Friday, May 19, 2006

What better time to do a shri ganesh for this blog, than a relaxed saturday morning...and what better topic than the champions league final 2006 between arsenal and barcelona.

Decided to pay my respects to the football gods by staying up on a week night for a match which doesn't feature my favourite team (ManU). A colleague from office decided to join me on the pre-condition that i buy the beer. I had a feeling that it was going to be an uphill task for the gunners considering the barca line-up and my worst fears were confirmed when they were reduced to 10 men by an idiot of a referee. Jens Lehmann (he's not a banker despite the surname) was sent off for tackling a barca striker outside the box....I mean, duh....the ref needs to be a little sensitive (read sporting) considering the magnitude of the match. Even my friend, the barca fan had some choicest words for the ref.

Time for the twist in the tale. If the ref was wearing a barca shirt, god decided to don his arsenal tee. You could actually see the renewed vigour with which the gunners went on the offensive resulting in a sublime goal from that wily old fox, Sol Campbell. The french junta went wild, what with their support for the english club because of Messrs Wenger and Henry. Halftime saw a dissapointed barca bench who were literally seeing their cup dreams slipping away.

The second half started with some more scrappy play from the spanish club with the best player in the world being denied space for his trademark feints. Was this to be another moment of glory for the english premiership after liverpool's triumph last year. Unfortunately, NO.

Frank Rijkaard made some inspirational changes in the body of Henrik Larsson and Juliano Belletti and before long Larsson had let Eto'o through for the equaliser. The gunners had not even recovered from the shock, when they were sent to the electric chair by Belletti, making it defenders(2) - strikers(1) for the match.

All in all, a match which had its moments, but could not rise above average as all the hyped players like Ronaldinho, Henry, Fabregas etc. had a forgettable day at office. Lets hope the world cup is much better. Auf Wiedersehen (Goodbye)


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