In the News: Eden Hazard criticised for criticising Conte’s tactics after City. This includes not very subtle hints about the consequences from Conte himself. Everyone else had a go, and they didn’t have to fanny about up front alone, blindly waiting for a miracle to happen at City so I don’t see why Eden should be denied an opinion. Meanwhile our manager is apparently contemplating a move to Paris, to manage a club with limitless resources in one of the most non-competitive leagues on the continent. Would be a sadly easy way out for a manager who’d be selling himself way short.
If you weren’t convinced that Oscar was a gibbering lunatic before he emigrated to China, here’s proof. It seems that two million odd a year in the real world of football just didn’t cut it: “I don’t care if I go to the World Cup or no, I’m only criticised for coming to China. I personally think of my family and my future. I don’t want to get poor when I am old and live on memories that I played at the World Cup.” Dick. Could just be front though, you couldn’t blame him for not wanting any part of it after last time when Germany did to him what The Mountain did to Oberyn Martel in the semi-final and he ended up sobbing like a baby with more snot and dribble coming out of his face than Harry f*cking Kane.
There must be want of real news for the Red Swarm to report if they are this obsessed by Carragher and Spitgate. You have to have been dragged up by wolves for that to go through your mind as a possible response to any kind of adversity. Then again the dad surely should have been watching the road with his kid in the car instead of screaming out of the window. What I found funniest was Gary Lineker attempting to mock the twat. If you’ve ever shat your pants in front of a worldwide audience you should probably just abstain from commenting about such indiscretions. Not to mention the crisp adverts are pretty shameful too.
The Goons have broken Mertesacker, who says he’s finished in football and quitting. Bellerin leaving Arsenal this summer too apparently. Who cares, I know. Arsenal willing to accept £50 million. I’m glad to hear that Chelsea aren’t letting such nonsensical opportunities pass them by either. Apparently, we’ve told Dortmund we’ll want just the £53m for Michy. I’m willing to accept £25 million for the empty hula hoop bag with a snotty tissue stuffed inside sitting next to me as I type this. Call my agent.
Is there anything more amusing than the sight of West Ham players wrestling their own fans to the ground? I think not. That minority of real scum that lurk in the Hammers’ wake will always make them one of the most repulsive clubs in the country. I recently found out that my mum’s cousin’s son is a West Ham fan. Not a match-goer, but still. I’ve never felt such shame. Apparently the security people at the Olympic Stadium, who had proved to be about as inspiring in that role as Steve Bruce fronting for WeightWatchers, won’t be sacked because they signed a 30-year deal. Brilliant management. And I’m sure the baying mob will be placated by all the pictures in today’s press of the team lounging about on the beach in Miami.
Granville and Fake Klopp have come up with an imaginative way for Bakayoko to earn his money while he isn’t fit to start. With this spate of dodgy Russian deaths they’d use him as an official food taster for Roman. Granville isn’t sure: “He’d probably f*ck that up. He’d end up slipping and accidentally spitting it into Roman’s mouth or forgetting which plate was his.” Oh and there’s some saga about whether England will go to the World Cup. Which is about as boring as watching England at the World Cup.
The Others: Sp*rs did a Sp*rs and gave us all a good laugh from a commanding position against Juve last week, making them the first English club to exit the Champions League this season. The opposition even came out and said they’d been convinced that this would be the case. Which made it even more hilarious.
Anthony Martial is on crack. I can say this with authority because he has claimed that Pogba is the best midfielder in the world and that he will win the Ballon d’Or in the next five years. B*llocks. I do, however, hear that after his performance last night Sevilla have put him on the list for a medal should they win the Champions League after what he contributed to their effort at Old Trafford. Speaking of money wasted by United – that bloke that manages them insists Sanchez is worth the £600k a week “he just came at the worst moment of the season” For that money, he should have arrived riding on the back of an enchanted unicorn and farting rainbows. They were as pathetic as we were at City, and Chequebook Pulis continued his descent into rambling imbecile that appeared to have stalled for a while by trying to play down their exit from Europe by reminding the fans they had been knocked out before. By him. That will go down well.
While nobody was expecting us to win tonight, if it was to happen it wouldn’t have been from being in a position nailed on to make the quarterfinals and it wouldn’t have been by jobbers that everyone expected us to tank. This made me feel slightly better. So how was it going to go down? Had we faced City or the Scouse’s’ opposition I believe we would have gone through, but thems the breaks in this competition. And instead we’d ended up facing a team that gets every possible advantage handed to them by the people running it and we’d squandered a good shout of going into this second leg in front.
