Saturday, April 07, 2007

Above the Line at Last

Manchester City 0
Charlton Athletic 0

The point gained from this game has finally hauled Charlton out of the Premiership relegation zone after seven long months. Sheffield United now join West Ham and Watford in the bottom three, at least until this afternoon when they play Newcastle.

It wasn't a pretty game by all accounts at Eastlands - I would have hoped to have watched the match on pay-per-view TV, but for some pathetic reason Virgin Media (formerly NTL) had technical trouble in the south east London area and I couldn't connect. I suppose it was £8 saved, but the service they are providing (minus Sky Sports News, Sky 1, etc) is pretty abysmal at present. Maybe it's because Branson has past links with some team from Croydon?

I therefore ended up listening to the eloquent commentators of Radio Five Live. Sadly, it seems that they hate us as much as the Match of the Day crew and took every opportunity to have a go at Charlton for being in the Premiership. Is it because Dowie worked at the Beeb during the World Cup? Ever since we dumped him, we've had a very rough ride from the Shepherds Bush mob...

The match itself saw City with most of the pressure, but bad delivery and not good defending prevented them scoring (according to the radio...). Charlton offered little according to Alan Green, who said that the best thing about taking over commentary halfway through the second half was that it meant it was getting nearer the end of the game! Dunn nearly put through his own goal to give Charlton the lead; Jerome Thomas had some good runs down the left wing, but his crosses always seemed to fall short of attackers in the middle; the defence blocked almost all the shots at the Charlton goal and when a body wasn't in the way, Scotty Carson saved.

Charlton's best chance came when Marcus Bent and Darren Bent combined before Dazza crossed to Zheng Zhi. The radio said he missed a sitter, but actually reports say the defender did well and the ball went just wide. Not having seen it, I don't know...

The last ten minutes or so saw Charlton look for all three points, but nothing much could be created. I myself was pleased to have predicted a goalless encounter, and that will have pleased everyone involved (Pearce, Pardew, etc) even if they wouldn't admit as much.

Luckily it seems we came away without any injuries (the only substitution being Rommedahl for Thomas in the last 30 seconds, something else that was poo-pooed by Green!) or bookings, so it should be a full-ish squad that Pards has to choose from on Monday night.

We now have to sit back and wait to see what transpires this afternoon, and then go into a couple of tough games (Reading and Everton) hoping to gather more points and keep the pressure on the Blades and Wigan.

The fat lady hasn't even begun to sing yet, but at least we have seen the song list, and can all guess at what the sound is going to be like.

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