Early Doors

Floodlight robbery

Early Doors

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Rafael Benitez said earlier in the week that he couldn't believe Liverpool's class of 2005 had managed to win the Champions League.

After last night's showing, Early Doors can't believe one of the two sides playing at Anfield are still in with a shout of winning this year's edition.

We'd been promised a snooze-fest by every man and his dog in the build-up to the game and 90 minutes of normal time failed to deliver anything to the contrary.

True, Liverpool were by far the better side and deserved to win on the night, occasionally showing glimpses of what they're capable of, but what we were 'treated' to in the end was nothing more than a dog fight.

ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley could not have understated it better just before the break when he chirped: "It's a skirmish." Thanks for that, Sherlock.

Indeed the quality of football on show made Her In Doors's decision to forgo How to Look Good Naked in favour of the match seem all the more noble. In hindsight though, ED wouldn't have been all that bothered had it been forced to sit though an hour of Gok Wan - at least the man has some flair.

A comedic own-goal preceded by a horribly scrappy one, too many long balls and misplaced passes, and a defender as man-of-the-match - it rather tells its own story.

No surprise then that no little attention was given to the seating plan in the directors box, where Rick Parry noticeably kept his distance from his boss-from-hell Tom Hicks.

The American went against police advice to attend the match, although his efforts to appease fans - namely 'showing his colours' by joining in with a rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' - will have done little to help.

Talking of terrace embarrassment, Liverpool fans very nearly walked away with egg on their faces after celebrating a little prematurely with a rousing rendition of the same anthem, three minutes into added time.

They could have been forgiven for thinking they had the game in the bag; they clearly hadn't counted on John Arne Riise. But credit to the fans, they piped up again immediately afterwards, proving at the very least they cannot be accused of only singing when they're winning.

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ED has a theory about Liverpool's last gasp lapse of concentration. Having kept Chelsea at bay for 90 minutes, what caused Alvaro Arbeloa and Javier Mascherano to allow Salomon Kalou get past them and Riise to head past his own keeper moments later?

What was playing on their minds? Premature thoughts of Moscow? A sensational European third final in four years? The amusing sideshow attracting attention in the directors box? Or perhaps, most likely, which establishment they were going to hit after the full-time whistle?

No, ED can reveal what they had really become preoccupied with - the thought that at that very moment a burglar may have been helping themselves to prized possessions from their luxury homes.

With the gang of thieves who target Liverpool players still at large and the match at Anfield attracting most Merseysiders' attentions last night, there was every chance of more break-in misery.

Certainly, the weekend incidents involving Frank Rijkaard and a clutch of Southampton and Burnley players proved we have not seen the last of such robberies and as long as there is silverware, cash or expensive dogs lying around the place (poor Andy Van der Meyde), rich footballers will continue to be prime targets for robbers.

Fortunately, as far as ED is aware, and God forbid if somebody was actually burgled, the only high profile robbery to take place last night was the one expertly performed on the pitch by Chelsea.

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FOREIGN VIEW: Nine players from the Malaysian champions are being investigated on suspicion of match fixing after a series of poor performances. The name of the team under scrutiny? Police.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I really love it here, it is really fantastic to be here. The club, the players, the fans are fantastic and also playing in the Premier League for me in my eyes is the greatest league to play in for football players. I don't think anything can be better than this I am really happy to be here, proud to be here. I cannot be more happy than I am now. Everybody is fantastic, the fans are fantastic, the club is fantastic and everything is working well for the team and myself." John Carew expresses his clear discontent with life at Villa Park.

GRIPE OF THE DAY: It would seem that ED's so-called "illegitimate sibling" Cow Corner wants to pick a fight with its older brother. Yesterday's edition of the cricket blog had an unashamed pop at ED's readers, suggesting they are in some way intellectually inferior to its own public school-educated lovers of leather and willow. Read it for yourselves on the cricket page. Such mad bovine bleatings have left ED with no choice but to hit back. Take it away jacquesbittar from yesterday's rather high-brow discussion on binary numbers: "There are 10 types of people, those who know binary and those who don't." Thank you, and goodnight.

TALKING POINT: Early Doors enjoyed a rather pleasant lamb bhuna whilst watching the game last night. What culinary delight will accompany your viewing of tonight's match on the box?

COMING UP: Already relegated Stirling Albion take on St Johnstone in Scottish League Division One in the pick of tonight's action. But unless you live within a 20-mile radius of the Forthbank Stadium, it could prove difficult to follow the match. In which case, you could always stay in and follow the second most enticing match of the day - Barcelona v Manchester United at the Nou Camp. We'll have all the build-up and latest team news from the Catalan capital throughout the day as well as full text commentary on the game from 19:45 BST on eurosport.yahoo.com.

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