Just remember that, if this is how we are to go out of Europe. First home defeat in continental competition in three years, though, look at who we have been playing.
In the News: It’s only been 24 hours since the last blog… so cut me some slack. Firstly, and most importantly, we can forgive the club their every indiscretion in allowing themselves to be commercially violated by the People’s Republic of Nike, for not only do they wear a thousand yard stare as a result of their silliness, but the megastore now stocks F*CKING CHELSEA UNICORNS!! Shevchenko’s twelve year old is training with our academy. Presumably he’s going to play for free until he is 57 so we can recoup what we spent on his dad. City only have one fit centre back. When they’ve bought everyone. Shame. Speaking of Centre backs, when Chequebook Pulis was quizzed to name three English defenders he has managed, he could cite only Gary Cahill and John Terry. Sad for Ashley Cole, but quite why anyone is alarmed that he forgot Smalling and Jones, I can’t imagine. I’ve not seen either of them defend in years. Now, while I think Lukaku is a douche of epic (chubster) proportions, apparently Cagliari have escaped punishment for fans doing monkey impressions at him. How? And an Italian pundit is in trouble for saying you could only stop him with 10 bananas. Apparently, he argues, his partner is black and he has two little black granddaughters. So that makes it OK. I propose stripping him naked, dangling him upside down and flogging his knackers with a cat-o-nine-tails coated in acid. My grandad had balls, and my Feline Overlord used to, so that makes it OK. I’m not the only one struggling for news today. The Daily Fail has put up a whole article about the fact that Kepa is about to wear his fifth coloured kit in seven games. Thanks for that.
Us: Same line up as Saturday except for Rudi. Poor sod.
Them: In utter turmoil apparently. One win in seven league games. Sackings. But this club know what they are doing in Europe. No big names. Half a dozen who didn’t really make the grade in the Premier League and fancied a year round holiday destination instead of North London, or Manchester. Hardly surprising.
Tammy Abraham is quite the new fan favourite, as was evident from massive amount of singing his name. Where’s my Champions League flag? Asked the wit behind us. I’ve only got twelve at home.
Brexit, init. His mate replied. Could have had a goal on three minutes. Corner was headed convincingly by Alonso but ended up being an easy claim for keeper. Mount brought down in a nasty sh*tbag challenge. What the f*ck was VAR doing to miss that? All us in terms of attacking intent, though it was not exactly Napoleon being chased out of Russia. Kovacic did a Mikel on 13, as in run over the halfway line, made it to the edge of the box, then it dawned on him how far forward he was and he sh*t his pants and forgot what he was supposed to be doing. Mount already fouled again. This time he was leaving the pitch, which was sh*t. Very neat passing from us, but yet to do anything in exciting in the box after 20 minutes. Nothing at all from them at the other end, but they looked far from incompetent.
Willian was off and running on 21, but nobody kept pace with him. In the end Alonso worked it out for a corner. It had all got a bit stop start since the loss of Mount, not really flowing. Our best chance yet came on 26 with a header across the box from Tammy, but it went wide. Bit of a shambles at the back on the half hour, but thankfully their final shot is sitting on top of Fulham Town Hall. They’d come into it a bit more now, but then we had a solo effort from Willian, who unfortunately dragged his shot wide. Tomori took half their team on to run it into the box shortly afterwards, but the rebound volley from Dave is somewhere in West Brompton Cemetery. Brilliant work from Willian on 39, and he was understandably pissed off that Dave didn’t keep running. Poor bloke already shagged our with all the forward bursts he’d been doing on the right. More great stuff from Willian as we approached halftime, but he was under too much pressure when it came to the shot and the ball didn’t quite drop for him. At the other end there was a slightly hair-raising moment from Kurt after a loose ball was picked up by them in a dangerous spot. The Valencia man must have felt like he’d hit by a coked up water buffalo, but the referee judged the challenge as fair. A rare display of common sense from the man in neon yellow. Tammy and Jorge almost combined in the six yard box straight afterwards. Was going to be a shame if we couldn’t make all of this count before half time, but they continued to be very solid in the box. Best chance so far came in injury time from Willian, who had been his usual spritely European self, but 0-0 it was at the break.
