Levski Sofia 2 – 4 Liverpool (Agg 2 – 6)
It’s the second leg and Liverpool are 2-0 up courtesy of strikes from Steven Gerrard and Harry “Crazy like a fool” Kewell in the first canada goose coat 1000 bulbs garland leg. Changes from last week: Bruno Cheyrou partners Michael Owen up front for the visitors, with Milan Baros dropping to the bench. According to an excitable man on best mens canada goose jacket the telly, top commentator Jonathan Pearce, Gerard Houllier doesn’t want to risk playing him in three consecutive matches so soon after his return from injury.
1 min: Levski Sofia kick off playing from left to right (or right to left, depending on your view), wearing an all-blue strip. The ground is very smoky as a result of thousands of authentic canada goose outlet Levski fans setting off flares to celebrate the 126th anniversary of Bulgarian liberation from Ottoman rule. But then you probably knew that today was a national holiday in Bulgaria.
2 mins: Not a lot going on early doors. The usual probing and midfield faffery. Stanslav Angelov picks up the ball in midfield and promptly gives it away again.
4 mins: Simonovich goes down in a heap after a robust challenge from Stephane Henchoz. Free-kick for Levski deep inside their own half.
6 mins: Levski Sofia 0 – 1 Liverpool (Agg: 0-3) Steven Gerrard latches on to a catastrophic back-pass from Stoyanov, takes the ball around Ivankov in the Levski goal and slots it home from a very tight angle. A good opportunist goal which he did well to poke in after initially appearing to take the ball too wide.
10 mins: Levski Sofia 0 – 2 Liverpool (Agg:0-4) It’s certainly not like Liverpool to keep me this busy. Michael Owen scores a long overdue goal after Harry Kewell sent him pelting down the left flank with a pass that caught the Levski defence square. Owen bore down on Ivankov with a diagonal run and buried the ball past him as if the goalkeeper wasn’t there.
15 mins: Liverpool go five minutes without scoring and I get a chance to catch my breath. Levski Sofia need to score five goals to win this tie now. No problem.
16 mins: According to Five’s man on the touchline, the Liverpool bench are delighted. And why not? Their players were told to push forward as much as they could early doors in the hope of catching Levski’s doddery defence flat-footed. As Hannibal Smith was fond of saying on The A-Team while chawing on a big fat cigar: I love it when a plan comes together.
19 mins: Liverpool are completely bossing this match, with Levski not at the races at all. Meanwhile, a hilarious missive from Tony O’Brien about a certain high profile football personality’s recent ‘dogging’ shame: “A spokesman for Guardian Unlimited said that the website had no plans to employ Glendenning in the near future. ‘Barry Glendenning worked for us on an ad-hoc basis as and when we asked and he was available,’ he explained. “He was not contracted to the Guardian, we don’t rely on him and we have no plans to use him in the near future. Unless there is a particularly unpleasant assignment such as watching Liverpool twice in a week while hiding in some bushes.”
Very droll. Woof! Woof!
20 mins: Appalling defending from Topuzakov allows Harry Kewell to breach the Levski walls. He shoots from distance and brings a smart save out of Ivankov, whose name still elicits juvenile titters from this minute-by-minute commentator every time I hear it.
23 mins: Liverpool win a free-kick about 40 yards out after Gerrard is brought down by Angelov. Nothing comes of it.
25 mins: Steve Finnan concedes a free-kick on the edge of the Liverpool box. Vidolov takes it and sends it sailing over Chris Kirkland’s cross-bar.
26 mins: Levski 1 – 2 Liverpool (Agg 1-4) Levski attempt to drag themselves back into the tie with an excellent goal from Georgi Ivanov. Totally against the run of play, Levski strung together a passing move reminiscent of Good Arsenal in full flow, which culminated in the ball ricocheting off a mesmerised Steve Finnan’s legs and falling for Georgi Ivanov. The striker did well to shoot low across Chris Kirkland’s dive and into the bottom corner.
32 mins: A big fat, juicy cheap canada goose, long overdue lull. Oh, hold on – Mr B Cheyrou whips in a cross from the right, which Mr M Owen attempts to get on the end of by sliding dramatically into the edge of the six-yard box. He gets a big welly full of fresh air and the ball goes for a throw-in.
