United’s Holy Grail


On most nights I’d work on my MST stuff till maybe10pm, have a glass of wine and go to bed around11pm. Last night I went to bed a little earlier –10.30pm – but woke up at 1am. The premier league season decider was not to be missed. Not when the one that counts (the 19th for perch knocking feat) is at stake.

I had barely settled down to a comfortable spot on the couch, as I tried to wedge my head near one end where the heater was – it was chilly, probably around 6 deg – and pulled a blanket up towards my neck, when I saw Giggsy slide a pass to Park Ji-Sung and I knew there was a chance. I couldn’t believe it however when Chicharito escaped any attention from David Luis and calmly shot past Cech. 1-0 up and it was how long on the clock – 36 seconds?

It was exhilarating stuff and I was really glad I was up in time before the start of the match. United were so much more pumped up and hungrier than the Arsenal game a week earlier and Park in particular was just fantastic. He was all over the pitch, chasing down every ball and not giving Lampard and Essien the slightest time on the ball. When United had the ball – which was a lot in the first half an hour – Park was either in the centre of every move because he was constantly running into position, or was creating room through his running to give Rooney, Chicharito and Valencia the opportunities. It was the sort of pace where before you knew it the first 45 minutes were done.

I caught Robbie Slater yawning in the first half chat with Bosnich and the ex SBS chick. He was barely stifling it and sleepy as I was when I went to bed the game was the sort where few would share in Slater’s apparent slack. The second half had Chelsea making a couple of changes with David Luiz out, replaced by Alex. Luiz had looked really out of sorts, just clueless against the energy and clever running of the United forward line. Even Terry was nowhere to be seen and he had no excuse with the ageing but every sly Giggsy still actively dictating play, plotting with the rejuvenated Carrick to encourage Rooney, Park and Co to keep foraging ahead.

Chelsea was a bit fortunate to haul one back through Lampard but United continued to look the more threatening side. The 4 minutes extra time looked a touch disconcerting but somehow you sensed the belief and hunger of United was always going to hold out. I turned everything off not too long after the final whistle – I had to contend a chilly Monday morning start to the week in a couple of hours or so – so I missed Sir Alex Ferguson’s animated celebration at the Stretford End.

I went to bed about 3.15am, woke up at about6.30am and here I am on the train to work, the title probably pretty much decided in United’s favour. Again.

It was just great to see United win – not a premature statement, I’m sure – in such attacking and energetic style. Throwing Liverpool off their effing perch has to be done in emphatic style and after the agony of last week in the Emirates, the long proclaimed holy grail is at long last within touching distance in the Theatre of Dreams. Against Blackpool in a couple of weeks, it would be a huge celebration. I will be celebrating together with the occasion of a mate’s 50th but it is the 19thwhich will have all the tradition, style, glamour and drama on the other side of the world.

Regards,Ian

Sent from my iPhinity (and beyond)

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