In the News: Ianni has received a £6000 fine for his celebration in front of Chequebook Pulis. I hope the club pay it in f*cking 1p coins. More reasons to laugh at Sp*rs lately. Their stadium still isn’t ready. Won’t be this year. When they do finally move in they reckon they will have lots to brag about. “Largest retail space of any club in Europe, you’ll never sing that.” It has been said by someone far more numerically minded than me that Levy has basically taken all the ST money up front, and is refunding it 1/19th at a time. “Let’s say that that’s an average of £500 back, times 40k… Sp*rs fans have lent him £20m on an interest free loan over six months.” Cheeky b*stard. Their attendance has dropped some 24,000 of late while they have been homeless. The pitiful nature of their existence was summed up while the scampered about a torn up pitch still plastered with NFL sh*t on Monday night. Still, City came out of it with the points but no moral high ground. Firstly, who in their right mind puts purple with orange, secondly, when you factor in that this means they were running about in f*cking Clemson colours they really are filth. #Gamecocks.
The three wise men are at it again. Keown has come up with the revelation that Fernandinho is a git. Where the f*ck has he been for the last five years when he was hacking down the opposition like a possessed combine harvester on ketamine? Chris Sutton, on the basis of nothing at all but having to submit words to get paid, says that he thinks Podgettino would jump at the chance to go to Madrid. Jamie Redknapp was too busy accessorising his matching outfit for Sky tonight with everyone else in the studio to own any nonsense. P45 for whoever is in charge of wardrobe in West London.
Thibaut concedes five in his El Clasico debut. Shame. The Madrid manager has gone after 139 days, after sacking off the national side, on the eve of the World Cup. Shame. Never underestimate how hilarious it is for everyone who doesn’t support a super-sized club when they fall flat on their face. Conte – apparently too many players don’t want our favourite unstable ex-manager and now Martinez is the favourite. Either way, I would hope that nobody on the shortlist is shiny enough to tempt Eden away.
And it’s November, which means we’re back to James McLean and his lack of f*cking poppy. As someone who has drunk quite a lot of gin, and writes WW1 books for a living, and has been part of debates on the lack of appreciation for the southern Irish contribution to WW1 l, I could write paragraphs on why he is a c***. And pin him down and tattoo “Ginchy” on his massive forehead. But he is not worth my time. Ungrateful sh*tbag.
The Others: Podge was set to change up to ten players tonight because he refuses to “jeopardise the welfare” of his squad. As if they’re the only ones with a relentless fixture list. It does, I suppose you could say if you were a massive cynic, which I am, give him an out for the inevitable point where they bottle it. Poor lambs. “They were tired.”
Us: Kante, Little Willie and Morata are the only survivors. I think. But I’m quite p*ssed so don’t take my word for it. RLC rewarded for last week with a start.
Them: Somewhat controversially Mount and Tomori. I couldn’t bear the whining if either of them cost us victory. If we can’t beat Derby County we don’t deserve to stay in the competition anyway.
And so it was written in the stars. Or at least written in a shady memo at the FA prior to the draw which has now been shredded. Twice. Isn’t it funny how there has been an epic tv tie in every round so far?
Huge reception, and rightly so, for Frank Lampard, though the fact that I could see his bald spot from the Shed depressed me. Seeing as I’m old enough to have had a schoolgirl crush on the pudgy-faced version of yesteryear. It was a fast paced start, with the first half-chance falling for Kovacic, (the only sap wearing gloves last night) but it wasn’t that exciting and he didn’t hit it on target. I make no judgement. Zappacosta was next, but bottled a challenge and it came to nothing. All of those who criticised us letting Tomori and Mount play were quickly silenced when the former scored our first goal for us, somehow back-heeling it into the net at the Shed End. Worst possible start for Derby right in front of their fans.
Emerson was in again on 7 minutes but his cross was pants, and Willian followed this up with a shot that was shanked well wide. Derby were by no means being whipped though, they were in it as much we were, and got a deserved equaliser from Marriott less than five minutes after going behind. Deserved as in we didn’t do much to stop it. They carved us open, the away end went bonkers, Frank didn’t.
