The Highlights

There was a goal explosion in the Premier League yesterday, so Match of the Day led with the all the games with the highest scorelines, starting with Manchester United 7-1 Blackburn, a match that was wholly uncompetitive and totally over before half an hour was up.

Stoke v Manchester City was the penultimate game, having the same scoreline as Fulham 1-1 Birmingham, but with a slightly higher comment value as Manchester City are ‘the richest club in the world’ and we are Stoke. The edit consisted of a dismal and flat collection of moments that wholly missed the narrative and the atmosphere. Stoke battered, marmalised, and terrified Manchester City in the first half without ever scoring. At one point England ‘keeper Joe Hart was so traumatised that he sliced a clearance horribly short into touch and immediately buried his head in his hands as he realised what this would mean: yet another missile from Delap.

In the second half the richest players began to get on top and for a while they overran us until ultimately they scored, right-back Mica Richards playing himself in with a beautiful dummy as, back to goal, he allowed the ball to travel past him before turning, latching on, and burying it bottom corner. Ninety minutes were nearly up and defeat was going to be hard to take. We had outplayed them for long periods and there was really nothing in it. We had a late free kick that came to nothing, the last chance. Then they gave our ‘keeper the ball, cheaply. He punted it up field. Kenwyne flicked it on. Tuncay, on as a second-half sub, back-heeled on the edge of the area to Etherington. Etherington curled it into the bottom corner and the place errupted.

We have been in our season-ticket seats for two-and-a-half years, as have all those around us, we are, really, by now, family, and this moment saw the biggest outbreak of joy and affection the family has known. The bloke next to me kissed me. In these circumstances, not to lose means more than to win. Three sides of the stadium rattled the Mancunians’ song back at them: City, there’s only one City.

Note to MotD producer: That is football; 7-1 is a practice match.

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8 Responses to The Highlights

  1. mum says:

    Fantastic !!! lol xxxxxx

  2. Daftburger says:

    Nice to see a bit of passion back in your writing!

    ‘The bloke next to me kissed me.’ The evidence is really stacking up! 😛

  3. Jane Davitt says:

    It was a stunning game, full of touches of class that made me grind my teeth reading some of the match reports. Do they not see how our style has evolved and grown less basic? They whine that we play one way and don’t give us any credit when we stop, or ease back, at least. So Mancini thinks MC deserved to win? In a world with no justice, most certainly they did. We owned the game for all of the first half and their ten minutes (okay, maybe five, but it felt longer) of keep ball was mind-numbingly dull. At least with a long ball, you don’t know where it’ll land.

    Our equalizer was sumblime. Inventive, imaginative — and it showed us working as a team, definitely one of our strong points.

    Eighth. And look at that goal difference! Wow.

  4. Stephen Foster says:

    Thanks for that backhanded compliment burger, it means a lot to me ; )

  5. Stephen Foster says:

    Quite! I haven’t annoyed myself with any match reports yet Jane but I’m off to nestle in the folds of a freezing bed with just Dylan and the Sunday Times for company so perhaps I will soon warm up.

    * scrapes ice from inside of office windows but does not wear snood *

  6. Jane Davitt says:

    We had snow here in our bit of Canada too on Saturday, for the first time this winter but it’s almost all gone. Got the kids excited, though! Stoke’s pitch looked very unforgiving all iced up like that; I winced when people slid across it, bare skin exposed.

    I have friends with season tickets, Dave Mason and his son Josh, but I’ve never quite worked out where they are so that we can look for them in the crowd.

  7. OS says:

    >In these circumstances, not to lose means more than to win.

    Never a truer word. The travesty of losing to these jumped up millionaires after the beating we gave them in the first half, and the way we easily contained them in the second, would have been horrible. Our goal was sublime, crafted out of brilliance, and when the bal hit the back of the net, 6 of OS’s lot were mayhem personified. In other words, ‘we went bonkers’.

    As for MOTD, they are pathetic, for the reasons you stated.

    Mancini has now joined a growing list of enfant terrible: children who cry because little Stoke outplayed them and the only excuse they can fall back on is calling us ‘long ball’.

    He joins two others: Wenger the Vile, and Hodgson the sour-faced Mardarse.

    Goooaaarrrnnn Stoke., Pulis is our King! 🙂

    Hold on….

    Cardiff! Land of my Fathers. How will ‘ our King’ cope with shoving it up The Valleys? 😉

  8. Stephen Foster says:

    *Cardiff! Land of my Fathers. How will ‘ our King’ cope with shoving it up The Valleys?*

    That’s easy, he will start some seldom seen kids and throw the match on the usual ‘haven’t got a romantic bone in my body, hate the cup, messes with Mrs Pulis’ midweek Leek Pie ‘ principal.


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