The Defining Moment
Many of us waited in anticipation for the kickoff, it was as nervous as it can be, but as in all competition, there can only be one winner. Manchester United started off sprightly and should have sealed the match in the first 40 minutes but as they had done time and time again, its always the hard way. After Ronaldo headed home a Wes Brown's inch perfect cross, fate ruled that a double deflection left Van Der Sar stranded and Lampard stroked home the equalizer.
From then, it was uphill all the way for United in the second half. Luck maybe played a part then when the upright and crossbar denied Chelsea. Then when it comes to the shootout, I have lost count as to how many big names have flopped big time at this juncture and true to history, Cristiano Ronaldo of all people predictively stroked the ball to the right and Cech made a splendid block. Then when Van Der Sar got his palm to Ashley Cole's shot, it was not good enough to keep it out. At 4-4 and John Terry, Chelsea's captain marvel walked up to take the last mandatory penalty. All seemed lost and buried for United. Surely John Terry could do no wrong. How wrong! For all his heroics right up to the instintive header that kept out a sure goal in the first half, Terry slipped and his shot skewed to the left post and went OUT.
United Rejoiced! It means now its sudden death! After Ryan Giggs made it 6-5, it was upto Enfant Terrible, Nicholas Anelka to even the score. Many claimed Van Der Sar tried to unsettle Anelka with his antics, but, isnt all about making the opponent edgy? Anelka blasted to the right and Van Der Sar kept it out. Indeed VDS is now Van "The" Czar!!!! Wild celebrations ensued, Manchester United are Champions of Europe after a lapse of 9 years, and what a time to win it on the eve of their 50th Anniversary of that tragic night in Munich. Indeed, the Gods must be smiling on United. Some even commented that the Busby Babes had bananas watching the shootoff and dropped a banana skin where Terry slipped!
Well... maybe.... just maybe...
But what the heck! We have done the DOUBLE!!!!
We are Champions of EUROPE and ENGLAND 2007/08!