At this moment in time we’re currently beating Schalke 4-1 on the night (6-1 on aggregate) with ten minutes to go. We played a ‘weakened’ side tonight, with 9 changes from last week, and are cruising to victory. I must admit, when I heard the team I wasn’t as horrified as I might have been because I know that the real game is Sunday. All I’m focused on is winning on Sunday.
Like I said, our side has been weakened tonight. No Vidic, Ferdinand, Giggs, Rooney, instead in comes Gibson, Evans, Smalling, Anderson, Valencia. And I must admit, we’ve played well tonight. Not spectacularly, but we’ve gotten the job done and without maximum effort. All of the players playing tonight have put in good shifts and with the greatest of respect to Schalke, once we went 2-0 up I was never concerned about Schalke coming back. They did score to make it 2-1 but even then, no nerves. Then we scored another two and game over. Frankly the game was over when we won 2-0 in Schalke and tonight never seemed like anything other than a formality.
We’ll play Barcelona in the final, who drew 1-1 with Real Madrid last night, winning 3-1 on aggregate. There was no Jose and no red cards, but there still wasn’t any good football, not really. Ever since Barcelona beat Real Madrid 5-0 earlier in the season, Real have played defensively in the subsequent games. It’s unfortunate because Real have a brilliant attack force, but against Barcelona they’re reluctant to use it so the games have descended into embarrassment and farce. Barcelona aren’t saint’s – their playacting is atrocious – but Real are just as bad, if not worse because it’s Mourinho’s tactics that made these past four El Clasico’s to become really disappointing games.
Tonight I am a happy football fan and my 21st birthday has been a good day all around. Sunday, on the other hand. Who knows?