Just as I was ready to finish writing about an underwhelming match I’d just watched, football showed me why I love it so much. There’s nothing quite like watching it with your mates, sunk into your chair and waiting expectantly for something, anything exciting to happen. Then three goals come in the last five minutes of a game, and you find yourself shouting at the telly, cheering and jeering depending who you support.
Madrid had hardly been in great form in La Liga, and Mancini isn’t known for his attacking mentality, especially in European competition. I’ll admit I didn’t think it would be a thriller by any stretch of the imagination. I’m glad I was proven wrong, and I’m also glad I didn’t follow through with my betting instinct.
Why did City start Nastavic ahead of Lescott? Why doesn’t Micah Richards play any more? Why does Mancini feel the need to bring off attacking players for defenders when he desperately needs goals? City only had three shots on target in the match, compared with Madrid’s twelve. I don’t know any of the answers, and if anyone else does, please enlighten me, because there don’t seem to be any reasonable answers.
Highlights of the game have to be Kolarov’s fluke of a free-kick goal, Benzema’s inch-perfect finish, the crazy dip on Ronaldo’s game-winning goal, and Mourinho’s subsequent slide across the pitch, on his knees, in a tailored Italian suit. He epitomises the passion and emotion of football for me.