I do hope Sir Alex Ferguson has recovered this morning from Manchester United’s exit last night from the Champions League – too “distraught” to face the media apparently, the purple-nosed one declared himself to be “in no fit state to talk”.
They were beaten by Real Madrid in the second leg, having been reduced to 10 men after the controversial sending off of Nani in the 56th minute and there has been the usual outcry from United fans about the unfairness of the sending off as it changed the game entirely. Up to that point they were undoubtedly the better side and it looked likely that they would definitely proceed to the next round.
In any game of football, however, a player is asking for trouble by connecting with an opponent’s midriff. Nani’s boot was definitely raised with painful consequences, accidental or not. That said, there was still palpable shock when the red card was brandished.
Mourinho’s decision to bring on Luka Modric straight away was a masterstroke and it was then Ronaldo, until that point largely subdued, reminded Old Trafford why he is such a formidable destroyer of defences. Both players scored within three minutes of one another and, however impudent it was for Mourinho to shake Ferguson’s hand and set off for the dugout with the final exchanges of stoppage time still to be played, the truth is the game had already been won.
At the final whistle, with one manager unable to bring himself to talk and another contemplating another pulsating Old Trafford victory for his collection, what we are left with is the whining of the United fans who feel they were robbed of the chance of further glory in this competition and a Turkish referee who will have probably needed a police escort leaving the stadium, before a swift flight back to Istanbul this morning.
But at the end of the day, it is just a football match – no-one died. So I leave you with the chorus to this well-known song by The Streets, [adapted to suit the gender change!]:
Dry your eyes mate
I know it’s hard to take but [his] mind has been made up
There’s plenty more fish in the sea
Dry your eyes mate
I know you want to make [him] see how much this pain hurts
But you’ve got to walk away now.
The 2011/2012 football season is drawing to a close and with one game left, things couldn’t get any closer for the 2 Manchester sides with City having the advantage only on goal difference with one game each left to play!
Those games will be Manchester City at home to QPR and Manchester United away to Sunderland, both on Sunday 13th May.
So here is where the points are at the moment:
If I were a betting person, my money would be on City. Their last game is at home which obviously gives them an edge but I would never underestimate the red side of the city who seem to have the devil’s own luck in these circumstances!
Who could forget the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich where they scored 2 last minute goals in injury time to win the game 2-1, after having trailed for most of the match?
Events such as these have led to the new phrase being coined of #fergietime but, despite #fergietime during the last encounter between these 2 great sides last week, Manchester City came out the victors and I for one am hoping that this is an omen for the final trophy of the season!