#34: Brighton 1-2 Liverpool 21/09/2011

#34 BRIGHTON 1-2 LIVERPOOL Carling Cup Round Three
Wednesday 21st September 2011 Image result for

LIV Titles

PRESENTER Ben Shephard GUESTS Jamie Redknapp & Tommy Elphick
COMMENTATORS Bill Leslie & Ray Wilkins REPORTER Andy Burton
7.45pm Kick Off; Amex Stadium     7.30-10pm Carling Cup Live on Sky Sports 2

Promo LIV Sponsor LIV Intro

Context of the Match: The aim when The Amex opened was to have Premier League teams playing against us. Tottenham Hotspur had already visited for the opening pre-season friendly back in July. Then in August we were drawn against top-flight Sunderland in Round Two of the League Cup. Making it a hat-trick of the country’s top teams was Liverpool tonight, in the Third Round. This would be by far the biggest test for an Albion side enjoying life back in the second tier after five seasons away. Unbeaten so far at fortress Amex and third in the Championship table, the Seagulls were flying again. The momentum from last season’s title-winning side continued, with a few summer signings topping the squad up. This would be the start of a very busy period with Leeds next up on Friday, just 48 hours after this match, followed by bitter rivals Crystal Palace next Tuesday. It would also be Gus Poyet’s 100th match in charge of the Albion. After a fairytale start on the opening day beating Doncaster in the eighth minute of stoppage time through Will Buckley, the great form continued with memorable away wins at Portsmouth and Cardiff and just a solitary defeat thus far; away at big-spending Leicester City managed by ex-England boss Sven Goran Eriksson. Tonight was the third successive Carling Cup match at The Amex, dispatching of Gillingham and that Extra Time victory over Sunderland, could they go one further and knock the great Liverpool out? The Scousers were not in European action at all this season so the Cup represented a great chance of silverware. It was the first meeting between the two sides in twenty years; a thrilling FA Cup Replay which saw Liverpool victors three-two at the Goldstone. That match had to make do with extended highlights on BBC’s Sportsnight, tonight the Sky Sports cameras were welcomed for their first trip to a noisy and sold out Falmer.

LIV Brighton LIV Liverpool LIV Subs

The Teams: Brighton made five changes from the side that lost to Leicester at the weekend, possibly with one eye on the upcoming Leeds game on Friday, but also to shore up the midfield. Liam Bridcutt was the sole survivor in that area, with Matt Sparrow and Liverpool lad Alan Navarro coming in for Gary Dicker and Ryan Harley. Craig Noone famously used to be a roofer before becoming a pro and worked on Steven Gerrard’s house. He was further forward as Craig Mackail-Smith led the line and scored the only goal of the game to get the Albion past Sunderland in Round Two. He joined in the summer to become the club’s record transfer signing at an initial £2.5 million. He was supported by £1 million close-season transfer Will Buckley in a 4-3-3 when attacking, 4-3-2-1 when defending kind of formation. Casper Ankergren has played every minute of every game so far in all competitions. In defence, Inigo Calderon and Gordon Greer were both in last season’s PFA Team of the Year. Partnering the skipper here was local lad Steve Cook for his first game this season, the last time he appeared was two-and-a-half years ago having had various loan spells away from Brighton. Newly-signed Romain Vincelot returned to the starting XI here having made his debut in the First Round victory over Gillingham, he took the place of Marcos Painter who was sent off on Saturday. Due to a shortage of left-backs, assistant boss Mauricio Taricco is again being utilised as a substitute, with first team regulars this campaign Lewis Dunk and Ashley Barnes also named. Huge anticipation surrounded Vicente Rodriguez, brought in at the beginning of the month somehow from Valencia. He’s a former Spain midfielder who played at Euro 2004, he twice won La Liga as well as the UEFA Cup, the Super Cup and the Copa Del Rey. Quite what he was doing at Brighton was anybody’s guess but injury had plagued his career, particularly of late. Kenny Dalglish named a strong Liverpool side which included World Cup semi-finalist Luis Suarez up front with Wales’ Craig Bellamy. Dirk Kuyt and Lucas Leiva were in the heart of the midfield. Pepe Reina notched up his 150th consecutive Liverpool league match back in May and recently announced he wanted to stay long-term at the club. Jamie Carragher won the Champions League in that incredible second-half comeback in 2005 against AC Milan and is the only starter today who was in that squad in Istanbul. Club captain then and now, Steven Gerrard, has been recovering from injury and is fit enough to make the bench. All-in-all seven changes were made from the weekend as the likes of Jay Spearing and Seb Coates came in; the latter making his debut. Also on the bench was £50 million striker Andy Carroll and League Cup winner in 2005 Stewart Downing. Tonight’s match official was Michael Oliver.