Them: A veritable parade of c*ntery and cheating sh*thousery: the tax-dodging ferret, Biscuits, Donkey Chops. I wasn’t sure my blood pressure would survive watching the latter two, especially when you chuck Jordi f*cking Alba and his random falling on the floor clutching his little rat-face into the mix too.
Us: A striker. Verily we were spoilt this evening. Whilst the false nine might have worked in the home leg when we never really looked like going behind, Farca were going to go all out to win tonight, and would likely score, and as we proved at City, when we go behind with this formation, we are about as wet as a fourteen year-old girl schoolgirl who has had a run in with Jamie Carragher. If Conte had a more defensive option he thought was more viable at this level I believe he would have used it instead of Fabregas, but the fact is they all needed to be excellent and they all needed to be incredibly focused. It was one single lapse in concentration that cost us a lead at the end of the first leg. And we could not afford to do the same again:
Them booing the Champions League anthem was novel. Considering UEFA are their best friends. They immediately began knobbing about in their own half. 6000 passes in the first two minutes – none of which were aimed at trying to penetrate our defence. Yawn. 48 seconds in and Suarez to start backing into people. Tosser. Then after two minutes they’d scored. Joy. First time they’d been in the box. Shabby error from Courtois on goal coming out that far, but somewhat lucky on the TDF’s part.
Advantage of not going to Spain – not being ripped off to sit in the worst seats in football. Disadvantage – having to listen to the tax-dodging ferret w*nkfest on the TV coverage.
Saving ourselves for Leicester, said Granville.
We needed to be even more perfect now. Our first real attempt came in the shape of a free kick from Willy three minutes later that started oddly creeping towards goal. Nothing doing though, nor from the subsequent corner. Their goal didn’t really change anything. Still in a position where if we scored one goal we go through. She said hopefully. We didn’t panic and soon started picking up possession. With confidence too. 8 minutes and Hazard and Willian were starting to open them up. And they’d given the all away a fair few times already. Eden had started well, once again forcing the ball back from Farca and Willian managed to trouble the home keeper just a little with a long range shot on the ground. Possession was nearly level at this stage, which nobody was expecting.
Then back into another boring spell of tippy tappy middle of the pitch sh*t we went. Until: lucky f*cking c*nts. Azpilicueta pretty much managed to diddle the TDF but the ball went back bouncing back onto his foot and they were away. Silly concession from Fabregas, exactly the kind of mistake we all knew we couldn’t make on a night like this.
Two silly errors, resulting in two shots, and two goals from them. Moses had space, their long passing wasn’t great, Hazard and Willian looked fired up, but all our work had been for nothing. This is exactly what is has been largely missing from our game this season. The ability to be clinical, it was exactly what cost us going into this game with a lead in the tie too. We needed one before halftime otherwise it looked bleak. Bertie the Kitten looked as depressed as I did. Advantage of not going – unlimited supply of Christmas present gin at home.
Disadvantage – distractions. Started to think about doing some George V typing, played with the cat. Cat had resorted to licking his own privates every time they mention the tax-dodging ferret. I started looking longingly at the Texas road trip guidebook on the shelf.
33 minutes and Mungo Pique had almost scored. That would have been really sticking the knife in. Chances of us scoring before halftime looked slim to none with ten minutes left till the break. But obviously, as soon as I typed that: fabulous run by Willy, Alonso shot saved, Giroud follow up blocked. Then Cesc gets away with being offside but Kante takes the shot from him. Come on Chelsea.
The diving had commenced, the whining from the crowd trying to get people booked l. So far the Slovenian referee was restraining himself from being a bellend. It hadn’t turned into a rout, but it was slowly turning into a cringe-worthy display of b*stardry in terms of the home team throwing themselves on the floor every time someone brushed up against them. Then having the cheek to moan when we got given anything. Entitled twats. 44 minutes and Giroud earned a dangerous free kick in the edge of the box. A little bit it magic now would have set up and it looked like it might have been on the way in. Up it went, down it came, keeper beaten but it hit the post. B*llocks.
I didn’t feel as bad as I did when we were down in 2012, and I wasn’t giving up on us yet. In 135 minutes of this tie now, they have by no means played us off the park. After 3/4 of it we were just about still in it. Maybe. Not a lot for Conte to do at halftime except gee them up. We’ve not been bad by any means, but this was going to take a big turnaround to score two and not concede again.
