What to say? easily the greatest game played at the OS. And the best atmosphere since Super Saturday, but with the long jump substituted for the high jump as Soucek opened for scoring for us in this historic game.
Our first home knockout European game for 41 years. Against a team who have won this tournament more times than anyone else. And we are one nil down from the first leg. Antonio and Cresswell were injured in the last game. And Benrahma was starting. What could go wrong ?
Well not a lot as it turned out. To a man everyone played their part. Areola made an amazing point blank save when it was still 0-0. Cresswell seemed to have no knock on effects from Sunday. Johnson was composed. Zouma and Dawson were just themselves.
Fornals and Lanzini were busy, Benrahma made some decent runs, but that last ball needs to get better. Rice and Soucek were imperious. See how much better they play when they play in their natural positions ? And Antonio ran for everything, which was a surprise after seeing get carted off against Villa.
Antonio supplied a lovely ball for Soucek at the back post to open the scoring. My concern (and there always is one) was that Sevilla seemed to be playing within themselves, and I thought if we scored they may go up a gear or two. But we held out till half time. The second half however was more of the same, and we stayed on top, and even started to get comfortable that we would see this through.
Full time came and went and Extra time started. We were still on top. As we went into second period of ET, penalties all but looked like a certainty. Sevilla played for it, but we kept having a go. Noble came on for what I assume was pen duty.
And then the relentless Fornals got an opportunity , and took at decent shot. It spilled from the keeper and Yarma was there to follow up . Absolute scenes.
Support was amazing, but I still get amazed at how many ST holders don’t go to these games. So many daytrippers, getting lost and in the way, but they do make up for it in atmosphere. Small gripe of a fantastic evening
I got home whenever, and hardly slept.
Barcelona, we’re coming for you !
MOTM Yarma. What that fella has gone through recently, cannot be comprehended by most of us, and there he is, clearing his mind and raising his game on the pitch.
PS. Hopefully we can carry this euphoria into the Spuds game. But there will be some tired legs out there.