LIV Shephard LIV Redknapp LIV Elphick LIV Studio

Presentation Team: Sky Sports Carling Cup matches were presented by Ben Shephard. He joined the team at the beginning of last season to co-host Goals on Sunday with Chris Kamara, as well as supporting Premier League host Richard Keys on Live matches. In January 2011 his workload suddenly increased thanks to the massive fallout from the sexist remarks made in a leaked off-air conversation between Keys and Andy Gray. Consequently Keys resigned and Gray was sacked, moving existing presenters David Jones, Ed Chamberlin, Jeff Stelling and Ben Shephard up in the pecking order to cover the large hole left behind in the Premier and Champions Leagues coverage. Whereas for the latter half of last season the roles were shared, this season it became more defined. Jones would do Saturday Premier League games with Chamberlin on Super Sunday and Monday Night Football. Stelling took over the Champions League, assisted by Shephard who in turn replaced Jeff on the League Cup. His pundits for tonight’s match were Jamie Redknapp and Tommy Elphick. Redknapp became a full-time Sky Sports pundit from the 2005/06 season to coincide with his retirement from the game; joining Keys and Gray for the majority of the big matches. Prior to that he had worked for the BBC across Live FA Cup matches and Euro 2004 whilst still playing. Tommy Elphick played a huge part in Brighton’s title-winning season last year but unfortunately was now a long-term casualty due to an achilles injury. He’s done a few interviews and bits in the media of late and perhaps may be looking to go down this route later on after his playing days.

LIV Kick Off LIV Comms LIV Burton LIV Coming Up

In the commentary box were Bill Leslie and Ray Wilkins. Leslie is vastly experienced on Live matches, having been covering the Football League regularly for Sky since the 2004/05 season, going on to take over from Ian Crocker as number one in 2006. He still holds that position now as well as a regular on the Champions League, international matches and the occasional Premier League game. It was an absolute delight to welcome Ray Wilkins to Brighton’s Live televised coverage for the first time. Wilkins of course was involved in our first ever televised match – the 1983 FA Cup Final – where he scored a great goal for Manchester United. Since retiring he’s been a manager at QPR and Fulham and spent several seasons at different spells as an assistant at Chelsea. He also won 84 caps for England. When not actively in the game he’s been a beloved pundit and commentator, in the 21st century with Sky Sports across all matches from Champions League and Premier League latterly, through to England internationals and resident pundit on the early days of the Football League moving to Sky. During the 1990s he was a hugely popular co-commentator on Channel 4’s cult Football Italia coverage, working closely with Brighton fan Peter Brackley as the pair voiced many a classic Italian match on a Sunday afternoon. He’s an extremely warm and charming broadcaster who is a joy to listen to. Reporting was Andy Burton. He has been a regular figure at Sky for the past six years or so, commentating on Football First Premier League highlights before moving to the touchline on Football League then Premier League matches. Burton was working on the broadcast at Wolves which led to Keys and Gray’s departures, and perhaps was impacted by that row as it was he who Gray had first said derogatory words about Sian Massey to. Since then he has left top flight coverage, becoming the regular reporter on the League Cup as well as picking up other matches here and there and reporting for Sky Sports News.

