The worst part of the first of half of the Champions League Final has been Tommy Smyth with a ‘Y’ and the pitch. Clarence Seedorf’s commentary also deserves an honorable mention.
What was looking to be the usual suspect of a big four match up has turned into a corker. After a lackluster first 15 minutes, predominated by fouls, ineffective attacking forays and me attempting to magically somehow inject a modicum of excitement into the game for a wife who now has to miss Top Chef, this is turning into the match up that everyone hoped for.
In all fairness, the men in red deserve to be up by three. Christiano Ronaldo’s perfectly placed header to open accounts was fantastic and should not have been Man U’s only tally. A reflex save by Petr Cech off the head of Carlos Tevez and then the return save off the half clearance by Michael Carrick ensured that it was not going to be a one-sided affair.
Up until Chelsea’s equalizer, their most dangerous look at net came off the head of Man U defender Rio Ferdinand. A strong challenge by Ferdinand dangerously close to the edge of the box saw Ballack put the resulting free kick harmlessly over the crossbar. Indeed, Ballack might want to consider leaving the nine iron in the bag as he has skied both of his efforts.
Frank Lampard’s took his chance superbly from what was more suited to a pinball deck than a soccer pitch. In fairness though, it was more courtesy of a slip by Man U goalie Edwin van der Saar who has looked hesitant all night.
If half number two is as good as the first, this will be an all English affair to remember.