35 mins: The Levski Sofia defence is absolutely terrible, but they don’t look too bad going buy canada goose parka ottawa forward. Their passing is neat, they’re not too bad at keeping possession and star striker Georgi Ivanov has great hair.
38 mins: Corner for Liverpool. Kewell takes it and Temile canada goose coat $5000 no credit check signature loans clears. Levski Sofia win a throw-in.
40 mins Levski Sofia 2 – 2 Liverpool (Agg: 2-4) Another fine goal from the Levskis after another fine passing move. Deep in Liverpool territory they kept possession well before Simonovic took possession just outside the Liverpool box and – under pressure from Hyypia – curled a lovely shot around Chris Kirkland.
42 mins: Levski Sofia 2 – 3 Liverpool (Agg: 2-5) I think I preferred the Liverpool of yore that never scored. Anyway, to the goal: Liverpool corner. Gerrard. Unmarked German midfielder named Dietmar Hamann. Lurking. Far post. Head. Ball. Goal.
Half-time explanation of dogging for people who are mailing in in their droves claiming not to know what it is: The best thing I can do is suggest you Google it. However, to the best of my knowledge that’s how Stan canada goose coat 1000 calorie diet Collymore got, em, sucked into it in best canada goose jacket style the first place so maybe you should steer a wide berth of the whole sorry sexual jamboree.
Ah, go on Baz …Oh, alright then. Suffice to say that the pursuit of ‘dogging’ involves assorted parties parking their cars at prearranged meeting spots and engaging in lewd activities together. It’s a bit like roasting, but the venues tend to be less salubrious than the Grosvenor House Hotel. I know too much.
45 mins: “This game is crazy,” writes Brian from Detroit. “Five goals already and counting. Are Liverpool playing like this as a result of the Houllier death threat? Does he have a bodyguard – can you see?”
He has two bodyguards on the bench, Brian. Any hitman trying to plug him from the roof of the stand will have to get past his assistant manager Phil Thompson’s bulbous nose first. In the unlikely event of him swerving a bullet around that, I’m sure Emile Heskey will trip over his tracksuit bottoms, fall in front of his boss and take it in the chest for him.
46 mins: Vidolov attempts to latch on to a long ball from the back and Chris Kirkland has to be quick off his line to avert the danger.
47 mins: Levski win a corner. It’s swung in to the far post where Georgi Ivanov out-jumps Steve Finnan. However, what the Liverpool defender lacks in stature he more than makes up for in enthusiasm and he does enough to put the striker off. Wide.
49 mins: David Brennan has mailed in to let me know he’s found a ‘dogging’ website and it doesn’t make sense. Few of these things ever do, David. Different, eh, strokes for different folks etc.
A promising Levski move breaks down when Simonovic tries to take too much out of the ball in the Liverpool box.
52 mins: Chilikov does well to relieve Danny Murphy of the ball deep in his own half but immediately undoes his hard work by giving the ball to Micheal Owen. He runs down a cul-de-sac and Levski clear.
54 mins: Levski attack down Liverpool’s left flank, where Angelov attempts to take on Finnan. He wins a corner which Liverpool clear. Kewell breaks and instead of crossing to Cheyrou at the Levski far post, the Australian – who’s married to Betty Eggleton from Emmerdale, or someone – tries to do too much and concedes a throw. That won’t go down to well in t’Woolpack.
57 mins: Very sporting behaviour from Liverpool. In an attempt to give Levski a chance of getting back into the tie, they haul off Steve Finnan and replace him with Igor Biscan.
58 mins: Liverpool win a free-kick wide on the left touchline. Steven Gerrard hoists a big garryowen into the box, but it’s too near the goalkeeper, who claims it comfortably.
60 mins: On Five Jonathan Pearce has just plugged his football magazine programme Football Night With Jonathan Pearce which is on at – I think – 1am tomorrow night. Although it’s generally a fine programme, I wouldn’t really mention it only his special guest is one Stanley Victor Collymore. A nugget of information, incidentally, the commentator commendably managed to impart without sniggering.
