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Match of the Day
- Good evening and welcome to...
- Me, Myself, and I
- Match of the Day (MotD) is the BBC's main football television programme. It is shown on BBC One every Saturday evening during the English football season, showing highlights of Premier League matches. There are also some midweek editions, showing highlights of weekday evening games. Match of the Day also screens FA Cup and England international matches, either live or as highlights. It is one of the BBC's longest-running shows, having been on air since 1964, though it has not always been aired regularly.
Current presenter, former England captain Gary Lineker, joined as a pundit in 1995, becoming main presenter after Lynam's departure in 1999. If Lineker is unavailable or there are multiple live matches on the same day then a stand-in presenter is used; this is usually Ray Stubbs , but Gabby Logan, who joined from ITV in 2007, or Jake Humphrey, who became the programme's youngest ever presenter in January 2007, also occasionally presents the show.
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"Welcome to Match of the Day, the first of a weekly series on BBC Two. This afternoon we are in Beatleville..."
And so an institution was born, as the words of the legendary Kenneth Wolstenholme opened the first-ever Match of the Day on Saturday 22 August, 1964.
Liverpool versus Arsenal at Anfield was the first game to be broadcast and attracted an audience of 20,000 - less than half the attendance at the ground.
But the popularity of the 1966 World Cup coverage ensured that by the 1966-67 season, MOTD had moved to a new slot on BBC One.
The folllowing year saw five million viewers watch a 22-year-old Alan Ball score twice for Everton on the opening day against Manchester United.
But MOTD's monopoly on televised football was challenged in 1968 with the arrival of ITV's Sunday afternoon show The Big Match, presented by Jimmy Hill and Brian Moore, formerly a BBC Radio football correspondent.
The BBC responded with a new theme tune, and the now familiar ditty penned by Barry Stoller replaced Arnold Stock's 'Drum Majorette', the original choice.
November 1969 saw the programme's first colour transmission, with Bill Shankly's Liverpool overcoming West Ham at Anfield.
A record audience of over 20 million watched the 1970 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leeds, and by 1972-73 viewing figures for MOTD were averaging 12 million in its 10 o'clock slot on BBC One.
The following season saw Jimmy Hill quit ITV to take over as the show's new presenter.
But in November 1978 Hill's old employers pulled off an exclusive deal with the Football League for future coverage of their matches - the 'snatch of the day' as the headline writers labelled it.
The Office of Fair Trading intervened but the BBC was forced to alternate with ITV for Saturday night football, with MOTD switching to Sunday afternoons for the 1980-01 and 1982-83 seasons.
Both channels were allowed to screen seven live matches from 1983, with ITV choosing the Sunday afternoon slot and the BBC experimenting with Friday evenings.
Viewers were forced to do without their Saturday night fix for four consecutive Saturdays in the autumn of 1983 when a technical dispute at the BBC disrupted transmission of MOTD.
With rights to Football League matches switching exclusively to ITV for the first time in the 1988-9 season, the BBC linked up with the new BSKyB to broadcast FA Cup and England matches.
Lineker in the hot seat
And with Sky winning live rights for the new Premier League in 1992-93, MOTD was relaunched as a Saturday night highlights package.
The new millennium saw Premier League highlights move to ITV, along with popular presenter Des Lynam.
But MOTD has lived on with former England striker Gary Lineker replacing Lynam in the hotseat to front live FA Cup and England matches.
And with Premiership highlights back on the Beeb from the start of the 2004-05 season, fans will continue to whistle that familiar theme tune as MOTD approaches its 40th anniversary.
0 Comments 243 weeks
England's elite dominate the last eight of the Champions League - and I fully expect three teams from the top flight to reach the semi-finals for the second year in succession.
The most intriguing of the quarter-finals from a Premier League perspective is undoubtedly the tie between Arsenal and Liverpool, with the first leg at The Emirates on Wednesday night.
Arsenal have been struggling and have been in freefall, despite a great result against AC Milan in the San Siro in the last 16 but they came back from real adversity at the weekend and it would be foolish to discount them.
They conjured up a truly amazing comeback at Bolton on Saturday, a performance that showed real reserves of character, given their recent form.
But my old club look like they are a team built for the Champions League and proved it again against Inter Milan in the last round. They were very solid, good on the counter-attack and will fancy their chances against Arsenal.
Arsenal have huge ability and they will hope their big players demonstrate it against Liverpool but Emmanuel Adebayor has gone off the boil recently and even Cesc Fabregas has not been playing as well as he was.
They have struggled defensively and opponents will note how they cracked under pressure against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after holding the lead going into the last 20 minutes.
Arsenal will take great heart from what happened at The Reebok on Saturday - but Liverpool will be a different proposition to Bolton.
Liverpool are my favourites to go through because the Champions League really seems to suit them. It is a more cautious, tactical approach and they have a cautious manager in Rafael Benitez.
This is not in any way a negative comment about Benitez. He simply has a way of playing that suits the Champions League, as Liverpool's recent record in the competition proves, and that is good management.
Liverpool will get men behind the ball at Arsenal and they will be delighted the second leg is at Anfield, where the crowd will be such a factor.
I expect this to be a very tight affair, more of a slog than pretty football. The away goal is more important now than when I played, in fact, it is hugely important, but make no mistake, if you offered Benitez 0-0 now he would bite your hand off.
Arsenal will hope to rediscover their inspiration after the late drama on Saturday and I would never write off a team with such outstanding ability but I feel Liverpool will come through after two very tight games.
Momentum and confidence are huge factors in football and I believe Liverpool have more of it in this competition than Arsenal.
Chelsea are away to Fenerbahce on Wednesday and, while trips to Turkey are always difficult, I expect them to prevail over the two legs.
They are a multi-talented side and have an outstanding performer in striker Didier Drogba. He provides an outlet and a goalscoring threat that is crucial in a European tie away from home.
He gives them a physical presence and when you are under the cosh you can knock it up to him and he will either hold the ball or, more often than not, force the opposition into a foul.
Chelsea have quality all over the pitch but, for me, Drogba will be the key figure and I expect Avram Grant's side to reach a second successive semi-final, where I believe they will meet Liverpool for the third time.
Manchester United have what seems to be one of their regular trips to face AS Roma in Italy on Tuesday and again I expect them to come through.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be under no illusions that United will be presented with a much tougher proposition than the Roma side they thrashed 7-1 at Old Trafford in last season's quarter-final.
Roma have improved markedly, as shown when they beat Real Madrid home and away in the last round and have emerged as dark horses for Serie A.
But United have match-winners all over the pitch, with people like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Roone
0 Comments 267 weeks
Full draw for FA Cup quarter-finals:
Sheffield United or Middlesbrough v Cardiff City
Manchester United v Portsmouth
Bristol Rovers v West Brom
Barnsley v Chelsea
Matches to be played on the weekend of 8 and 9 March.
0 Comments 273 weeks
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