Blues fans see red over Beasley's (brief) choice of boots.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Monday, September 18, 2006) -- United States midfielder DaMarcus Beasley needed to be reminded that his new club is nicknamed "the Blues." And the Manchester City faithful weren't shy about reminding him.
On a weekend when his long-time U.S. teammate Bobby Convey set up one of the fastest goals in English Premier League history as Reading defeated Sheffield United 2-1, Beasley made his debut with City, only he did it wearing his usual red boots.
Not expected to play until next week, Beasley was called on in the 35th minute of City's 4-2 loss to Blackburn Rovers to replaced the injured Hatem Trabelsi. And he raced onto the pitch his bright red shoes did not sit well with City supporters among the 18,403 at Rovers' Ewood Park.
"Blue boots, blue boots," fans chanted and apparently Beasley got the message. He came out in the second half with more appropriate footware.
Beasley hopes City followers accept him quickly, because he told the team's web site this week he hoped the season-long transfer was followed by a full transfer. "I heard before I even came that City had one of the best fan bases in England and I'm excited to play for them," he said. "I want to gain their respect quickly in the first couple of games that I play. If they get behind me, that will encourage me and hopefully I can give them the work ethic that they will be looking for from me.
"I'm ambitious to win. I want to win and I want to help Manchester City win within my capabilities. If my number is called, I want to show the fans that this is a club where I want to be."
Also on the City bench was U.S. midfielder Claudio Reyna, who did not play as besieged City manager Stuart Pearce juggled his lineup in an unsuccessful effort to shake his club out if its doldrums. Still, City dropped its second straight contest and sank to 1-3-3 with four points, tin a four-way tied for 14th place.
Beasley entered with his team trailing 1-0 on Trevor Sinclair's 18th-minute own goal. Convey helped City dominate the rest of the first half, but also committed the foul that led to Morten Gamst Pedersen's free kick tally.
Joey Barton pulled City level in the 39th minute, but Petersen capitalized on the foul call against Beasley to make it 2-1 five minutes later.
City took a 2-2 tie into the break, the beneficiary of an Andre Ooijer own-goal in first-half stoppage, but Blackburn seemed to wake up after intermission and dominated the proceedings. Benedict McCarthy scored in the 66th minute and Paul Gallagher in the 89th, while limiting Manchester to few chances.
City might have enjoyed a lead at the break if not for the stellar play of U.S. keeper Brad Friedel in Blackburn's nets. In the first minute, he made a lunging save on Trevor Sinclair, getting his left hand on a low shot, before twice stopped Joey Barton before the City forward equalized at 1-1 going in alone on goal in the 39th minute.
Beasley had been slowly begun to work himself into game fitness since his August 31 loan from PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, where he had been slowed during preseason with a minor, but persistent hamstring problem.
Blackburn (1-2-2, 5 points), which jumped off the bottom of the standings into a five-way tie for 10th place, responded from a frustrating and disappointing 2-2 draw with host SV Salzburg in the first leg of a UEFA Cup first-round meeting in Red Bull Arena in Salzburg on Thursday. Ninety seconds into four minutes of stoppage time, defender Laszlo Bodnar's deep cross to the far post was headed past Friedel by towering forward Marc Janko to allow Salzburg to salavage a draw.
After Alexander Zickler put Salzburg ahead 1-0 in the 30th minute goal after thirty minutes, Rovers responded by taking a 2-1 lead on goals from Robbie Savage and Benni McCarthy. Friedel was superb, making a number of sensational saves. On one, he dove to push a Niko Kovac header against the foot of the post, and later he stretched out fully to deny Christian Tiffert.
Convey set up one of the fastest goals in English Premier League history Saturday. He lobbed a pass that allowed striker Kevin Doyle to score after 16 seconds in Reading's 2-1 victory at Sheffield United. In a match between two newly-promoted teams, Convey put Doyle in position to hold off a defender and score with his left foot from 12 yards.
Ledley King scored the Premiership's fastest goal ever when he found net in 10 seconds for Tottenham Hotspur in 2000.
Reading, playing in the top flight of English soccer for the first time in its 135-year history, notched its first road Premiership victory by defeating host Sheffield United 2-1 before 25,111 at Bramall Lane.
Reading made it 2-0 when Seol Ki-Hyeon scored in the 25th minute. United halved the lead to 2-1 when striker Rob Hulse beat U.S. goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann from an improbable angle at the near post off a corner kick in the 84th minute. The match ended with the home side was booed off the field after such a weak effort.
Reading (3-2, 9 points) is tied with Aston Villa (2-0-3) for fifth place.
Beasley made his first Premier League appearance coming off the bench for Manchester City in a 4-2 road setback to Blackburn Rovers before 18,403 at Ewood Park.
Beasley, 24, and Convey, 23, were teammates on the U.S. national teams, starting at the under-17 and under-20 levels, before playing together in the 2006 World Cup.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard> wasn't busy for Everton, making three saves as the Blues remained undefeated by tying visiting Wigan before 37,117 at Goodison Park.
Howard conceded a pair of goals six minutes apart to Austrian Paul Scharner, who erased Everton leads in both the 62nd and 68th minutes.
Everton (3-0-2, 11) in fourth place, two points behind league-leading Portsmouth (4-0-1).
For the second straight match, American defender Jay DeMerit started on the bench for Watford in its 0-0 home draw with unbeaten Aston Villa before 18,620 at Vicarage Road Stadium.
Newly-promoted Watford is yet to win in its return to the Premier League. Though the Hornets displayed greater desire, they could not solve Villa keeper Thomas Sorensen, who turned in a heroic effort.
Watford boss started Malky Mackey and Dan Shittu in the central defense instead of Watford, but the American replaced Lloyd Doyley at right back after halftime. He responded with a strong, hard-working performance which first saw him smother Villa's Luke Moore and later his replacement Milan Baros while the home crowd cheered, "USA! USA!
Watford keeper Ben Foster had nothing to do in a second half while the Hornets dominated, but were unable to convert their chances.
Watford is tied with Sheffield United for last place at 0-3-2 with two points.
U.S. striker Brian McBride and defender Carlos Bocanegra both started for Fulham which hit the road and drew 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane Stadium yesterday. McBride, who did not have a strong outing, yielded to Heidar Helguson in the 66th minute. Bocanegra played a large part in Fulham's strong defensive effort that allowed Tottenham few chances.
Fulham (2-1-2, 8) is tied for eighth place with Bolton Wanderers, one point behind Reading and Villa (2-0-3).
Additional reporting by Matt Wells in Watford England.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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