As you were at kick off in the second half. It was a bright start from us and a pretty lacklustre one from them, to the extent that Willy found himself unmarked on the edge of the box. Within two minutes though Courtois had made another daft error. We escaped, and back up the other end Alonso was in, surely he had to get a shot off, but f*cking Dembele came out and got there first. If we could get an early goal in this half, I believed they’d be shaken, but it was a sadly familiar sight. Lots to be pleased with, no sting in the tail. We were the better side, but it counted for nothing yet. Please don’t let this be another instance of us squandering our chances and fading away. An overhead kick from Alonso when he didn’t quite connect with the ball properly. Nice little moment when Christensen dumped Suarez on his cheating a*se. Great run from Willy, but why he ignored Alonso streaking down the left and tried to thread an impossible ball through to Giroud I couldn’t tell you. We just couldn’t seem to finish off an attack. Impotent desperation. This must be what Henry VIII must have felt like every time one of his wives peed on a stick.
Biscuits was limping. What a shame. Maybe he tripped over his own front teeth. Farca were well and truly lurking in their own half now. We were playing better than we had in the first leg, far less deep, but still hadn’t made it count when the tax-dodging, rancid little f*cking ferret stuck another one in. Another through the legs for Courtois. It’d be harsh to hold one person responsible for the result, and it wouldn’t have made any difference had we managed to finish things off at the other end, but he really did have a sh*tter tonight overall.
Morata was getting ready to come on, as was Zappacosta, but it was out of reach now. Giroud was punching the subs bench, and he was right to. Massively frustrating. We didn’t deserve the scoreline but what does that matter when they have capitalised on the few mistakes we have made. Over two legs that had been the difference, not the massive Gulf in class we had been fearing. I had a bag of kettle chips in the cupboard and I was considering shoving them all in my face at once.
Damage was done. The wind went from our sails, but we were going to have to stop them passing the ball round in circles for the last half an hour if we wanted to get at least a goal tonight. Rudiger hit the woodwork with a powerful header, but it was all to no avail. Three like for like subs was never going to inspire a comeback.
So: The result we expected, but we achieved getting knocked out with far less of a bitch-slapping than a lot of people anticipated. We showed up, so there’s that. Same outcome though. It was always going to be a tall order. The chips didn’t fall our way, and we were made to pay for errors. We looked young and naive, snapping at their heels but not quite getting it right, and they looked like cunning, wily b*stards who knew how to shake out the result.
A Look Back at Palace: So now obviously it’s all about making sure we make it back to Europe’s top table next season. It was an amusing weekend. “Kenedy stars…” This is as far as I got through this headline before I fell down in shock. “Kane crocked…” This time I fell down laughing. I was about to get up, but I stayed down there in hysterics when I heard that the Goons were blaming Mother’s Day for all of the empty seats at the Emirates on Sunday. United did beat the Red Scouse, which made me happy, not least because they whiny gits ran out of available fingers to count all the supposed injustices that they faced from the officials. Shame. And it meant it we won at home, we could begin to close the gap on 4th place.
Zappacosta and Cahill rotated in and after the shocker at City, the boss decided to start with Giroud up front. Hallelujah. Kante was also back after a worrying collapse kept him out of the disaster up north.
From the off, we actually looked like a football team, which was a vast improvement on six days before. Giroud got his head on the ball in the box, though it wasn’t at a height or a velocity for him to do anything with, after four minutes. It took us more than 80 to achieve that at the Etihad. Willian had a spring in his step again, and Hazard actually looked like Hazard. With a formation that didn’t hang him out to dry he had more impact in seven minutes than he had had all afternoon against Pip Squeakiola and his band of mercenaries. We’d even managed to force a save in the first ten minutes sort of. Dare I say we were having built a bit of momentum. After 22 minutes a long-range shot from Willian comfortably cleared the bar, but two minutes later he decided to go it alone and slipped it past the keeper. Thank f*ck for that. Just after the half an hour mark some shambolic defending from Palace culminated in a tragic own goal for Kelly, and our lead had doubled. How sh*t must you be we’re winning at home. The home crowd was singing “you’re going down with the Pikeys,” and in the meantime, it was a little bit sexual watching Giroud challenge for fifty-fifty balls in the air. Because that is something we’ve been starved of late either because there has been nobody up front or because it’s been dumped on poor Eden, who is fractionally taller than me. In truth we toyed with Palace for the rest of the half. They looked very poor, and we looked much better than last week, though not good enough to beat Farcalona away. Especially not in the second half, in which Palace did well to attend to some of the issues that they’d had before the break. One of our ex-players had the cheek to worry us just a tad at the end, but the game was blissfully uneventful in terms of some of the incompetence we have shown this season in squandering points. We are four off of the Champions League places, with a break now to take on Leicester away in the FA Cup, our last chance of winning a trophy this season. Easy. She says with a straight face.
Read more from Alexandra via Twitter @CFCgwlb