Steve McClaren, the beleaguered England manager, faces dismissal this morning after a night of shame in Russia that leaves his team needing a miracle to qualify for the Finals of the Euro 2008 championships.
The gritty Northerner saw England snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, leaving them relying on Israel to beat Russia next month if they are to progress to the Final stages of the tournament.
Spanish referee, and cheat, Luis Cantalejo virtually consigned England to the scrapheap of European football, when he ruled that Wayne Rooney had brought down Zyryanov inside the box, and awarded a penalty which Pavsomethingorother subsequently converted.
McClaren admitted he was "confused" about the defeat, saying:
"It was an absolute disgrace. If that penalty had not been awarded, we would have won the game", conveniently forgetting that Russia scored again through the same player four minutes later.
England, with a Steven Gerrard howler, contrived to throw the game away in the final minutes, when the Lverpool striker wasted a simple chance to equalise.
McClaren knows his team are likely to miss out on progressing now, and was seen praying in the dug-out at the end. He told his assistant Terry Venables:
"We need a miracle from the Yids now."