Last night, the UEFA Cup
was definitely lost by the better team (of players).
But it was also lost by the more arrogant team, and a team who's manager has no feel.
There is a penchant in Portuguese
football to “hot-dog” once a lead is achieved. I saw it once with my own eyes at the Olympics
when the USA
, then just like last night in the Cup final, started to showboat the ball around the pitch as if it was time to take a break from the game and play pass around. Inevitably, when you ignore your game your focus goes and Portugal
, both in 1996 and last night, got one scored back on them. Last night though, they got more than they bargained for and lost in an embarrassing whopper, home stadium and everything.CSKA Moscow
were awful, they were totally outclassed at the foot, and only maintained an advantage in the air because they were taller. For 60 minutes Moscow
held the ball for 3 passes maybe 6 times, believe it or not. Think I’m kidding; it was 15-3 in corners, a clear sign of a team that can’t hold the ball.CSKA
looked overwhelmed early; Sporting Lisbon
started the game perfectly. Focus, teamwork, intent, it was all there. The reward eventually came with a superb goal by Rogerio
was 1-0 up and flew into the break.
The second half seemed to start off well also for Lisbon. Then came the rope-a-dope football as Sporting
unnecessarily pushed forward (Tellio
the worst offender, on numerous occasions abandoning his left back spot altogether, man, once he even ended up in the right strikers spot, no kidding!), all up 1-0 mind you.
The rest is history. CSKA
train every day folks, and with the shooting gallery looks they had? Much lesser teams would have converted more. Lisbon
bit the hand that fed them: they played Mourinho
style football for 60 minutes.
Why do I keep mentioning 60 minutes? That’s when I felt that Sporting
needed something new on the pitch to distract Moscow
, who had slowly clawed back into the match.
On 66 minutes it was over. The height advantage paid off. Goal from CSKA
. Why the manager didn’t change earlier baffles me, and his substitutions were awful. Jose Peseiro’s
management of Sporting Lisbon
was a travesty. He couldn’t see when his team ran out of ideas and make a move.
A 66th min goal from the head? And at Porto Mourinho
used to substitute for height at the end of games.