Mikel Arteta and James Beattie each scored in Everton’s 2-0 defeat of Sheffield United, Beattie’s 32nd minute penalty resulting from an incident the Times’ Paul Rowan describes thusly,

Sheffield United were down to 10 men and behind by two goals after centre-back Claude Davis was sent off.

The offending challenge was clumsy but in no way malicious and Andrew Johnson went down quite easily. But yet another referee played it by the book and another fair contest was ruined.

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock created one of the most lively moments of the day when he called on referee Dermot Gallagher, retained by the Premier League for a year beyond his scheduled retirement, to hang up his whistle forthwith.

œDermot had a bad game and I told him so, Warnock said. œI think it™s a reflection on the young lads coming through that they asked him to stay on a year. I thought every time everybody went down and made a meal of something they got a free kick, but if they stood on their feet and tried to play the game, they didn™t get a free kick.

Although he refused to condemn Johnson, Warnock said that the Everton striker went down too readily for the penalty on 33 minutes which resulted in Davis™s dismissal. The defender™s challenge from behind looked awkward, but in one flash of Gallagher™s red card, interest in the game also diminished and one sensed that even the Goodison faithful felt cheated, as their mood never lifted.

Gallagher might have found a way of keeping Davis on the pitch, but he has just returned to Premiership duty after being sanctioned in the wake of his failure on August 23 to dismiss Ben Thatcher, of Manchester City, for the elbow on Portsmouth™s Pedro Mendes. That probably sealed Davis™s fate and created an imbalance for the rest of the match.

I did my best to follow the former MetroStars’ playoff loss to DC United yesterday afternoon, but the following must be said (and I think I am putting this as politely as possible) : with Shep Messing, the Red Bull NY have their very own Hawk Harrelson. During the near brawl that followed Amado Guevara’s takedown of Jamie Moreno, the Shepster nearly channeled Lamar Thomas, such was his overexcitement. Apparently, nobody comes into East Rutherford and pushes the Red Bulls around. They just score a goal, win the game and leave the nearly empty building in a hurry.

Currently supplying the bong-rattling bass for Scritti Politti, the always dependable Rhodri Marsden gets far more out of TV commercials than the rest of us.

There’s a good advert on the tube at the moment for the Samsung NV7 digital camera. “Like Joe Cole,” it begins, puzzlingly, “the NV7 is always in control.” It’s accompanied with a picture of Joe Cole (above), keeping a football reasonably close to his feet. A cursory internet search reveals that Joe Cole also bears an uncanny resemblance to the Samsung NV10, because he “takes a great shot.” If we’re ever going to make it in the world of advertising and marketing, we’ve got to be able to draw these kind of tenuous comparisons between celebrities and consumer durables.

“Like Page 3 model Keeley Hazell, the Delonghi TRN1015T Solaris Oil Filled Radiator will generate warmth on a cold winter’s night.”

“Like Luciano Pavarotti, the Sony KDL-V40XBR1 40″ LCD Television is bloody massive.”

“Like a resident of the Algerian town of Adrar, the Philips AJ3600 Alarm Clock will give you a shrill wake-up call guaranteed to interrupt slumber.”