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Liverpool 1-0 Man. City – Barclaycard Premiership – 25 Nov. 06 November 26, 2006

Posted by erouhban in Liverpool FC, Sports.
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badgelogo1.JPGRafael Benitez is once again saved from embarrassment by the sheer determination of one of the greatest midfielders to play for Liverpool. Losing points at Anfield against a team that has an awful away record – as bad as Liverpool’s! – would have been a disaster. The game was heading in that direction and it seemed that Mr. Benitez was preparing his excuses for the post game press conference – he does have a good alibi this time; injuries! – until his skipper stepped in to score the game’s only goal. Steven Gerrard’s consistency in putting up a fight in every single game he plays is what makes him a class above his team mates. Another Gerrard in the team would work miracles!       

To be fair, the Liverpool players did have a decent game. The back four were solid, although again not tested, and the new midfield line-up – with Riise joining in on the left – did an acceptable job supplying the strikers. Luis Garcia had a good game displaying his ball control talents more than once but failed to score a very easy chance. The strikers – this is where we need a world class player! – had a good game taking their chances whenever they could but failing to convert again.       

Another home game, another win, another three points! Let’s see what happens on their next road trip!

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Roundup – Uefa Champions League – 22 Nov. 06 November 23, 2006

Posted by erouhban in Champions League, Sports.
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chmps.JPGAlthough fewer goals were scored than in Tuesday’s games, most of the matches played on Wednesday weren’t dull as well, including another upset for an Italian club! This time the underdogs were Ukraine’s Shakhtar who managed to beat and hold off Roma 1-0, slightly scarring the good image the Italian club has put on lately.   

Moving to Anfield, it is always nice to see Liverpool perform well and that is exactly what happened when they beat PSV 2-0 securing top spot in their group. Although their good fortunes in Europe continue to roll, their inexplicable change in form between Europe and the Premiership, and again between home and away games, continues to worry everyone! Another worry is the sight of Xabi Alonso, Mark Gonzalez, and Jermaine Pennant all being stretched off! Let’s hope their inuries are minor! Elsewhere, a terrific Werder Bremen beat Chelsea 1-0, making the final encounter between themselves and Barcelona a classic! Barcelona, who beat Levski Sophia 2-0 on the night, will have to win on the final match-day to ensure qualification!   

In the other games Spartak Moscow drew 2-2 with Bayern Munich, Valencia beat Olympiacos 2-0, Bordeaux beat Galatasaray 3-1, and finally Inter Milan beat Sporting Lisbon 1-0.     

Roundup – Uefa Champions league – 21 Nov. 06 November 22, 2006

Posted by erouhban in Champions League, Sports.
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chmps.JPGFor those of you who watch the Champions League on ART and cannot make up your minds on which of the games to follow, tune in to ART sports 4 and get live highlights from all the games taking place! Although we have neared the end of the group phase with most of the qualified teams already known, it wasn’t a dull night, and a few wonderful goals were scored.      

Lyon continue to impress drawing 2-2 with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Gerard Houllier’s team making the best of 2 very silly Real Madrid defensive blunders – if only Houllier’s good fortunes were present while at Anfield! Real Madrid, who while weak at the back never have a problem scoring with their star studded front lineup, got 2 back and missed a penalty by Ruud Van Niestelrooy. Elsewhere, a wonderful strike from Japanese midfielder Nakamura gave Celtic a 1-0 win over Manchester United who also missed a penalty by louis Saha. With Benfica beating Copenhagen 3-1 in the same group, still no one is guaranteed qualification. The upset of the day came from AEK Athens who beat AC Milan 1-0 in Greece increasing Milan’s woes both domestically and in Europe.    

In the other games CSKA Moscow lost to FC Porto 0-2, Steaua Bucharest drew 1-1 with Dynamo Kiev, Lille drew 2-2 with Anderlecht, and finally Arsenal beat Hamburg 3-1.       

M’Brough 0-0 Liverpool – Barclaycard Premiership – 18 Nov. 06 November 19, 2006

Posted by erouhban in Liverpool FC, Sports.
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badgelogo.JPGAnother dull game from Liverpool who are now in the midst of an awful away spell; still no wins outside Anfield this season! Although they were outdone in the poorness department by Middlesbrough, who did not get a single shot on or off target in the first half, they themselves were out of ideas and options come scoring time.