LIV Welcome LIV Poyet split screen LIV Stadium VT LIV Yellow

The Coverage: Pre-match build up began at 7.30pm from a temporary portable glass studio located above the away fans in the South Stand at The Amex towards the corner with the East Stand. Ben Shephard hosted his first Albion match, and indeed Sky’s first Live match at the new stadium, alongside Brighton’s Tommy Elphick and regular pundit Jamie Redknapp. The Carling Cup uses the Football League graphics as it falls under the same contract, so the familiar red and black colours appeared and the programme was sponsored by bet365. There was a new design for the graphics this season to match the principles of the ones seen on the Premier League since the beginning of last season, with 3D effects and the badge tilting rather than rotating. The replay transitions used the flying League Cup from the top left into the middle of the screen then back out bottom left. When a goal was scored the replay featured the club crest flying out one way with the word ‘GOAL’ flying out the other, in a return to the style of a few years ago when the crest would crash into the screen. Carling Cup coverage used Texas’ classic hit “Inner Smile” as the theme tune since Worthington were replaced as sponsors of the competition in 2004. The title sequence featured a virtual Wembley slowly filling up as the music goes on, with video blocks of previous Cup moments and goals flying onto the side of the stadium. Tonight’s broadcast was also available in 3D, a first for an Albion match, where different camera angles and different commentators would be used. For the Sky 3D commentary, viewers heard Daniel Mann and Tony Gale, whilst on the regular 2D coverage we got Bill Leslie and Ray Wilkins. The Albion would have to play two matches here within 48 hours with the Live game against Leeds on Friday, owing to Liverpool playing last Sunday and therefore preferring not to play Tuesday and having two matches in 48 hours themselves. So Brighton took the extra television revenues and accommodated the short resting period.

LIV Dalglish LIV Added Time LIV Analysis LIV Case

During the fifteen minute build up there was a VT showing various parts around The Amex with stats appearing in the middle of the screen such as the capacity, a quote from Poyet and the overall cost. Sky were suitably impressed by the surroundings, with Redknapp remarking “It’s special, it really is. The pitch is really good… He wanted the biggest pitch possible, Gus Poyet.” Andy Burton spoke with both managers before the kick-off. Poyet put his midfield selection of Navarro and Bridcutt in particular down to wanting to be a bit more solid than usual in that area, knowing they’d have to do a bit more defending and sit deeper than the usual front-foot style in the League. Kenny Dalglish explained his selection of many first-team regulars was partly due to how disappointing a defeat they had the previous Sunday at Tottenham. After some brief chat in the studio Shephard handed over to the commentary teams for this evening’s big match who took us through the teams before the adverts. Throughout the game we were kept abreast of the other Third Round matches with goalflashes in the bottom left corner of the screen. At half time Shephard, Elphick and Redknapp analysed Liverpool’s first half dominance, particularly highlighting Craig Bellamy and Luis Suarez. Just before the second half began, Jimmy Case was presented to the crowd on the pitch. The retired midfielder spent eight years at Liverpool before moving down to the Goldstone in 1981 and was part of the FA Cup Final side two years later, scoring at Anfield in the run. He returned to the Albion to see off his playing days in the early 90s, and at 41 was the oldest registered outfield player in English professional football. He took charge of the team for just under a year during his final season with the club when we were relegated to Division Three before being sacked. After the match reporter Andy Burton had a joint-interview with Steven Gerrard and Craig Noone side by side, finally giving a chance to bring up that roof job he did! “He’s a down-to-earth lad, good Scouser, done a great job on my house and in my eyes tonight he was Man of the Match” Gerrard said. Burton also had a slightly prickly chat with Dalglish, who didn’t want to focus on Brighton preferring to talk up his own side. This left the studio team with just under ten minutes to review the match and wrap things up, allowing for plenty of time to give Brighton the credit they deserved.

