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Thursday, May 18, 2006

So close...So bloody close...

Well, most of you know by now that Arsenal are NOT European Champions. Go ahead Spurs fans and rub it in (Although I should note that WE are in the Champions League qualifiers and can hold our lasagna). Some modest little team from Catalonia, Spain (Barcelona is their name I think) improbably hoisted the trophy. It was rather dizzying, given their hallunication-inspiring team colours of purple and blue stripes.

It was an insane Final. From Lehmann reaching out and touching someone - Eto'o on the ankle - and getting the first red card EVER at a Champions League Final, to the bizarre inability of the referee to understand the advantage rule, to Eboue's dramatic flop and the glorious goal that Henry and Campbell fashioned from it. Even the day before, one of the linesmen assigned to the game was photographed in a Barcelona shirt and was promptly replaced, lest the footballing world mistake the Champions League Final for the Serie A, or as I like to refer to it these days, "Juventus and their well-paid lackeys."

Oh, and Eto'o was offsides. He was offsides the whole night. He was offsides when he walked into the changing room. He lives offsides. If the linesman were competent, he'd simply stick his flag in the back of Eto'o's jersey. Eto'o is Cameroonian for "I play offsides."

Lehmann wouldn't have let that shot go through his legs either. He would have stopped it and then verbally taken Beretti to task for having a shot at his ghoulies. He probably would have shoved him in the head too, and glared at the referee just for good measure.

No, it was a miserable, five times worse night for Gunners supporters. If only Arsene and Henry got goals for complaining at the end. We'd have won easily.

Congratulations to that little Catalan side. I hope we replay this one next year.


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