- LIVERPOOL ON THE BRINK OF EUROPEAN EXIT
- OSCAR PISTORIUS DUE IN COURT ON MURDER CHARGE
- TIDAL BAY OUT OF THE GRAND NATIONAL
Liverpool are on the verge of a premature Europa League exit after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Zenit St. Petersburg in north-western Russia last night. In a frantic opening, both sides had chances to take the lead, but we had to wait until the final 20 minutes for the goals to come. Goals from Hulk and Sergei Semak and Luis Suarez’s uncharacteristically wasteful finishing have put the Russians in a strong positin to progress even giving the luxury of being able to afford a narrow defeat when they visit Anfield next week.
After the match, Liverpool gaffer, Brendan Rodgers, who seems to be growing ever more adept at seeing positives that probably don’t exist, explained:
I thought it was a near-perfect away performance
The Reds had begun the evening as a ‘just behind the favourites’ 16/1 shot to win the Champions League’s smaller and less wealthy younger brother, but drifted to 33/1 after the defeat.
Elsewhere, it was a better night for the other Premier League clubs. Chelsea (9/2 favourites for the competition) claimed a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Oscar.
Tottenham (9/1) beat Lyon thanks to some more brilliant one-man-teaming from Gareth Bale, but the gloss was kind of taken off the victory thanks to the away goal. That will cause some nagging doubts ahead of the return leg in France next week.
Newcastle (25/1) ended up with nothing but a lingering sense of injustice thanks to a couple of disallowed goals at home to Metalist Kharkiv. Papiss Cisse was the aggrieved party and they’ll need to keep that motivation as they face a tricky trip to Ukraine next Thursday.
The news of Oscar Pistorious’s arrest and murder charge is one of the most unbelievable on the history of all sport. The six-time Paralympic gold medalist was taken into custody on Thursday after his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at the runner’s home. He’s appearing in court this morning.
With so much rumour, counter-rumour and idle internet gossip flying around, it’s difficult to know what to say about what unfolded in the early hours of Thursday morning. One day, the legal process might get us a snapshot of what happened on the night, but until then all we can say is it’s a tragedy. First and most importantly, the family are left with the realisation that their young, vibrant daughter will never be coming home and secondly, a man who has been an inspiration to millions of people across the world has possibly thrown his life away.
Trainer, Paul Nicholls has revealed Tidal Bay’s attempt to win the world’s most famous steeplechase will not go ahead after the 12 year old suffered a stress fracture. a classy and versatile horse, he won the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and was considered one of the leading fancies for the Grand National in April. Prior to being withdrawn he was 14/1 co-third favourite for the National.
When news of the withdrawal broke, Prince De Beauchene was trimmed at the top of the Grand National Betting. The Willie Mullins trained charge had been 12/1 earlier in the week, but was clipped in to 10/1 and now sits as clear favourite for the famous race.
Before all that, we’ve got a busy weekend of racing and depending on what your definition of the weekend is, it could start today. Today we have meetings from Fakenham, Sandown, Lingfield, Wolverhampton and. Dundalk.