62 mins: Chris Kirkland does well to amazon canada goose jacket tip an Angelov piledriver over the bar. Nowt comes of the corner. Levski substitutions: Golovski for Bukarev and Borimirov for Stoyanov.
65 mins: Borimirov goes down after his own team-mate, Angelov, clatters into him.
66 mins: Levski Sofia 2 – 4 Liverpool(Agg: 2-6) More shocking defending from Levski Sofia. A corner comes in from the right and despite being marked by two defenders, Sami Hyypia still manages to plant a header past Ivanov.
67 mins: Liverpool substitution: Bruno Cheyrou off, Milan Baros on. Levski Sofia substitution: Kolev on, Chilik … ah, who cares. I certainly don’t. Do you?
71 mins: Liverpool attack and Harry Kewell gets an accidental rap on the ankle after a collision with a Levski defender. Prognosis: He’ll live.
72 mins: “As Liverpool look to have won the tie and are heading comfortably through, has anyone got a good thing to say about Ken Bates?” enquires worried Sheffield Wednesday fan Michael Laycock, who obviously doesn’t have time for a long chat.
74 mins: “It’s an amazing thing is Google,” writes Phil James. “Within seconds I knew all about dogging and where I could go dogging locally.”
Which is not to say that Phil’s gone off with a flask and sandwiches, I hasten to add. Still, it’s nice to have the option. best ideas about canada goose outlet online on pinterest Eh Stan?
77 mins: There’s players dropping like flies here, looking for treatment and being stretchered off all over the place. They’re like old women they’re so soft. Milan Baros chests down a long pass from the right on the edge of the Levski box. It’s a nice bit of skill, which would have been a lot more impressive if he’d managed to stay onside.
79 mins: “Why aren’t you ‘covering’ the Newcastle game?” enquires a disgruntled Mike Seymour, with wantonly superfluous use of apostrophes. I’ll let you in on a little secret here Mike – if I had my way I wouldn’t be covering this can you buy canada goose jacket online one either. However, if you want to bask in a persecution complex. it may well have something to do with my fondness for Sunderland FC. In fact I could have covered it but I chose not to. So there!
83 mins: And another mail from Mike Seymour, who is quite clearly just a mealy-mouthed, nit-picking clown: “Why d’ya miss off Didi’s goal from the strapline?” he wails.
87 mins: Chris Kirkland gets a rare touch as the beautifully coiffured Georgi Ivanov heads straight at him from about 10 yards.
88 mins: Temili cuts inside from the right, beats two Liverpool defenders and sends a low 25-yard bouncer fizzing just wide. A good effort from the Levski Sofia man.
90 mins: Mike Seymour will be delighted to learn I’ve put Did Hamann’s goal in the strapline. I can imagine how fastidious you are Mike, so to keep your records in order you might like to record in your spotter’s notebook that I did it at 20:58pm on Wednesday March 3rd, 2004. You big geek.
92 mins: Peep! Peep! Peep! No, it’s not the sound of Mike Seymour’s model train pulling out of the model station that occupies most of his bedroom. It’s the referee blowing his whistle for full-time. Tonight’s easy win means Liverpool are through to the last 16 of the Uefa Cup. I hope you’re all as thrilled as I am.
93 mins: What?
94 mins: Eh?
95 mins: Oh!
Tying up of loose ends I: Mike Seymour has sent me yet another email with the witty riposte: “It takes one to know one, boyo!” in the subject bar.
Tying up of loose ends II: With regard to Sheffield Wednesday fan Michael Laycock’s mail (72 mins): Not one single person has anything good to say about Ken Bates.
Levski Sofia: Ivankov, Bukarev, Chilikov, Stanislav Angelov, Stoyanov, Temile, Simonovic, Markov, Vidolov, Georgi Ivanov, Topuzakov. Subs: Petkov, Biser Ivanov, Borimirov, Kolev, Golovskoy, Stankov, Wagner.
Liverpool: Kirkland, Finnan, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Murphy, Gerrard, Hamann, Kewell, Cheyrou, Owen.Subs: Dudek, Baros, Heskey, Diouf, Le Tallec, Biscan, Traore.
Referee: Peter Frojdfeldt (Sweden)