17 May 2006

Champions League Final

NOTE TO AMERICAN READERS WHO HAVEN'T SEEN THE GAME YET: READ NO FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW HOW IT CAME OUT

I don't understand it. I hate Arsenal. I think I always have, and not even for a good reason; it's just that pure, delicious, irrational hate that I've always reserved for bullies, cheats, and the rich, popular and successful.

Which makes me wonder why, even before tonight's Champions League Final was underway, I was cheering wildly for Arsenal to win. Could I be that chauvinistic that I'd prefer to see any English team beat any European team? Well, yes, apparently, but having said that, Arsenal played heroically, down to ten men and a second-string goalkeeper, against a Barcelona side that's arguably the best in the world.

Certainly they were technically superior, so much so that they were able to mount attack after attack while Arsenal defended desperately, taking their few chances from fast breaks or the very occasional Barcelona slip-up. But Arsenal could have won it, and it wouldn't have been undeserved if they had. An absolutely riveting game, though, and my respect for Arsenal (and yes, even Arsène Wenger) has gone up considerably.

2 comments:

Wesley said...

I found the little game of keep-away that Barca had going at the end was strangely amusing. Still, worth watching all the way through, though I'd have to agree that they all deserved a better referee on the night.

JAB Seattle said...

I ended up piss drunk and angry. Swearing in 2 languages at the plastic Barcalona fans in the pub.

I then realized I'd witness a spirited performance by a young side not given a chance to excel at anything this year, let alone play in the European Cup Final. So, at the conclusion of the match I strolled over and shook each of the Barca fans hands in turn.

Larry, I never thought I'd see you say anything nice about our boys. Thanks