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Fewer goals take luster off U.K. soccer
Updated: 2005-09-21 15:23

Ticket prices are soaring. Crowd figures are falling. Goals are plummeting, the Associated Press reported.

Steven Gerrard. Liverpool and Manchester United fought out a goalless draw at Anfield in a game which did little for either club's hopes of reducing Chelsea's advantage at the top of the Premiership table. [AFP]

English soccer seems to be losing its appeal. Maybe it's all Jose Mourinho's fault.

Mourinho's Chelsea has won its first six league games this season without conceding a goal, but hasn't won many admirers with its sterile playing style. Chelsea's opponents, meanwhile, have resorted to defensive tactics to try to stop the Blues.

Goals are dwindling in comparison to the start of previous seasons and thousands of empty seats suggest that fans are losing interest at a time when attendance figures in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany are either stable or on the way up.

On the field, Sunday's 0-0 tie between Liverpool and Manchester United illustrated the negative trend permeating the Premier League. Most of the game was played in the center of the field, with Liverpool fielding one striker and stifling United's attack with five across midfield.

"United strangled by fear of failure" headlined The Times, which pointed out that Liverpool's four Premier League games so far have ended in three 0-0 ties and a 1-0 victory.
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