ABOUT DAMN TIME
After Liverpool scored their late, late, late, late, late, late, late, late, late, late winner against Newcastle United on Wednesday, an army of understandably chippy Toon fans took to Social Media Disgraces to simmer, seethe and generally vent the collective spleen over the injustice of it all. Having seen their new record signing Alexander Isak have what looked an excellent second goal ruled out for an indiscernible offside after the busybody curtain-twitchers at Stockley Park had got busy with their rulers and set squares, they were further enraged when Fábio Carvalho smashed home the winner in the eighth minute from the five minutes of added time displayed by the fourth official.
Suddenly showing a concern for legal technicalities that was conspicuously absent when their club was the subject of a successful takeover by
Saudi Arabia the Public Investment Fund last October, they wondered why the referee could have let the game go on so long. Busy impersonating Nick Pope by pretending to have cramp, dawdling over his report and constantly tying and retying his shoelaces in the referee’s changing room, Andre Marriner was finally available to provide an explanation in the early hours of the morning after everyone had gone home.
Despite a frank exchange of views between the opposition benches after the late winner, Newcastle’s manager Eddie Howe took what must have felt like a Tyson Fury-esque gut-punch on the … er, chin. “It’s a cruel game, these things happen,” he sighed. “I’m hugely frustrated with that last action. Someone else needs to tell me whether or not we should have still been playing; I don’t know.”
While Howe may not have known, Jürgen Klopp had a fair idea and the Liverpool manager let it be known that he felt that, ultimately, justice had been served. “It was hard to take,” he said upon being asked about Newcastle’s time-wasting. “Everybody wants to see a football game and when it’s interrupted that often that’s [not nice for anybody]. In the end I was very happy when we got that last corner and what Mo [Salah] and Fábio made of it was absolutely outstanding. It was the perfect response to what had happened.” As their team coach slowly dawdled the 173 miles back to St James’ Park, Newcastle’s players might not necessarily have concurred.
LIVE ON BIG WEBSITE!
All the deadline-day news as it happens until the window SLAMS shut at 11pm BST. And Rob Smyth will be on deck for Leicester 1-2 Manchester United from 8pm.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“[We are] astonished to learn of the latest efforts by football’s most senior representatives in Africa to intervene in an ongoing criminal prosecution” – Fifpro responds to the head of African football’s governing body publicly supporting Gabon FA president Pierre-Alain Mounguengui, who has been accused of covering up widespread sexual abuse.
“It’s a good thing Manchester City only managed one hat-trick yesterday, otherwise it would have been a case of not seeing the Forest for the threes” – Peter Oh.
“I reckon two additional points is worth at least £5m to a top-six Premier League team, in which case Fábio Carvalho paid back his transfer fee against Newcastle. What a load Antony has on his plate before recouping 34 points for his new team” – John Weldon.
“I see that The Fiver has postponed the postponement of postponement letters (Fiver letters passim), thereby postponing the postponement of postponement letter o’ the day, leading to even more postponement posts being posted, some of which should definitely have been postponed. Thanks” – Steve Malone.
“Cup games when both sides are trying to lose have to fall into the category of games we’d all have been better off without (Fiver letters passim). A classic of the genre was Birmingham v Wolves in the FA Cup, January 2012. Birmingham had completed a League Cup/relegation double the season before and had already churned through eight Europa League games on top of the Championship workload, by this point. Wolves were in the grip of McCarthyism, with Premier League survival the only interest. What transpired was ‘the worst game in football history’ and a hefty helping of karma all round as Wolves went down, Blues stayed down, and they had to play a replay anyway” – Phil Russell.
Send your letters to email@example.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Phil Russell.
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
Antony has rocked up at Manchester United to complete his €100m move. “Playing under Erik ten Hag at Ajax was perfect for me and my development,” he cooed. “This is an incredible moment in my career to be joining one of the most iconic clubs in the world.”
Across town, Manuel Akanji has signed a five-year contract with City, joining from Dortmund.
Some quickfire deadline-day deals: Jack Stephens has ventured down the A31 and A338 on loan to Bournemouth; Douglas Luiz could be Arsenal-bound after Aston Villa agreed a fee for Wolves’ Leander Dendoncker; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will earn Arsenal some sell-on cash after a deal was agreed between Chelsea and Barcelona; and Leicester have lashed £15m to Reims for Wout Faes.
W1lly Boly is Nottingham Forest’s 285th signing of the summer. “It’s a unique [situation], in terms of the amount of players who have come in, but that was always part of the plan,” tooted manager Steve Cooper. “We hope that when the window shuts, the squad we’ve put together can bode well for what we want to become.”
Meanwhile, Forest are dusting themselves down after a 6-0 shoeing at the hands of Manchester City, for whom Erling Haaland can’t be bargained with, can’t be reasoned with, doesn’t feel pity, or remorse or fear. And absolutely will not stop … ever.
It’s five wins from five games for Arsenal now after their 2-1 win over Aston Villa, for whom it’s four defeats from five. “If I stood here and said I wasn’t concerned you’d look at me as if I was from a different planet,” sighed Steven Gerrard.
After hearing his players booed off after the 0-0 draw at Bournemouth, Bruno Lage wants Wolves’ fans to remain patient. “We are not starting so good but I think we’re going to finish in a good position this year,” he cheered.
And Yoshimi Yamashita, one of three women who will become the first female referees to officiate at the Human Rights World Cup, hopes to inspire young girls, but isn’t commenting about Qatar’s record on gender equality. “There are hardly any female referees in the Middle East, so I would like to see that change,” she whistled.
It’s Football Weekly Extraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
STILL WANT MORE?
Get the full rundown of men’s deadline-day moves in Europe’s top five leagues, via our interactive.
Frank Lampard’s Everton have made their worst start to a league season since 2010. Roll on the Merseyside derby then, warns Josh Wright.
Eric Devin has some Ligue 1 lowdown for you, specifically on Marseille’s Tudor era.
And if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!