          

The staring line up was better than Arsenal’s game with the midfielders playing in their preferred positions. But again, despite getting the lions share of the stats, poor individual performances from everyone –excluding Pepe Reina- keeps the fans’ frustration levels very high.   

A permanent solution has to be found; Champions League money has been rolling in for some time now, maybe a visit to the winter marketplace for some high caliber players might open up new options for the manager, and kick off some inter-player rivalry. This might put the players under some pressure to deliver, and deliver they can as we saw a long time ago in Istanbul!

Arsenal 3-0 Liverpool – Barclaycard premiership – 12 Nov. 06 November 13, 2006

Posted by erouhban in Liverpool FC, Sports.
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What a disaster! This game summarizes the team’s performances of the last ten years or so: very, very, poor.

     

The major problem is that Mr. Benitez is starting to show traces of stubbornness inherited from Mr. Houllier; in addition to his continuous rotation policy, he starts again with the awful midfield line-up, playing Steven Gerrard out of position on the right, and the aging right winger Boudewijn Zenden in the middle. All the above accompanied by poor performances from Xabi Alonso and Mark Gonzales gave –a not so impressive themselves- Arsenal a walk through the park! The back four seemed solid at first but how Arsenal managed to beat the offside trap time and time again is beyond me.

     

The manner of the loss is very worrying; no fight whatsoever from the Reds! Let’s just hope they manage to get into the champions League next season. Other than that, NO COMMENT!

        

Yes – Tales from Topographic Oceans November 9, 2006

Posted by erouhban in Music, Prog Rock.
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tales.jpgIt is now well known that you either like or dislike this album. As an avid yes fan, I have to say that this is one of their best. Listening to it is a little tiring with 4 very long tracks changing the album’s momentum continuously, but after 2 or 3 runs you start feeling its magic. The album is packed with terrific work from Steve Howe and Chris Squire. Rick Wakeman does give you an impression that he wants out (he did leave after Tales) although he has 2 very nice solos in there, and Alan White does a good enough job not letting you miss the brilliant Bill Bruford. Surprisingly, Jon Anderson sings his utmost best; the amazing lyrics are -as always- beyond this world and are sang beautifully.  

“The Revealing Science of God” is one of the best ballads I have ever heard, a great progressive song as well as a great tune with a beautiful ending. “The Remembering High the Memory” and “The Ancient Giants under the Sun” are more technical; the latter having a nice classic guitar piece in the middle. “Ritual” is also a great tune with very nice bass work, and again, nice vocals at the ending. 

All in all “Tales” is a must for all Yes and progressive rock fans. You have to remember that this album came after the best ever progressive release -“Close to the Edge”-; expectations were high and critics very harsh.

Liverpool 2-0 Reading – Barclaycard premiership – 4 Nov. 06 November 5, 2006

Posted by erouhban in Liverpool FC, Sports.
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An average performance from Liverpool – surely not one of prospective champions, especially if Manchester United and Chelsea continue cruising at the top of the table -,  and poor one from Reading – although not much was expected – that gave the home side an easy victory via two close range tap ins from Dirk Kuyt.

Good news is that the back four seemed solid, although they were never seriously tested, with a few excursions to Reading’s end of the field from Sami Hyppia, Jamie Carragher, and John Arne Riise. Steven Gerrard had a nice game as well, passing accurately and getting a few shots on goal keeping up with his terrific performance against Bordeaux in the Champions League. Otherwise, it was an average game for the remainder of the Merseyside team that missed Luis Garcia, and Mohd. Sissoko –who I think should be benched more regularly- from the starting line-up.

All in all it was a dull game –I even got busy helping my wife chop up parsley at one point- but at least
Liverpool got the three points they really need. 

Hello and Welcome November 2, 2006

Posted by erouhban in General.
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Hello and welcome to Half-time! This weblog is intended to help us stray away from the headaches of our jobs and focus on Music, Sports, Movies … or any other form of -what mainstream calls- entertainment.

For the time being i’ll be posting album, movie, and sports reviews as well other info that might be interesting. We’ll see were we’ll go from there! I wanted to name the site Time-Out, but then I always have been more of a Football fan!  Please don’t hesitate to comment. 

Website header pic: the one and only jimmy page!

Elyas Rouhban!