LIV Stadium LIV Possession

Story of the Match: The crowd was rocking ahead of the match, commented on by co-commentator Ray Wilkins who opened his broadcast with “Good evening one and all. This is the first time I’ve been here, what an amazing atmosphere. It’s a fabulous stadium that they’ve built, the playing surface is wonderful; it’s as big as the Emirates – 105 metres by 68 – and they do play some football, Brighton.” I do enjoy it when a co-commentator says hello to us, David Pleat always did on ITV’s Champions League nights and Sir Clive Woodward does on the rugby coverage. It’s a little touch of class. In the seventh minute of the match Liverpool got the early advantage. Quick passing found Suarez just inside the area. He played the ball on for Craig Bellamy in behind the Albion defence wide left of the six yard box. Acknowledging there was an onrushing covering defender he took his shot first time and drilled it across goal where it went in off the far post to go one-nil up. Great movement from the striker who was allowed to wander past Bridcutt. The away side were in the ascendancy and dominated possession for the early stages. Just over ten minutes later Brighton had to clear off their own goalline. A short corner from Bellamy to Lucas, his cross was flicked on by Suarez’s head but instead of being on target it looped high towards the back stick. Ankergren came to punch but didn’t claim, instead Dirk Kuyt got some sort of touch, I don’t think he knew too much about it, and it needed to be hooked off the line by Mackail-Smith; doing his bit in the Albion defence. Craig Noone looked the liveliest Brighton player with his trickery getting the better of the young Liverpool left-back. Noone and Buckley would swap wings throughout to freshen the attacks up. Luis Suarez was presented with a decent chance to double the advantage one-on-one but slotted just wide. After half an hour a Suarez header from a free-kick just grazed the outside of the post. Five minutes before the break Craig Bellamy absolutely thwacked a free-kick from at least thirty-five yards out which flew and swirled before thundering against the bar. What an effort, so unlucky. They hit the woodwork again not long after, this time Jay Spearing’s long-range effort from almost thirty yards skidded off the turf hitting the outside of the far post thanks to fingertips from Casper Ankergren. Liverpool looked so dangerous. The last action of the half went Brighton’s way, with Noone put through by Mackail-Smith, Pepe Reina’s body got in the way of the shot but it squirmed out past him and had to be cleared by Martin Kelly who got there just fractions before Matt Sparrow, who was stretching to tap in from four yards.

LIV Double Sub LIV Interview

Brighton flew out of the traps in the second half, with Craig Noone smacking one against the crossbar from almost twenty-five yards out after a misplaced defensive pass. You could tell this match meant more to him than any other, having been released from the club as a youth prospect and being from the area facing the team he supported. On the hour mark, Will Buckley had ran his course and had to go off injured. In his place came Vicente for his Brighton debut. The same Vicente who has played in Champions League Finals, international tournaments, won La Liga and was the subject of bids of over £35 million. And here he was turning out for the Seagulls at the age of just thirty. Brighton enjoyed a lot of the second half possession but clear chances weren’t there. A stat popped up late on showing how much they enjoyed the ball in the second forty-five; with 61% against the Premier League opposition. With a quarter of an hour left, the away side could bring on their own star name; Steven Gerrard. He captained England at the World Cup last year but had been out with an injured groin for the past six months, this was his comeback appearance. The Albion responded with a double substitution, bringing on top-scorer Ashley Barnes and the ever-tricky Kazenga LuaLua for Sparrow and Navarro. Pushing for the equaliser let Liverpool in on the counter-attack. The ball was cleared up to Bellamy ten yards inside the Brighton half out on the wing. He played a perfect cross-field ball into the path of Maxi Rodriguez who held it up for Dirk Kuyt bursting forward in support. He was one-on-one with Ankergren who could only throw himself towards the forward, then watch the ball roll in aided by the far post for two-nil. Brighton deserved better for their second half showing, with co-commentator Wilkins adding “If they continue this brand of football in the Championship, and have the confidence to keep cracking at it with this super passing game of theirs, you can see them right up there at the end of the season.” Praise indeed. It got even better in the 89th minute as Jay Spearing was caught in possession and off balance by Vicente in the Liverpool penalty area, causing Jamie Carragher to come sliding in and foul the Spaniard for a spot kick. Up stepped Ashley Barnes who launched it into the top left hand corner of the net and the belief was there again going into four minutes of added time. Alas it wasn’t to be but the performance, especially in the second half, was absolutely fantastic, bringing the game to their higher-Division counterparts and fighting all the way. Attention immediately turned to the Leeds game in less than forty-eight hours time. For Liverpool, this competition did provide them with a trophy when they beat Cardiff on penalties at Wembley five months later.