Probably fair to level the score and start again after that unfortunate OG. Says the girl with more than 3.5 goals on her accumulator. On 13 minutes an awesome curving cross from Kante just failed to find Morata in the box. They should have been two up shortly after – it definitely shows that we’ve changed our entire back line. They were not finding it hard to find a way through it at all. Unfortunately for them they were not finding it hard to find the back of the wrong net either. Zappacosta announced as the scorer. My a*se. Took a massive deflection on the way in and we were ahead once again.
One of our own players finally nearly scored for us on 22 minutes when RLC made a darting run into the box. The game was still being played at breakneck speed, and it was definitely too fast for Fabregas, bless him. Derby continued to press and we were undone again on 26 minutes. 2-2. It was going to be one of those nights, wasn’t it. “You haven’t scored” they were singing, to the tune of the Conte song. All over the place at the back. Gaping chasm, bigger than Katie Hopkins in mid-yawn, where Jorginho should be. They were first to everything, looked far more likely to score and we kept letting them take the ball off us. No Hazard to come on and The Beard has got the night off. Oops. I felt like I’d just been waterboarded for half an hour. Still, we wanted excitement.
Thankfully by 33 minutes we’d settled down a bit, though we were squandering any chances. Then, who should pop up with what turned out to the the winner? Cesc, who until that point had been having an atrocious game, wound his way into the box and leathered it home with 40 minutes gone. There’s still some magic in him yet. And it ignited a much improved performance for the rest of the game. “We’ve scored a goal” we sang at the visitors. We’d spent much of that half being generally ridiculous. And yet we were winning. *shrugs shoulders.*
It was a muted start to the second half, but we looked more organised. As in a there actually was some semblance of a plan, which had been lacking before the break. The crowd passed this quiet period with another Frank love-in. I love Frank. I do. His man-hug with Luiz at the final whistle brought a tear to my eye. But not when the game is still in the balance and he’s managing the other team. Speaking of David Luiz, he was warming up. Whichever centre back was about to get hooked for him, it was going to be a punch in the face. When’s the draw? says Mowgli (Special alias) Tomorrow morning at 3am on the Korean home shopping network, says I. It was Christensen that got hooked. Ouch. You don’t change a centre back unless one of them is at death’s door.
In the meantime Derby were energetically seeking another equaliser. Not that this stopped them breaking on 67 minutes. Outstanding one on one save from Big Willy which just about went high enough to land in the roof of the net. RLC off for Pedro Pony. It had been a much tougher game for Ruben tonight, thought he did ok. Especially when he went down like a sack of bricks when Tomori barely touched him and won a free kick.
Another wide effort from them on 71. Morata was caught offside shortly afterwards, I’ll be honest I had completely forgotten he was on the pitch by this point. To be fair though he fed off scraps tonight. End to end by this point, though they weren’t fashioning any real chances out of it. This game was by no means won, because though we had broken several times we hadn’t really looked like scoring either. Sarri went for insurance with the last sub, Dave on for Zappacosta.
Derby’s energy levels still high. They had put in a commendable performance all evening.
We came close to securing the result twice with ten minutes to go but still no cigar. Then the ball landed on Morata’s head at the near post, though he didn’t have a clue it was coming by the looks of it and couldn’t direct it. Two saves in a row by Big Willy. The tube station was closed. For no reason they would give. Please don’t inflict extra time on us, the journey home is going to be a big enough bitch. Every time we did get forward we were outnumbered, with the substitutions having veered towards the defensive. Two minutes to play and I hadn’t ruled out a heart attack.
They hit the post on 88, and it fortuitously bounced back out and into Big Willy’s arms. Three minutes of extra time to endure, and finally the away side were looking just a little bit leggy. Survive them we did, and then I was happy to join the Frank love-in.
So: As exciting as we all hoped it would be. We remain undefeated despite our own best efforts. They both won and lost this game themselves while we bobbed about looking confused for the first half of it. Entertaining and chaotic, and thank god we came out on top. On the way out I heard one of them say. “It’s not fair, we didn’t even make a mistake.” No, aside from the two own goals. They did, however, look excellent value for a potential promotion side this season if they can keep that up.
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