It’s been a day of mixed fortunes for my sporting interests, my home football team Plymouth Argyle lost 2 – 0 at the Valley against Charlton Athletic while Liverpool beat Wolves 3 – 0 at Molineux. First up the Plymouth game; today’s game was just another example of what Peter Reid has been talking about; the lack of consistency; one day it’ll be a stunning performance and a few days later, Argyle look like they’re short on ideas, unable to break down the opposition defence. Not that Plymouth played that badly today but it’s still a loss; a potential three points gone begging. It did take the home side 55 minutes to break through the Pilgrims defence to register their first goal; you could say that Plymouth were unlucky to concede in the dying moments but that’s football! This loss means Argyle slip back to 15th in the league, six points off the relegation zone, a very precarious position to be in given the recent form, four losses and one win in the last five league games, having to sell the best players to stay afloat hasn’t helped matters!
The scoreline that Liverpool achieved against Wolves was somewhat flattering, Wolves made a good game of it but it’s the end result that counts. So Kenny Dalglish got the monkey off his back with his first win since taking charge at Anfield. The Reds first goal came from Fernando Torres who had an easy tap-in from Raul Meireles’ pass in the 36th minute. Provider of the first goal Meireles got on the scoresheet himself with a 25 yard volleyed wonder-goal that left the Wolves defence watching the ball fly into the back of the net five minute after the half time interval! Torres rounded out the result with a second goal in the 91st minute to make the scoreline 0 – 3. Is Torres finally regaining his form after his dismal world cup and start to the Premiership season? Today’s win moves Liverpool upto 10th in the Premier League, just nine points off Chelsea in the “big four” places, hopefully this result is the start of a resurgence, “King” Kenny at the helm, brings back good memories of past glories! I believe that Champions League football next season is not unrealistic if Liverpool can continue this sort of form over the next dozen games!
I don’t know what has happened to the English cricket team in Australia after their fantastic Ashes win. England have lost the second one day international against the Aussies by 46 runs. The English bowlers did well to bowl out Australia for 230 in 48.2 overs; Shaun Marsh was hero of the day for Australia hitting 110 runs including 8 fours and 2 sixes. Again it was the English batsmen that let the side down when it came time to bat. Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell top scored for England with 32 runs apiece; next highest score was Yardy’s 22 runs. England are now 2 – 0 down in the series of seven one day internationals, it’s vital that England step up their performance to win the third one dayer; if Australia take a 3 – 0 lead; England will have a massive mountain to climb, needing to win the remaining four games to claim the series win. Maybe it’s time to have a completely separate one day side? It has been suggested that England’s poor performances in the one day series is because of fatigue from the Ashes; although Ian Bell disputes that rumour!
[Update: 23 Jan 2011] England have lost the third one day International in Australia by four wickets. England won the toss and elected to bat and again the batsmen were poor; collectively only managing to score 214 all out in 48 overs and that was largely thanks to Jonathan Trott’s 84 not out, second highest score was Luke Wright’s 32; that’s not a good sign when a #8 batsman outscores five of the six top order batsmen! Australia chased down the target of 215 to win easily with four wickets and four overs to spare with David Hussey the pick of the batsmen finishing the Aussie innings 68 not out backed up by Brad Haddin who added 54 to the cause. So Australia are 3 – 0 up on the series with four to play, England need to win the remaining four to take the series win, which is highly unlikely given England’s form in the last three one dayers!