Wow. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when thinking on the match. Just wow. And not the ‘ohmygodmyteamwonwe’regoingtothefinalsI’msofuckingexcited’ wow. No, that one would end with an exclamation point. Or five thousand.
That wow that starts this post is the ‘I’m not quite sure how I feel about this’ wow. Because on one hand, the upper hand to be honest, I’m gutted. How can any cule not be? These boys played hard today, harder than they did against Madrid and harder than I’ve seen them work in the past few weeks. It was a performance they should be proud of, that all of us should be proud of. Yet on the lower hand I am quite thoroughly impressed.
Take a second to take this all out of context. There was no player comments after the match, no team histories or rivalries to analyze before they could do their job. If you look at the game itself where one side plays with one man less for more than half of the match and fend off so many shots, there is no way someone can say that they don’t deserve to win. Maybe they tried to waste a little time, but can you really say your team wouldn’t too if they had the opportunity, if they felt they really needed that opportunity? Because I can’t. Some players went down easily, this is true, but watching today, they weren’t the most influential in the win. These antics, if you decide that’s what they were, ultimately had no effect on the outcome.
Back in context; Barcelona and Chelsea. You know, until my commentator mentioned it around, I think, the 77th minute, I kind of forgot that Terry had been sent off. When a team, no matter who they are or what they’ve done in the past, sets their mind to buckle down and do what they have to knowing all the odds are against them deserves a lot of respect. Like I said, I’m very impressed by Chelsea, and this is coming from someone who’s also a Man United fan. No one can begrudge them this victory, it was more than well-earned.
And because I’m an incredibly positive person, I can’t help but take some positives. If it had to be anyone, I am so terribly glad that Fernando Torres scored that final goal. Maybe it was the World Cup that really endeared him to me, maybe it’s just the simple manner of him being who he is and having seen his hardships in the past couple seasons, I don’t know. For a player who has been so scorned and harassed for ‘not doing his job’ he has finally cleared his slate and I couldn’t be happier for him.
Not only that, but for my fellow cules, I’m not going to call anyone out for not being a true fan or anything of the sort. I just feel that we often lose perspective of what’s going on. Three trophies this season. This incredible team has already won three trophies. The year has just been crammed with matches all over the world (not to mention internationals that occupied a significant number in the squad) and they’ve worked their butt off through every single one of them. The injuries are a whole other case. We are so connected to this club, but so are they; we have the easy job of supporting them as they battle it out. We lost the match; I was affected, but not horribly so, I understood that you can’t win them all and yeah, I’d been in a cold sweat and shaking the whole match, but ultimately what does it matter? It doesn’t change anything for me. And then I saw their faces, (well, Leo was hiding his - and good for him. I also feel like, with all the spectacle he provides, we forget that he’s human) and that’s what hit me harder than anything. They are more disappointed than we are. This hits them fifty million times worse than we will ever know. The CL is done, the Liga may well be lost. But there’s still the Copa final, there’s still a few more league matches where they’ll still work their asses off, just in case. And now’s the time that we really need to step up and be there for them. Now it’s time to give back what they’ve given us. The crowd chanting after Fernando’s goal was even more beautiful than the a cappella before the derby and I have never been more proud to be a part of this.