Pressing straight away at the restart, which is new. Most games this season we’ve looked like Diane Abbott attempting to do a Rubik’s cube out of the blocks after halftime. But though we did not implode, with an hour gone, we were lacking any kind of potency. Not for a want of effort on anyone’s part, but it just hadn’t clicked for us. We came close with a corner on 63, the follow up, not so much. We needed some inspiration. The Beard. Or Pulisic. Why has Frank suddenly gone off him? Side netting on 67, close again on 69. Getting painful now, but The Beard was imminent. Zouma off. Well that ought to shake things up a bit, ballsy from Frank. But this time it backfired. As their goal sailed in, all of our defenders seemed frozen to the spot. We didn’t give up. First shot on target in what seemed like forever from the Beard on 78. In the meantime Valencia had resorted to rolling round on the floor like a load of displaced cod.
Barkley for Kovacic. Again, lol. Buy Frank an oversized tracksuit top and a packet of Marlboros. His hands are pretty much tied in midfield at the moment, to be fair. Turning out to be a frustrating night. We broke. Guedes had transcended now, to a cod being tasered in the middle of it, in an attempt to cheat us. Not that any of the officials gave a sh*t. Meanwhile where the real footballers were actually doing some work, but our final ball went across the face of the goal. Then they hand-balled it in the box. Now, we all know that it only has to graze your f*cking fingernail in Europe so I was ready to throw down if we were denied. We all got excited and everyone chanted V-A-R. Oh dear God, modern football has infected us all. Not that it mattered when they finally did get to the bottom of it. Off the bar.
Just think of that Barcelona game if there’d been VAR, said Alf Garnett. We’d still have been there at midnight. I answered. Come to think of it we would have still been sat there after the final was supposed to have kicked off. A reaction save from their keeper denied us, and Tammy came close in injury time, but it was not to be.
So: Not our night. Not for want of trying. Really we were a bit unlucky. Squandered the few good chances we did have, and missed a penalty, but everyone worked damned hard and silver lining: we lost by less of a margin than the Scouse. Watch how the results get spun against each other tomorrow. Composed at the back for almost the whole match, especially on counter attacks when all five were spiffy at getting back in line. Pedro Pony categorically not ready to play for over an hour, took one for the team there after Mount went off. Speaking of, Mason’s ankle needs looking at before they know if he’s capable of playing Sunday. But it isn’t all about us. Valencia defended well throughout and their keeper had a blinding night. B*stard. We lost to them in September 2011 too, and that didn’t turn out to be too bad that season. Huge amount of injuries to boot, at the moment. Options for turning around frustrating games like this around will get infinitely better.
Penaltygate the chosen topic on the way home. Tammy, Pedro Pony, Willian and “Jorge” all looked to talk Barkley out of it. Dave may have had a finger pointed at some stage too. He was adamant he was having it from the other side of the pitch. You’d have more chance stopping a joyous gang bang at Scouse Sports if those turds win the league this season. Even if he got those bum cheeks out and used them to open bottles of tonic for us in the bar before Sunday’s game I don’t think we’ll forget that for a while. Never mind those, his nuts are looking pretty small tonight after that miss. He must be as welcome as a fart in a lift in that dressing room right now, despite Frank trying to cover for him in his post match interview. But more importantly – why was Jorge walking round with his shirts hoiked up like a go-go dancer towards the end? My money is on chafage, but I’m open to other suggestions.
I don’t know about tweets this week – but this is wisdom off the Tube: We should play the youth the next two games, f*ck off out of the Champions League and go into the UEFA cup. F*ck the league off and just concentrate on the UEFA cup, get back in the Champions League next season and win it. (Then I zoned out for a bit before this next gem) Frank’s gonna be our if a job in two weeks. If we get done by the scousers Mourinho will be back and the youth won’t get a chance and (then I just switched off, but I’m assuming the world ends at that point. I resisted the urge to suggest he learn the names of the various competitions before imparting his sh*t opinions)