“Dad, they can still win.”
Aidan said those words to me as we watched the Manchester City – Queens Park Rangers match this morning. It was about eighty-eight minutes into the match and City was trailing 2-1. League rivals Manchester United were at the same point winning 1-0.
A City loss and United win would mean United would win the Premier League again.
I had my doubts. City had failed to capitalize for the entire second half against a short-handed Queens Park Rangers.
As the clocked ticked past ninety minutes into stoppage time, it started to happen.
First Edin Džeko scored on a corner to place City even in the match – but still trailing Manchester United in the league.
We screamed in amazement.
Just moments later, Sergio Aguero finds his way through the defense on a ball from Mario Balotelli to score the winning goal.
Again, we screamed and cheered.
Our reaction wasn’t unique – check out Sky Sports reaction to the turn of events.
This is why we watch sports. There is no fictional story, movie or show that can compare to a team moving from certain defeat to league champion while at the same time defeating their arch rivals for the title.
The last few weeks of football from Europe have been a fantastic run-up to finale.
I started casually following the English Premier League, UEFA Champions’ League and Spain’s La Liga two years ago. This season it has been a weekly habit with multiple matches per week.
With these seasons all coinciding from late summer and rising to finales in May, April has been a fantastic month of matches four or five days a week.
I elected last year to start supporting the underdog club of Manchester, Manchester City, in the English Premier League. City led the league for much of the season before giving the lead away to their rivals Manchester United. Now the race has pulled within a one win/one loss margin that could be evened when the two teams meet April 30.
It’s a date circled for our household.
Last weekend had a fantastic set of matches, starting with a 2-1 classic between Spanish rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid and continuing Sunday with a 4-4 battle between Manchester United and Everton.
Finally, the finals for the best club in Europe will be set this week following the second leg of two matches with four of Europe’s biggest clubs.
There’s a lot of DVR content out there!
These season finales are likely to continue to help build viewership of the European game in the United States with almost every match finishing in a highly competitive style.
Have you been watching?
…and was foiled by their affiliates in at least a few big cities.
Soccer fans and random viewers in Atlanta missed watching the first Live broadcast of an English Premier League match on US network television and were instead treated to 90 minutes of infomercials.
Apparently the Atlanta affiliate, Fox 5 Atlanta had “contractual obligations” to show the programs at the time.
I’m not sure if the problem was the local affiliate or Fox Networks failing to give affiliates enough notice. But either way, an attempt by the network to extend their reach to a new audience at a new time slot was foiled by commercials.
Fans were left even without Fox Soccer to turn to.
Good work Fox networks and Fox 5 Atlanta.