the Cole situation would overshadow the Royal visit but it is only on Tuesday that Hodgson will be able to respond to questions from the media about the episode.

Having intervened in the past and stripped Terry of the captaincy, Bernstein will also face questions for the first time about both Terry and Cole in the context of the England team.

Question time: Bernstein is likely to be grilled over Terry (left) and Cole

Question time: Bernstein is likely to be grilled over Terry (left) and Cole

On Monday night Hodgson and FA officials were made available to the BBC but questions were limited to coaching and the NFC in Burton.

The FA might have insisted discipline and England are separate issues when Terry accused them of making his position ‘untenable’, but Terry was stripped of the captaincy over a disciplinary matter and there have been plenty of other such examples in the past.

Cole did issue an ‘unreserved apology’ last week for a tweet that also landed him in trouble with his employers at Chelsea, but the FA still took action on Monday as part of their normal disciplinary processes.

A brief FA statement said: ‘Ashley Cole has been charged by the FA in relation to a Twitter comment which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.’

Cole has been given until 4pm on Thursday to respond, which is a much tighter schedule than normal but may have been set with Friday’s game in mind.

Plenty to ponder: Hodgson has endured a turbulent month

Plenty to ponder: Hodgson has endured a turbulent month

As reported by Sportsmail on Monday, Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand has been called into the squad as a replacement for the injured Kieran Gibbs, with Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey also now among the seniors as cover for Frank Lampard, should the Chelsea midfielder be forced to withdraw with a knee injury he suffered over the weekend.

Shelvey is banned for the Under 21s this week but that would not stop him representing the seniors, even though Hodgson has called him in more for the experience.

If Lampard is out, Hodgson will also have to find a new captain, with Steven Gerrard already suspended for the San Marino match. Joe Hart and Wayne Rooney would be the leading candidates.

One piece of good news for England is the fact that Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski is set to miss next week’s World Cup qualifier after suffering an ankle injury while playing for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

Bolton 2 Watford 1: Matt Mills scores as Wanderers win

Bolton 2 Watford 1: Wanderers benefit from Mills boon

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UPDATED:

16:43 GMT, 15 September 2012

Matt Mills scored his first goal for Bolton as they bounced back from two consecutive defeats to beat Watford at the Reebok Stadium this afternoon.

The former Reading and Leicester defender struck early on, and Bolton captain Kevin Davies hit a second just before the break to give the home side some breathing space.

Net profit: Kevin Davies (2nd L) scores Bolton's second goal

Net profit: Kevin Davies (2nd L) scores Bolton's second goal

Watford fought back in the second half and Lloyd Doyley's cross-cum shot provided a tense finish for both sides.

Bolton went close after only two minutes but Manuel Almunia made a great save from Marcos Alonso's header and the ball was cleared off the line.

MATCH FACTS

BOLTON: Bogdan, Mears, Mills, Knight, Alonso, M Davies, Andrews (Pratley 66), Spearing, Eagles, K Davies, N'Gog (Afobe 59). Unused subs: Lonergan, Petrov, Ricketts, Sordell, Lee.

Goals: Mills 3, K Davies 42

Booked: Mears

WATFORD: Almunia, Doyley, Neuton, Nosworthy, Pudil, Yeates (Beleck 88), Hogg, Abdi (Smith 80), Murray (Forestieri 67), Iwelumo, Vydra. Unused subs: Bond, Cassetti, Chalobah, Ekstrand.

Goals: Doyley 58.

Booked: Doyley, Pudil.

Referee: E Ilderton

Att: 16,608

Gianfranco Zola's side didn't heed the warning though and were behind a minute later.

A Chris Eagles corner was well met by Mills and despite Almunia getting a hand to it, he could not keep it out.

Watford's first sight of goal came 10 minutes later but after moving infield, Mark Yeates dragged his shot, which was easily held by Adam Bogdan.

Owen Coyle's side went close to another as the first half wore on, but Almunia was quick off the line to stifle an David Ngog shot.

The striker was well into the action and just a minute later spared his side's blushes by clearing a Nyron Nosworthy header off the line from a Watford corner.

Bolton's Eagles continued to cause problems from set pieces, this time swinging in a dangerous cross that Davies could only head over but with three minutes to go to half-time, Bolton doubled their lead and once again, a ball into the box from Eagles did the damage, with Davies steering the cross into the far corner.

Yeates almost grabbed a goal back out of nothing before the break, but his speculative volley from the edge of the area cannoned back off the crossbar and Jay Spearing hooked the ball clear.

The first chance of the second half came after 50 minutes.

Ngog crossed to Davies but the ball was only half cleared into the path of Eagles and his rasping goalbound shot was diverted wide by Nosworthy, but Watford looked dangerous too, and a Daniel Pudil 20 yard drive went just wide of Bogdan's far post.

Watford were rewarded for their impressive start just before the hour mark after Doyley's cross eluded Bogdan and found the far corner, and the away side continued to press with Nosworthy going close again with a header from a Yeates corner but the defender could not hit the target.

Kevin Davies had a really good chance to calm the home supporters' nerves with 12 minutes to go after substitute Benik Afobe picked him out, but the Bolton captain could only head straight at Almunia, though Bolton were able to hang on for the points.