Manchester City and Tottenham served up one of the tastiest games in the Champions League era on Wednesday night. The crazy 4-4 aggregate scoreline left Pep Guardiola & Co feeling sick to their stomachs as City went out on the away goal rule.
And while City fans will complain that VAR made a dog’s dinner of the dramatic ending, the two big calls – Fernando Llorente scoring off his hip and Raheem Sterling’s ‘winner’ scrubbed out for an earlier off-side -ended up being right.
Now the question is . . . will the energy-sapping, morale-crushing way that City saw their Quad dream die impact on their Treble chase?
In a twist of fate it is Tottenham who again travel to the Etihad – three days after their high of making the semi-finals of Europe’s top competition for only the second time since 1962.
This will go one of two ways – Spurs will take a right hiding as City exact immediate revenge on their way to regaining their title or the disaster scenario for Pep where their season will lay in tatters – probably at the hands of smiling assassin Sonny.
And it does not get any easier for the Etihad men as midweek they travel to Old Trafford for the derby – so two games against two clubs fighting tooth and nail themselves for the top four.
Dragging your devastated team off the floor to fight two season-defining battles in five days is so difficult I think I’d rather try to bag flies.
NOTRE DAM was not the only institution to fall this week – taken apart piece by piece and left gutted.
A devastated Manchester United also felt the burn (too soon, Paris?) away at Barcelona – crumbling 3-0 as Leo Messi lit up the Nou Camp.
Ashley Young was abysmal but did not deserve the barrage of racist Twitter abuse that followed – you keyboard warriors with your sad little lives are not supporters of Manchester United and true football fans hate you with a passion.
But just as Young and the equally horrendous Fred should not be singled out because of the colour of their skin it should also not protect them from being called out as bad footballers.
Black, white, brown – in this day and age you really shouldn’t care and if you do then fortunately you will go the same way as the dinosaurs – and the sooner the better in my book.
I’ve given up trying to explain to racist morons the errors of their ways – from now on I’m just going to tell them how sick they make me feel, how I pity their pea-brains, how I see them as inadequate humans. In a nutshell how I wish they would all spontaneously combust so the rest of us can get on with life. You can’t educate people who don’t want to learn so all there is left to say is #enough.
Meanwhile, in the league it’s not so much the nine circles of Hell but the six that United are trapped in.
Sack Jose we’re 18 points behind Liverpool and are sixth, Pogba’s now smiling (still 6th), hire Ole he gets the United Way (6th), feel-good factor is back (6th), Ole’s at the wheel (6th), we are Manchester United – we’re gonna win the Champions League (6th), catch up to top four (6th), 11 unbeaten (6thth), we don’t want Poch (6th), we didn’t want Zidane anyway (6thth), Ole deserves the job (6th), give Ole the job and we’re now 21 points behind Liverpool and are . . . erm sixth.
Since the Old Trafford hierarchy gave Solksjaer the job full time he has overseen three defeats in five games – and it is five in seven since the highlight of their season away in Paris – their worst run in 18 YEARS!
Just like their noisy neighbours this is a crucial week for United. Three points at Everton on Sunday is a must and they must take something from the midweek derby or there will be no Champion League football for the Red Devils next season.
And in a summer where the club needs a huge overhaul that is more problematic than trying to deny climate change, while telling yourself it is fine to agree with Donald Trump on something.
THERE was something highly satisfying to see two Muslim stars score against Chelsea three days after more disgusting racist chants from their ‘supporters’.
Quite why a handful of Blues fans felt the need to sing about Mo Salah and Liverpool when they were in Prague playing Sparta is also a head scratcher.
To see Sadio Mane head in the opener was sweet enough. But it was beautiful to see the Egyptian hit an absolute rocket to stick those ‘bomber’ barbs back down Blue throats – and I hope the racists in question choked on it.
Then on Wednesday, the Reds quietly strolled into the semi-finals of the Champions League for a second successive season by thrashing Porto 6-1 on aggregate.
In less than three weeks Liverpool could be wilding celebrating their first title in three long decades. They could be shaking their heads in disbelief after dumping out Barcelona with a real chance of winning the Double. Or they could have that terrible tumbleweed moment for a fourth time in as many years.
AND finally football loves a narrative and the Old Lady gambled on an Old Man to secure their long awaited third Champions League title.
And in a twist of fate, the club they last beat to Old Big Ears in 1996– Ajax – were the side to reopen old wounds.
Juve’s £88million high-profile signing Cristiano Ronaldo, 34, is an old hand at winning this competition but it was the young guns from Amsterdam that blew him away. When life is going his way you cannot keep Ronaldo out the spotlight, when it goes wrong he disappears before our eyes. If being a t**t was a TV show, he would be the box set.