champions league final





Man Utd v Chelsea
(24th May 2008)




champions league





The Lesser Evil:

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    I guess like most neutrals for the Champions League Final of football (and it's not soccer, has never been soccer, and will never be soccer) you wanted the team you disliked the least to win the final. For me it was a no brainer: I'd support any team in the world including a Dwain Chambers Just Say Yes 11 over Chelsea. Man U are quite rightly the Chelsea of the North with the money they've spent but no matter what they've done it can never be as bad as Chelsea's crimes against football. So I was getting worried for Man U when they missed two glorious chances on top of the Ronaldo headed goal in the first half. Sure enough my worries were justified for what happens? The mother of all deflections, a typical Chelsea sneaky, fluky goal. How many of these deflected efforts plus penalties plus free kicks make up Lampard's tally for the season? If he's scored 20 goals I'd say 19 and the other was an og generously given to old 'supergoals - we love 'em' whine Lampard.

    Thereafter, you couldn't have written a better script. Chelsea hit the bar; Drogba falls down theatrically from the snipers in the crowd that only Drogba knows about; extra time; Drogba falls down theatrically from the snipers in the crowd that only Drogba knows about; Drogba, just 5 minutes away from the penalty shoot out and his chance of earning every penny of his 100k+ a week wages and becoming a living 'Chelsea Chelsea' legend by taking the fifth and concluding penalty decides instead to give Vidic a chance of earning a bruise and slaps him. Strange. Very strange ... It's as if, as if ... I can't even bear to think what I'm thinking never mind writing it down. Why the theatrical Dame of Football did what he did must remain a mystery up there with, I don't know, if you buy something for a 1.00 why do you sell it for 2.00 instead of 1p?

    I don't think it's up there with the Marie Celeste.

    Back to the game. Terry almost certainly gobs at Tevez but this being Chelsea he gets away with it. Extra time passed then penalties. Ronaldo decides to do that stupid stop start run up which must be illegal? Whatever, Cech saves. It's looking bad. All score their penalties. Even Cashley Cole. Why couldn't he miss?? Up steps the England captain John Terry for the final penalty. Purposely, he strides up like Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars. I can almost hear the spaghetti western music. This is his moment. Terry's wife is in the stands on her mobile phoning family back home telling them to order extra copies of The Sun as they'll have headlines like 'SUPERTERRY', 'JOHN TERRIFIES UTD' (I made that up).

    If he scores the magnificient Champions League trophy will be bought back to Stamford Bridge. Only Lee van Cleef (Edwin van der Sar) stands in his way. I say only for Terry falls on his arse, hits the post and breaks down.

    The question you've got to ask yourself, Chelsea, is van Cleef does indeed feel lucky. Very lucky.

    If Eastwood had fallen on his arse and fired over van Cleef's head and killed a single mother of ten with the youngest crying night after night for the best mother in the world then I'll be the first in a very long q wanting my money back.

    Sickening, Eastwood.

    When 'Le Sulk; Anelka misses Chelsea's last pen United are Champions of Europe. You could almost like Fergie, you feel, as you fall back in the couch, a heap of relief.

    The ending tells you everything that is wrong with football. Uefa executive Platini, who is getting to look more like a French caricuture as each day passes, decided that chief executives should get a medal! Yeah, total rubbish, I hear you say. But we are subjected to the smug bald head of Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon leading Chelsea up and receiving his medal for his services (with the pen I presume) to the cause! At least Man Utd had the sense to send up someone appropriate, the legend that is Sir Bobby Charlton, who thought it was a silly idea and didn't want the medal!

    Could have been worst. Imagine if Chelsea had won and Kenyon was leading up the winning side!!

    Utd got it right; Chelsea haven't a clue. If they have to abide by these new rules why not send an ex-player who actually deserved it far more than the pampered players of today? What about a Kerry Dixon, Ron Harris or a Peter Bonetti? What a touch that would have been.

    It would have proved that Chelsea still had a soul.

    ~ Paul Page



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