Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea – United win Champions League on penalties.

Graham Fisher in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 22 May 2008

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I know I am going to upset an awful lot of people with my article today but at the end of the day I am paid to give my opinions and sometimes those opinions will rub some people up the wrong way.

I am really glad that Chelsea didn’t win the Champions League final last night and a little part of me is glad that John Terry and Nicolas Anelka were the two Chelsea players to miss their penalties.

I truly believe that Manchester United are the best team in Europe at the moment and that they fully deserve the double they have won. Chelsea have run them very close and they may feel that they have were unlucky in the final, but they can only lay claim to being the second best team in Europe.

I am sure that no team in Europe could have lived with Manchester United in the first half of the final and no team in Europe could have lived with Chelsea in the second half. They are far and away the best two teams on the continent.

So why am I pleased that Chelsea lost and why am I pleased that John Terry and Nicolas Anelka missed their penalties?

Throughout the final I thought that Chelsea tried to bully and intimidate the referee. Every decision that went against Chelsea was followed by John Terry, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele, Didier Drogba and Ashley Cole surrounding the referee and arguing and shouting at him about the decision.

Chelsea epitomised everything that the FA’s ‘Respect Agenda’ is trying to address. At no time did Chelsea let the referee, who had a basically sound game, just get on with his job.

They surrounded the referee demanding bookings and sendings off for United players who had committed minor indiscretions. United players are hardly angels in this area, but the fact that Chelsea players stood out as the ‘baddies’ shows just how bad they were.

The sending off of Didier Drogba was a case in point. A few minutes earlier Manchester United were in possession in the Chelsea half when Joe Cole went down with cramp on the edge of the United area. Carlos Tevez sportingly put the ball out of play so that he could receive treatment and Chelsea gave United the ball back by unsportingly putting the ball out for a United throw by their own corner flag.

When Carlos Tevez did exactly the same thing back to Chelsea, the usual suspects surrounded both Tevez and the referee, incandescent with rage that anyone could be so unsporting. When United players came to Tevez’s defence, Didier Drogba, the big hard man from the Ivory Coast, slapped Nemanja Vidic gently around the face in front of the referee. It was a clear sending off.

So Didier Drogba showed that he really isn’t that hard. John Terry showed exactly why he shouldn’t be England captain and Nicolas Anelka showed why he was a dreadful buy for Chelsea.

I hate to say I told you so, but…

On to the prediction competition. I said I would give an honourable mention to anyone who got it right. Well, honourable mentions go to Uwazzy, Ahmed Bilal, Pepsodent, Suck, Saamir, Umeora Tochukwu and Akin who all predicted a Manchester United win.

Special mention goes to Adenuga Adeboye who said it would be 1-1 at full time. Unfortunately he went on to predict that Chelsea would win in extra-time.

So who was closest. Well, a certain Graham Fisher predicted a Manchester United win and suggested that the game could well go extra time and penalties. I hate to boast, but I reckon I was closest!

On the whole, it was a great night for English football as the best two teams in our country played out an entertaining game full of excitement, goalmouth action and controversy. It was played with pace, passion and no little skill. I would think that supporters of our beautiful game from around Europe were envious that we have two such teams in England.

It was a shame that Chelsea displayed such ill-discipline throughout the game with their talisman, leader and inspiration, John Terry, being one of the main culprits. I was in a house of neutral English football fans and we were all hoping that John Terry would miss his penalty.

What a sad reflection on the possible captain of our country that we all celebrated when he missed.

Chelsea had their chances and came very close, but overall, Manchester United had more chances and should have won the game in normal time.

I’m a total neutral but I believe that the best team won.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Graham Fisher


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Ahmed Bilal
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Absolutely delighted grin

Props to Terry for having the guts to step up, but it felt a bit like he wanted to play the hero, which is another reason why I was glad that ‘he’ slipped.

Really, really need to sort out this scuffling and surrounding ref business.

darsh
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darsh

I really am at a loss for words how you can say that the players were hovering around the ref when he clearly favored Manchester United. Chelsea should have had about 5 more corners than they were awarded most notably when a Ronaldo shot sailed into the side of the net and they were given a goal kick. Also, when the scuffle broke out and Drogba was sent off, Vidic went after about 4 people and Hargraves even pushed the ref – which to my knowledge is supposed to be an immediate booking. But he ignored Hargraves and ignored Vidic… Read more »

sam
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sam

what a game

sam
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sam

ohh my god that was a fantastic game manchester play so profitionaly what a brialint play from ronaldo iam so happy that man utd is the winner for both cup the are like fantastic fergusen hasume

moe
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moe

I can’t believe i missed it i had to go to school. my mom didn’t let me stay home.

Christian Celnd
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Christian Celnd

Being a Liverpool fan, it’s impossible to admit that Man U deserved the win. , I have to agree though, seeing the Chelsea players surrounding the referee (you forgot to mention the otherwise brilliant Michael Ballack who just had to get his finger in the ref’s face after every decision) was appaling. I think the referee deserves credit for handling the match the way he did. Surely there were a few occasions where the linesmen and the referee missed obvious corners and awarded goal kicks instead. However, Lubos Michel is one of the best men out there today to lead… Read more »

Best Nyambe
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Best Nyambe

Great deserve is hard to give so easily! Man-U united won the game by luck. Put straight, these two teams are surely not the best in Europe. Glad it’s just a year or two before you realize I told the truth. The best teams in Europe still remains in Spain and Italy. Man-U’s win is great but that suffices to say it’s not the best team in Europe. Chelsea were really unlucky to win the final. They deserved to win again Man-U in this game. Why are the English so boastful yet they have not won the UEFA final many… Read more »

hypnonebula
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Glory glory man united

aswin
Guest

it is more like RUGBY than SOCCER… no skill no art of play.. what I saw is just physical contact

aswin
Guest

this is the most rubbish champions cup final…

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