It’s not been a good week for my sporting interests!

Liverpool struggled to overcome Belgian side Standard Liege in the return leg at Anfield after being held to a scoreless draw in Belgium. Liverpool only avoided penalties at Anfield courtesy of a late goal by Dirk Kuyt in the 118th minute of the game to make it into the group stages of the Champions League. But have been drawn in group D with Atletico Madrid, Marseille and PSV Eindhoven which has been dubbed as the group of death! So Liverpool will have to lift their game substantially if they are to into the knock out stage. The 120 minutes in midweek took it’s toll on Liverpool as they faced Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon as they could only manage a scoreless draw with Villa. There was further bad news from Villa Park as Fernando Torres limped off after 30 minutes and is expected to be out for weeks. But Chelsea failed to capitalise on Liverpool’s failure to win against Villa as the London team could only manage a 1 – 1 draw with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge. So Chelsea are top of the table ahead of Liverpool on goal difference.

Plymouth Argyle still haven’t bagged 3 points this season with another draw at Turfmoor against Burnley. Plymouth never threatened Burnley’s goal and were fortunate to keep a clean sheet and claim a point. But all credit to Graham Stack for making two excellent saves to keep Argyle on level terms including a last moment stop denying Joey Gudjonsson and Burnley all 3 points. Sturrock is still making excuses for his team saying that the team hasn’t gelled, just accept that the players he has signed aren’t good enough for the current level of championship football. Bearing in mind that the Championship only has two teams without Premiership experience, one of those teams being Plymouth. Although I think that Graham Stack might be coming along nicely but the next game will be the proof of the pudding as far as Stack is concerned. Plymouth are hovering just above the drop zone on goal difference right now and desperately need a haul to three points at Home Park against Norwich in two weeks time. Hopefully Sturrock’s men will have gelled by that time along with new loan signing Nicolas Marin and maybe even Stoke’s Glenn Whelan if the rumours are true.

In cricket, at least England avenged their 2 – 1 test series defeat against South Africa by taking an unassailable 3 – 0 lead in the five game one day series. South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl. England scored a total of 296 runs in their 50 over with the loss of 7 wickets with Ian Bell and Andrew Flintoff forming the backbone of the scoring, hitting 37 and 78 respectively. South Africa had a run chase of 297 to win but things didn’t go well for the Proteas with only Hashim Amla managing to break past the 20 run barrier to top scored with 46 runs. South Africa fell 126 runs short of the required total as they were bowled out in just under 43 overs. Yesterday England took their fourth win to go 4 – 0 up in the series, keeping hopes alive of a whitewash of South Africa in the one day international series. England beat South Africa by 7 wickets under the Duckworth Lewis ruling as the day had constant rain interruptions. The final game in the series is on Wednesday in Cardiff, let’s hope for good weather to send the Springboks home with their tails between their legs.

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