Chopped Liver – Barcelona

Warning: If you don’t like football – look away now.

Football is the beautiful game. Not always, granted – but last night’s Arsenal/Barcelona was about as close as you’re going to get.

I am one of those annoying football fans – who like to see things exactly as they are – none of the emotional crap that goes with being a fan – none of those biased, in some cases, bigoted and in all cases blinkered viewpoints that cloud sensible discussion of the beautiful game. Many would argue, that by taking out that subjectivity, you are removing the most fundamental aspect of being a football fan – well that argument is for another day.

For me, last night, at least the first 15 minutes of it, was the most most sublime piece of artistry that a collective group has ever put together for a single cause that I can remember.

And let’s face facts. Barca were up against the most gifted collection of players that grace the most successful league in the world – the fact that they didn’t score was invariably down to the woeful quality of one of the world’s most expensive player – Zlatan Ibrahimovicz.

Normally football clubs spend millions of pounds on star players with the intention of recouping much of that expense on shirt sales. But no-one would ever buy a shirt with Zlatan Ibrahimovicz on account of a) there are just too many letters to buy – when you can opt instead for a Messi, a Xavi or a Pedro and b) he’s crap.

So there we were last night in a game that had just about everything – an away team with 70% possession at Arsenal’s home ground, about 15 shots on target to 1 and an astonishing display of one-touch passing that confirmed that the game can indeed, be the beautiful game.

But half-time came and still it was 0-0. Incredible.

The second half starts and before you can say “Zlatan Ibrahimovicz” Barca race to a 2-0 lead – both goals from… Zlatan Ibrahimovicz of course and Barca on their way to the inevitable landslide.

Nobody could have predicted Arsenal’s soft goal to get them back into the game but the final twist in a memorable encounter will result in a trivia question years from now.

“Who scored a penalty with a broken leg?” You all know the answer today of course – but if you ever want to know why people continue to love the beautiful game then last night provided the answer.

The fact that I was able to watch it in the presence of a sleeping Mo, a should-be sleeping Weedy and a barely interested Po simply did not detract from the spectacle.

I fully expect the belated landslide in the return leg – of course.

(And my secret tenner goes on Zlatan Ibrahimovicz to bag a hat-trick).

(Best joke in the world ever had to be further postponed – it wouldn’t have been right)

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One Comment on “Chopped Liver – Barcelona”

  1. Howbox Says:

    D – I was expecting THE joke – very disappointed!

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