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Rangers Unimpressed by Spendthrift Man City

Man City's money's no good at Ibrox.

Man City's money's no good at Ibrox.

Yeah, yeah, I know… it’s meaningless, just a friendly. You know what? I’ll take the Rangers 3-2 Manchester City result, meaningless or not. Read about the match here.

Pub Wisdom reckons that while Premiership sides that come North for friendlies will find a modicum of comfort in that alleged meaninglessness, the game was taken seriously on the pitch as no self-respecting English side wants to lose to a lowly Scots side, even if it is the reigning champs.

Goals by Nacho Novo and Kenny Miller set up late theatrics provided by wizened old Dave Weir. Must say, the juices are flowing for the campaign to start in earnest.

Travesty at Stamford Bridge





A Special Report by Rocket Morton

baratstamfordbridge2.jpg

Vibe Me: Friendly Stamford Bridge Environs

Our train filled with blue as it lumbered along the London underground towards Stamford Bridge. As we emerged from Fulham Broadway Station, it was a cold, crisp, sunny afternoon in west london. We were ready to take on our worthy vistors from the north, Newcastle United. Hopefully the actual Chelsea players in this momentus and costly match were too.

I planned to drink several pints. This was necessary to keep warm due to even colder temperatures in our skyway seats.  But, as I settled into my seat, lo and behold, I spied a giant lineup of space heaters across the terrace. Enough to warm the entire upper stand. Thank you, Roman. I drank the pints anyway.

As I watched the players warm up, the man next to me was with his son. They had meat pies and something that looked like a churro, or maybe it was a hot dog.  Meat pies smell incredible on a cold day. And to think I could have had one with my pint earlier. Instead, I had fallen to the temptation of the street cheeseburger only minutes before. Next time, meat pie. 

This game was going to be played without Frank Lampard, John Terry, Makalele, Carvalho, Cech, Ashley Cole and Cudicini. I tried to get my fellow supporters to start singing “Oh..No…Hilario,”  but no one would join in. 

Michael Essien was in, Mikel was in, big man Alex would be shoring up the back and covering up for Ben Haim’s gross errors. Joe Cole and Kalou must be counted on to take us to victory

The entire stadium let out the loudest cheer, by far, for a Newcastle player.  He was back, the faithful servant, Damian Duff. It felt like the old days, well actually just a few years ago, seeing the Irish international run all over the field. Bridge and Beletti would have their hands full locking down the wings this icy afternoon. I must also say, my level of excitement plummeted when I realized that Newcastle would be led up front by Obafemi Martins, a particularly deadly striker. The small corner section of Geordies filled the bridge with song. I felt a bit uneasy when the opening whistle blew.

At the half time whistle, with Chelsea up 1-0 on an Essien goal, our entire stand emptied to get beer and more pies. To my surprise there was no line.  Beer and wine were distributed with such ease and efficiency. Everyone laughed when they televised our end of the stand only to see there was not a soul left out there. We watched the replay of Essien’s first half goal from every angle.  It was, in fact, a garbage goal. All credit to Essien — everybody likes players who take out the garbage. OK, finish that pint and get back out there for the second half start. 

The second half was a travesty. Nicky Butt fell down into the ball, which in turn went into the goal. 1-1. The Matthew Harding stand went silent. The silence, however, was broken by the visiting Geordies singing, “You’re not singing anymore!” Chelsea fans errupted. The buzz was back. Perhaps this might turn out OK — there was still plenty of time for the Blues to nick a goal. What occurred next was indeed a travesty — even worse than Newcastle’s equalizer. But this particular travesty actually benefitted Chelsea. 

I can say it — we were sitting right on the line — Kalou was offsides. The winning goal should not have stood. The supporters at my end of the stand went silent. When the goal counted, people went nuts. I looked around and every person was smiling, just like they got a surprise Christmas present several days late. More like, they just got away with stealing a Christmas present. I guess they did. 

Damian Duff was replaced by Viduka in the 89th minute. He went off to loud cheers and applause from the adoring supporters. When the final whistle blew, it was announced on the loudspeaker that West Ham had beaten Manchester United. Chelsea had closed the gap a few points. Mikel didn’t get a red card. More Christmas presents for everyone.