Old Futbol Buffet–Just a Game

A great weekend of footy was overshadowed by the scenes at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

My son spent Friday night at friend’s house, so I woke up, did some research for my blog, read more of The Damned United and then headed off to his floor hockey game (for yet another weekend). After that I headed over to James’ house, with the Tottenham flag flying on a beautiful spring day, for the Spurs v Bolton FA Cup tie.

Spurs got off to an energetic start and were sucker punched, much in the same way United hit them just before halftime a couple of weeks ago, as Walker lost his marker on a corner kick. The resulting header deflected off Bale and into the back of the net. Spurs responded well and Bale, in his usual spot on the left, wreaked all kinds of havoc. His serve to Walker resulted in a fine headed equalizer. The hosts really went for it but couldn’t find the second, and eventually Bolton came into the game. A terrible turnover by Gallas led to a quick break that Klasnic fired into the side netting. Then minutes from halftime the game came to a screeching halt as Muamba collapsed and the medical teams from both clubs rushed to the field. The announcer mentioned “possible cardiac issue” and there was also talk of an epileptic seizure. After several minutes of shots of fans and players in stunned disbelief, referee Howard Webb took everyone off the field to figure out the next step. Eventually the game was eventually abandoned.

During those crazy moments, all I could think about was Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis and Mark Vivian Foe. The pictures of the players and fans told the story and I really don’t know what to say. Eventually reports filtered out that he was in stable condition, so that was a welcome relief.

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Fiorentina 0 Juventus 5

During halftime of the Barca game, I switched to the Juve game, during which I saw some nice team moves from the visitors, with Vucinic hitting the post and scoring a sumptuous goal. While I was watching the second half of the FCB game, Fiorentina got a straight red and the Bianconeri added a second. I turned back with the hosts turning up the heat and creating lots of danger, but Marchisio started a move with a layoff to Vucinic, and, with Matri getting out of the way to avoid offside, the Montenegrin fizzed in a ball for Marchisio to smash home. At 3-0 that was good enough for me and I was off to my son’s floor hockey game. The Old Lady would run out 5-0 winners and keep pace with AC Milan. As I tweeted later that night, I hope the black and whites didn’t use up all of their goals for the run-in.

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Here is a stat that I read at the Republik of Mancunia: For the first time since the 2001-2002 season, Manchester United will not play in a cup final, after losing to Athletic Bilbao over both legs.  That’s a pretty amazing as Fergie’s management of the squad has led to a constant quest for silverware.  It’s obvious that Fergie’s statement that United were close to FCB has been completely eviscerated and the defeat to Bilbao was further proof that the Reds still have a ways to go, which the post briefly touched on.

Doron and Phil were back on Beyond the Pitch to discuss the club as the Reds get ready for squeaky bum time and the upcoming summer.  One of the topics was the transfer needs for the summer, especially in central midfield, as there is concern over the futures of Anderson and Fletcher.  They moved on to discuss Pogba and his future in light of the contract negotiations.  After talking about the WBA game, Berbatov’s status at the club was discussed, especially as Welbeck has come on this season.  Doron also shared thoughts on Matty James, who looks to be a good prospect, possibly a better Carrick replacement.  Finally the guys discussed the fan experience at Old Trafford as there is the possibility of a singing section to increase the atmosphere.

United rebounded from their elimination in the Europa League to pound relegation candidates Wolverhampton Wanderers.  The Reds are now four points clear and put City under pressure as they host Chelsea on Wednesday.

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