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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Manchester United are the Champions!!

Manchester United are the Champions!!

Manchester United are the Champions of Europe after a very long and very exciting final in Moscow! I have an exam in 12 hours time but I don't care - this is more important. Ha!

I went to Oxford pub today instead of the usual Varsity in Manchester, because Varsity now has a new rule that a driving licence is needed to go in, or some form of identification that isn't a photocopy. This is a new ruling because every time I went there in the past to watch Manchester United, I didn't need any identification. And I am too lazy to carry my Singapore passport every time I want to watch football here in Manchester. So Oxford it was.

(Oxford is near the University of Manchester and is the quintessential English pub with nearly all British patrons.)

In the first half, Manchester United dominated and Ronaldo scored our opening goal. With a beautiful cross after some great teamwork courtesy of Wes Brown and Scholes, Brown managed to get the ball to Ronaldo who headed it cleanly into the goal, leaving the poor Chelsea goalkeeper stranded.

However, later into the first half, even though Manchester United played well, Chelsea managed to equalise because of a goal mouth cock up by United's defence, sad to say. The ball bounced off Rio Ferdinand and Lampard opportunistically slotted it into the net, thus leveling the game.

In the second half, truth be told, Manchester United was totally dominated by Chelsea, which nearly won the game, but hit the post a couple of times. Manchester United seemed to have taken the foot of the gas pedal and things were looking bad for us, even though in the pub, the atmosphere was incredible and everyone was believing that we would be champions. A fat man and another thinner chap were singing and chanting madly the whole time along, and they still had their voices after 90 mins of the game, whereas I was sore after shouting for about 80 mins (quite good already, lah).

When extra time came along, it was very exciting because Chelsea came close to winning, but in the dying minutes, Drogba was sent off after a huge scuffle. Manchester United seemed to be down but not out!

When it came to penalties, it was our Argentine player Tevez who scored the first penalty for United. It was honestly a very nerve wracking period and the entire pub were on their toes literally and figuratively. All went well, with both sides scoring the penalties ... till Ronaldo.

He did his usual stop and start run up to the ball, which to me is one of the stupidest ways to take penalties in the world, but if it works for him, that's his problem... and he missed. Scuffed the shot. Everyone swore and it was so tense... the atmosphere was very very depressed. When Chelsea's next player (I think it was Lampard) scored, it almost seemed that Manchester United was done and gone. But it ain't over till the fat lady sings, remember?

And so the fat lady started crooning. She was crooning for Man Utd.

John Terry fell and slipped, and mis-kicked the ball - and then it was all level once again!! It was extremely exciting and by this time I was totally hoarse. (The fat man and the thinner man were not hoarse yet, strangely - 3 hours into the game)

Manchester United had the chance of being the champions of Europe once again!!

Anelka stepped up and missed - and then Manchester United became the champions of Europe 2008!!! Manchester United are the champions!

The whole place erupted into loud and racuous laughter - it was like some gigantic earthquake. Manchester! Manchester! Manchester United! United! United! everyone was shouting and screaming and hugging, and all the ang mohs came over to shake my hand (as well as June Ang, Da Ge, Christine, Colinho, and Colinho's buddy's hands of course). It was such an exciting moment.

Rio, Rio, Rio! Argentina! Argentina! Argentina!

And when Manchester United lifted up the trophy, it was such a great moment. I was there when we won the match against Wigan, thus winning the EPL, and I was there at the pub barely 30mins ago when we became champions of Europe. Manchester United are champions of Europe! We are the champions of both the Premier League and the Champions League! It was great. Both times I watched the matches at Oxford pub and it was a great experience.

The cars outside were all honking like crazy and everyone was shouting and screaming (some drunk, I'd say) on the streets and everywhere. It was like the whole of Manchester suddenly came to life. I'm glad I managed to experience all these when I came to Manchester. My Portsmouth game, my Arsenal and Man City match, Manchester United becoming champions of both the EPL and Champions League and beating Chelsea twice was incredible, and here I was, at the heart of all the action. Right here in Manchester.

Right here in Manchester!

Anything that interests me!
- and right now, as of this moment, it's my Economics History exam for tomorrow, but once again... 21st May 2008, Manchester United have won the Champions League!!