Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Beautiful Game

Last night I finally got around to watching the Manchester United vs. Aston Villa match I had TiVo'd, even though I'm not a big fan of either team. Manchester United is, for me, like the Dallas Cowboys - I watch in the hope of seeing them beaten.

And although I don't care for Aston Villa, I like watching John Carew play. He's a primal force. If the rumors are true, that he's going to Tottenham, that would be great because if I had to dedicate myself as a fan to one team, it would probably be Tottenham Hotspurs. Luckily I don't have to do that and I can watch and enjoy all the matches.

As I said, I'm not Manchester United fan, but this match was amazing because of what happened at the very end. With his team trailing 2-1, Sir Alex sent on a 17-year-old Italian striker named Frederico Mancheda for his first play at this level. He had previously only played on the reserve and under 18 team. It was an odd gamble, to say the least, considering the stakes.

But it paid off in the 92nd minute when Mancheda, virtually alone in front of the box with a Villa defender almost climbing over his back, turned and curled the ball past another defender and Aston Villa keeper Brad Friedel for the winning goal. It was an amazing shot and an amazing win on so many levels. Moments like this are why they call it the beautiful game.

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