LIV Attendance

Barnes Bellamy, Kuyt

LIV Replay LIV Goal 1 LIV Goal 2

EXTRA; Sky Sports News was the place to see all the build up ahead of the night’s full card of Third Round fixtures before the main coverage began at 7.30pm. They were first to bring the team news, with presenters Jim White and Charlie Webster at the desk, as well as all the day’s sporting news from around seven o’clock. There was also a report featuring Brighton’s Craig Noone and his story of working as a roofer on Steven Gerrard’s house.

SSN Titles SSN Presenters

Charlie Webster introduced the piece saying, “If Gerrard does play he’ll come face to face with a man who spent a bit of time around the England midfielder’s house.” Sky reporter Amy Lewis took Noone back to his working days to recall the first time he met the Liverpool and England captain and the prospect of facing him tonight. “I always dreamed about it when I was working there, to be honest. I thought imagine what I could say if I do come up against him, I could mention it to him, and now I am it’s surreal really. Can’t wait for it.”

SSN Reporter SSN Noone

Sky Sports News carried reaction and interviews after the match coverage had ended too. This included a package voiced by long-serving reporter Gary Cotterill featuring the best bits of the match. There was also another chance to hear the Steven Gerrard and Craig Noone joint-interview, as well as from both managers chatting to Andy Burton. Gus Poyet spoke of how proud he was of the team “After giving Liverpool a little bit of respect in the first half, I think the players realised that they had the chance to go in the second half and do something special and I think will be closest to being one of the best games of the season, that forty-five minutes.”

SSN Report SSN Poyet

EXTRA; Along with Saturday night highlights of all three Divisions of the Football League, the contract provides the rights holder with action from every round of the Carling Cup. The BBC broadcast The League Cup Show late on Wednesday night showing all the goals from the midweek third round matches. Manish Bhasin hosted this programme as well from the regular studio. Tonight he was alongside Mark Bright.

LCS Titles LCS Studio

The highlights edit lasted for around ten minutes on what was a pulsating Cup tie. Jonathan Pearce commentated. He lives in Sussex so knew the Brighton story well and had even been involved in some media work for the club ahead of the stadium move. He was a regular on Match of the Day since they regained the top-flight highlights in 2004, having previously been the voice of football for Channel 5 since their launch in 1997. His excitable style got him noticed and is now high up in the BBC pecking order. He’s also been the voice of cult game show Robot Wars.

LCS Commentator LCS Line Up   LCS Gerrard LCS Barnes goal

Pundit Mark Bright seemed to be nursing a sore throat as his voice was hoarse. Not that what he did say was of much interest. He said of Craig Noone, “When you play against your heroes, your team and a special occasion, for him I was quite impressed with him.” He praised the Albion’s fightback, “In the first half I thought that Brighton were a little bit afraid of them and stood off them but in the second half Brighton gave a really good account of themselves. Could’ve scored a couple of goals as well.” Bright had been a regular on the BBC in the commentary box since the 2002 World Cup and featured across their various magazine programmes during the domestic season.

LCS Full Time  LCS Bright



NEXT; #35 BRIGHTON 3-3 LEEDS 23/09/2011

About Mark O'MEARA
I am Mark O'MEARA.

3 Responses to #34: Brighton 1-2 Liverpool 21/09/2011

  1. Pingback: #33: Colchester 1-1 Brighton 25/04/2011 | Mark O'MEARA

  2. Pingback: #35: Brighton 3-3 Leeds 23/09/2011 | Mark O'MEARA

  3. Pingback: Small Screen Seagulls; 2011/12 Season part 1 | Mark O'MEARA

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