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Carragher's Recovery, Sun Sponsors ex-Reds, and Other Monday Notes

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"We conceded a penalty after 11 minutes and the extra time was only eight minutes. I don't know where this additional time came from. The referee has not explained anything to me but I know it was no penalty. Lucas played in an intelligent way. He stopped his run. Eboué wanted to go to the ball and he stopped him and referee said nothing. What can you do about it?"

Well, see, Arsene, when you were given that penalty on seven minutes--the one where Spearing made less contact on Fabregas than Eboue did on Lucas--and van Persie wasted almost all of the final minute of extra time delaying its taking and then getting a yellow card for excessive celebration, the referee rightly added that extra time onto the end of extra time.

Then, in that extra time in extra time that was rightly added on, Liverpool had full control of the ball around the Arsenal box, earning a spot kick an inch off the line of the penalty area that quite possibly should have been a penalty itself. In that situation, a referee actually is supposed to allow Liverpool to take the free kick. You know, since Arsenal illegally stopped a Liverpool scoring opportunity before the final whistle blew, and to not allow Liverpool that chance would only encourage cheating at the end of the match while actually amounting to a punishment for the side that was fouled.

And that's when Eboue idiotically ran straight through the back of Lucas on the ensuing spot kick, right as the referee was preparing to blow that final whistle as the ball headed towards the edge of the eighteen-yard box and out of an area where Liverpool could be considered to be directly threatening the opposition goal.

So. Yeah. If you've got any other questions, Arsene, they'll have to wait until after Monday's news and notes for me to answer them...

* In Ireland, there's a kerfuffle brewing over RTE's Premier Soccer Sunday, which will run on May 1st with The Sun as title sponsor. Specifically, it's leading to some concern in Liverpool circles because two of the show's hosts are former reds Ronnie Whelan and Ray Houghton.

As for the pair, neither were previously aware of the situation, and such a sponsorship decision will have likely been made by a marketing department lackey without any input from anybody directly involved with the show itself--least of all two of its presenters. In any case, it's unclear quite what will happen--whether pressure from Liverpool supporters can either force RTE to change sponsors, or if Whelan and Houghton might take the week off to avoid having their names given a black mark amongst Liverpool fans by the connection--but one unexpectedly positive result has been the story getting play in various papers around the British Isles, shedding a bit more light on a disgraceful reaction to the Hillsborough tragedy that many without a direct interest in LFC may not always be fully aware of.

*Addendum* Just as this post went up, news was coming out that Whelan and Houghton will in fact not appear on that edition of the program. (HT: Amy)

* Wait, so you're telling me possession's a bad thing and I should be hiding my adherence to tiki-taka away behind a bookshelf somewhere where the kids won't find it?

Anyhow, Nate of OYB takes a look at possession stats this season and how they relate to Liverpool's success, and--que vaguely ominous and unquestionably authoritative news reader voice--some of the results may surprise you, especially when you start breaking things down with Dalglish and Hodgson's records separated.

* Over in player news, after a scary collision on Sunday that saw Jamie Carragher passed out on the pitch and John Flanagan rolling him onto his side to make sure he didn't swallow his tongue, Carragher managed to recover in time to celebrate the late fightback with his teammates and also to offer his thoughts on the continuing faint hopes for European qualification:

There have been a few times where we thought we can catch Spurs, then a couple of times when we lose a game that we can’t--now after these last two games we probably think we can.

We have now got two homes games to come, but the best thing is not to worry about Tottenham and just worry about ourselves, then see at the end of the season where we come.

As for the summer, he's another in a long list expecting a bit of excitement in the transfer market:

We will be looking to build the team up. We did fantastic business in January and I am sure they will be looking to do the same again in the summer because while we are on a good run and there is a feelgood factor about the place, we still all realise that being fifth, sixth or seventh is still not good enough for Liverpool.

So, that probably all means he's doing well enough that we can go from worrying for his well-being to worrying about his tendency to hoof again?

That's about the long and the short of it for this Monday's news and notes, and if that wasn't enough to keep you informed and entertained then I'm sure something else will be along in a bit. It usually is. In the meantime, in case the teaser topping today's early post on the Arsenal draw effectively handing the title to Manchester United wasn't enough Dalglish interview goodness to get you through the day...