The Spurs Madrid El Clásico
For the fanboys.
Even in a computer game Tottenham Hotspur appear to retain that heart wrenching heart pulling heart beat skipping drama that the version in real life seem to own the copyright for. What am I mumbling about now? Sorry, should have introduced myself.
Hello, I'm Spooky. I'm a Football Manager addict.
And this is my personal all-time favourite heart in mouth epic from my current FM2011 save game. It's against Real Madrid. It's in the Champions League. First round knock-out. And the first leg is away.
Click on the images to expand and view the stats more clearly if FM porn turns you on.
1st leg - Bernabeu
Inept display in the Bernabeu with just two shots on target and plenty of tippy-tappy possession that led to ineffectual movement in and around the box. Madrid, punishing and in control from start to finish, easily winning with a three goal margin thanks to decisive finishing. When they had a clear chance, they took it. Practically out of the competition at the final whistle, I'm sure most would agree.
2nd leg - White Hart Lane, N17
If this was released on dvd, it wouldn't be. It wouldn't even be blu-ray. It could only be 3D. The most pulsating of games thanks mainly to my pre-match worries that concerned the question: What the heck can I do to win this game? Under the floodlights, at the Lane, fate made a very late appearance to turn the tie on it's head in a ridiculously impossible 'only Spurs' kinda way.
Allow me to explain chronologically:
Ronaldo gets sent off for petulance, early on in the 15th minute. Very nice of him to oblige. This inspired the team.
We proceed to absolutely batter them with possession play and shots on goal.
Aguero makes the break-through in the 33rd minute.
It's still 1-0 after 87 minutes. Even with over thirty efforts on goal, we simply cannot find a way through a resolute and battling Madrid side.
Magic by Neymar on the wing, crosses for Bale, who scores to make it 2-0 in the 88th minute. Too little too late?
Then masses of drama in injury time. Zapata is sent off for a second bookable offence about 15 yards outside the penalty area.
The resulting free-kick is floated into the box, where a Spurs player is pushed. Ref points to the spot. PENALTY!
The very definition of pressure. The Lane holds its breath.
Gourcuff steps up (having missed his three previous pens).
He scores, emphatically. 3-3, second minute of injury time. Believe!
Eleven men V nine men.
Time for a royal procession. van der Vaart corner from the left. Ledley header (109th minute) to make it 4-0.
van der Vaart corner from the right. Ledley header again (118th minute).
5-0. You hear that Franco? Your boys took one hell of a beating. 5-3 on agg.
I'm positively beaming at all the colourful on screen animated pixels and their almost better than life simulation of a football match (I did earlier cite the word 'addict').
Emotional glory. Madrid, ended. Thanks for watching.
Footnote: Went on to beat Leverkusen in the final, 4-1.
#2 International Break Diary II