A few themes that I came away with…
Peter Cech saved The Blues and the posts saved The Reds. I’d call it even. This game was a battle from the get go. I loved it and would watch the game again. The quality and intensity of the game puts the EPL on the top of the heap of world football, if it wasn’t there already.
Below are a few themes that I came away with from the game, but I’d say you should try to watch the game if you missed it or catch a majority of the highlights. It was that good. Or if anything, watch the penalty shoot out below.
C. Ronaldo darted up the line and around Essien on numerous occasions. But Essien almost had his redemption for forgetting to jump on C. Ronaldo’s goal and the step over abuse he’d received, when he zipped up field himself, cut the ball back inside, but muffed the shot really, when Edwin Van der Sar had slipped.
As they say, ‘so it goes’ and ‘if I slip, then I’m slippin’. Slipping was a recurring theme throughout the game. Since, due to the rain or the way the grass was laid over the turf, a number of players slipped, fell or cramped up throughout the match. And, what with the wet surface, perhaps Ferguson should have brought on Giggs, Nani and Anderson much earlier, let their skill shine. Terry, yes, looked like he did slip just as he stuck his penalty kick. He’s a player who don’t deserve that type of luck.
The game was full of individual duels, from the above mentioned Essien versus C. Ronaldo, to Drogba versus Nemanja Vidic, which ended in a red card for Drogba after he slapped Vidic late in the game. Makelele versus Scholes, both booked after Scholes went up for a challenge a bit late and smacked into Makelele’s elbow – Scholes coming away with a bloody face. And on and on.
Money you say. The winner bags a bunch. According to ESPN, ‘the winners alone are predicted to sashay off into the sunset with a cool £85million tucked in their swag bag. Don’t feel sorry for the losers though – they’ll pocket about £30million. Poor them eh?’
I was hoping to see a Russian hat on the top of the head of Ferguson as he raised the trophy. A hat like what his traveling fans were wearing. Or see him don Cech’s padded helmet for laughs in mocking jubilation. There was no mocking to do though in this type of a battle. Hats off to both clubs – sounds cheesy but it’s true.
The long pass to Ronaldo by Rooney at first looked ambitious but turned out to be perfect. Equally spot on was the early cross by Ronaldo when he caught this pass, as the two defenders were probably waiting for the dance and not the cross.
Even more spot on though in the sequence of events was Peter Cech, as he saved first Tevez’s header and then Carrick’s follow up. If Cech doesn’t make these saves you might see a route, like Roma received a while back from Manchester. Momentum being the key factor in all sports. The Cech double saved allowed for the Lampard equalizer to take place.
Roman Abramovich, his reaction after the Terry miss was brilliant, and the women next to him I was hoping to see more of. What player is he going to buy next year, Ronaldinho? No sign of the American owners. Surely their a bit befuddled and in disbelief at their good fortunate at owning such a team. Malcolm Glazer and the Glazer clan are now Champions of Europe – don’t think they realized what a game this soccer was.
I live in the Bay Area, you’d think the local sports channels would have a longer highlight clip than just the save by Van der Sar to win the game, but I guess it’s good that it was at least mentioned. On the other hand, I’m glad the game is still a bit of a secret, let the others come to the game slowly.
Wise Old Vets
They didn’t show it, but Gary Neville, in a full suit, picked Cristiano Ronaldo up off the soccer pitch after he’d stayed on the ground in tears despite Manchester United winning the game.
Neville has a history of picking up Cristiano, and helping him a long the way, the wise old veteran supporting the new young star, he used to translate for him. Then again, there’s Rio and his propensity to punk other players, but all in good fun. Can’t have a theme called ‘wise old vets’ and not mention a living legend: Ryan Giggs.
Winning in the Blood Stream
That’s one thing that sticks out for me in the Manchester United versus Chelsea war. Under Ferguson, Manchester has a good mix of veterans and young players. They’re a club that will only continue to win more trophies, and they don’t necessarily have to go out and get new players every year. Of course, they’ll bring in a few new players for positions here and there, but they have a system in place where the winning is ingrained in players from the veterans down to the young players they bring in and develop. Their youth system seems more defined than Chelsea’s, and winning is what matters from the get go.
Who’d I’d Like to Hear From
I’d love to hear from Jose Mourinho, whether that’s his puppet or the real thing. I’d like to get his thoughts on the game. Hopefully we’ll have some quotes from him in the coming days.
Here are the cracks on goal, in all their glory. There really is no better drama than this. The best run up for his kick goes to the first taker – Carlos Tevez. Who wore the Argentine flag like a cap after the game.