Friday, May 27, 2005


Pure genius

There are times when even I question the sanity of my actions. One such time was 3:30 am Thursday when I was getting dressed to go to a bar and watch the Champions League final. This after having rolled into bed at 1:30 am on the back of someone's sayonara party, by no means in my best senses.

The final, Liverpool vs AC Milan, didn't disappoint though.

Glumly draining my first few pints of Guiness, I watched as Liverpool shipped two goals before halftime. I then found out that Milan had scored one before I'd even arrived at the bar, meaning that Liverpool were three down and pretty much dead and buried.

Over a few more pints of Guiness, I watched in disbelief as Liverpool wiped out Milan's three-goal lead in an incredible spell of second-half football, before camping behind the ball and waiting for the penalty shoot out, which, quite remarkably, they won (as I choked on my fifth pint.)

Some reflections on the match:

1. The crucial point was Liverpool's second goal, drilled in by Smicer from outside the area. One goal for Liverpool was merely a consolation, but the second goal arriving in such short order threw Milan into total disarray.

2. Jerzy Dudek, who had previously distinguished himself by being absolutely crap in goal, had the game of a lifetime. The kind of game that Big Dave Beasant had in the '88 FA cup final and which earned him his subsequent transfer to Chelsea (this in the days when Chelsea were crap.) On the subject of Big Dave, check out the following piece of quality web journalism:

"Beasant... is best remembered for his unforgettable Cup Final penalty save from Liverpool's John Aldridge in 1988."

Uh-huh: if I'd done something unforgettable I'd hope that people would remember it too. This is the reason why you should never trust anything you read on the internet. Except this.

3. Despite having won the European Cup, Liverpool may not be able to defend it next season. (Click here to be enlightened.)

Obviously the Premiership can scarcely strip fourth-placed Everton of their Champions League place and give it to their bitter city rivals. The obvious solution is to boot Chelsea out instead, as they've been so useless this season.

4. 6:30 am is not an ideal bedtime when you have work that day.

All things considered, though, a much greater reward for my nocturnal efforts than the teary-eyed drop-out antics of St. Paula Radcliffe in last summers Olympic games. And crikey, Liverpool winning the European Cup? If I ever doubted that Japan was a 1980s flashback, my doubts have been laid to rest.


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