So tired...

-- Arsenal vs. Manchester United was a bunch of fun. There were hundreds of people crammed into the pub, and both sets of supporters were in very fine voice. Our only real rival (Tottenham? Who are they?) actually started really strong, and Jens Lehmann was called into service early. Arsenal got into the game after that, though, and the remaining 70 minutes saw some of the most entertaining, pulsating football I've seen in a long while.

Both sides went close a couple of times, but most of the chances were swept away or blocked by the respective defenses...but, I remember Lehmann making one or two really world-class saves. Interestingly, he's getting the start in Germany's next friendly, and when Euro 2004 comes around this summer, I tend to think that he's going to be in net for them...Oliver Kahn hasn't had the greatest of seasons for Bayern Munich (who look like they're winning fuck all this season), and Crazy Jens has been awesome for us.

Finally, Thierry Henry got a little space, and he sent an absolute thunderbolt towards the net. The funny thing is, the placement of it meant that if Roy "Half-man, Half-troll" Carroll had simply jumped straight up, he could have probably punched it away, or fingertipped it over the bar. However, it was actually like a screwball in baseball -- it started to curve one way, forcing Carroll to take a few steps to his right. And, when you take a step, you hunch down a little bit...you can't move sideways and stay perfectly straight. Then, the ball swerved back the other way, and the wrong-footed trollman was never going to get there (but, fair play to him...his dive got him closer to it than most would have been, although not even Tim Howard would have saved this one). The Arsenal half of the pub erupted, and to be honest with you, I thought we had it won right there.

It got tense as it went on, and good lord, the Manks didn't even make a pretense of being anything other than diving, cheating bastards this time around. That hyperactive psycho Roy Keane wasn't even the worst offender. No, that dishonor goes to that Welsh twat, Ryan Giggs. He tried twice to draw an unfair penalty (so did Gary Neville, oddly enough...because of course we'd have to foul that feared scoring fullback with the ball at his feet in the area. Riiiiiight), and to be fair, the tackles were flying in from both sides. But, believe it or not, most of them were very fair. Wes Brown for them had a fantastic saving tackle in the area, and I believe it was Kolo Toure who did the same for us.

The game started to wind down, so Arsene started pulling off attacking players for defenders. One of them was Pascal Cygan, to which I yelled out "OH SHIT!". He was decent there for a while, but in a match of this magnitude, I don't think he should even be let inside the building. He's a somewhat useful player, but I think he would be better served going back to the French league...in that context, he's a fantastic defender. For a team chasing a treble in a top-level league, he's marginal at best. And, shock of shocks, Cygan was all the way upfield, and he couldn't shamble back to his position long enough to help out poor Gael Clichy. Now, for a young kid, Clichy was fucking immense...he made some nice tackles, and did the attacking fullback bit, too. I still think his crossing needs work, but for a 19-year old, he's already outstanding. But, back to the point: Cygan left Clichy out to dry, and that allowed two United substitutes to connect for the equalizer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent over a perfect cross, and Louis Saha had the easiest of tap-ins.

Now that I've had a few hours to digest it, I have to say that a draw is a fair result. We did outshoot them something like 16-7, but in terms of actual very good scoring chances, I'd venture that it was almost even. Both sets of fullbacks, as mentioned, were fantastic in the tackle. Both sets of midfields did a wonderful job on both sides of the ball...Vieira was a joy to watch, Pires was pretty good, and their guys were OK too, I suppose.

Oh, and referee Graham Poll had a fantastic game. I've had issues with him in the past, but in all seriousness, he was brilliant.

-- Meanwhile, I'm watching the Yankees play the Yomiuri Giants, and I have to wonder whether that pitch that Matsui hit for a homer was a cupcake or not...it looked like it to me. But, then again, I tend to be a conspiracy theorist about this kind of thing -- I also think that All-Star Game homerun that Cal Ripken Jr. had in his last go-around was a cupcake, too. That said, the Yankees are just kicking the shit out of these guys, but a) I don't think Yomiuri has been sending their best pitchers out, and b) the team they're playing tonight, the Hanshin Tigers, are the defending Japanese champions. I tend to think these Tigers could give them a better game than the Detroit variety.

But, while I would never claim to


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