Of course, no team could possibly come back from a four goal deficit. Impossible. Incredibly unlikely. Not in a million years.
Arsenal fans were making themselves better before the kick-off against Bayern, knowing that if there was any team on the planet with the mental strength, desire and leadership to perform such a feat well, it wasn’t going to be Arsenal. Of course, Arsenal being Arsenal, they did it their own way.
The match was almost a typical Gunners season in 90 minutes. There was the strong start, where they scored and got everyone wondering, “maybe, just maybe this is the year!” There was the period of domination they didn’t capitalise on, and the opposition were, frankly, there for the taking. There were the ready made excuses, handed on a plate and safely filed away for use at the end. And, of course, there was the dramatic collapse that everyone knew was coming, but it was still a shock to see the new level Arsenal took it to.
What can you say? It is, factually, impossible for a team to overturn a four goal deficit from the first leg of a Champions League tie. Isn’t it. Arsenal fans were convinced they were safe from ridicule because nobody would ever be able to achieve what they failed to achieve. Well, maybe not for the next 24 hours anyway.
Barcelona. The epitome of next goal wins. UEFA must have been bricking it when PSG scored that goal. Still, it all sorted itself out, didn’t it?
Don’t worry, the Champions League part of today’s Mock the Week will now disappear as quickly as the reputation of Unai Emery. Back to what we know best, which is, of course, making fun of, well, Arsenal.
That handshake was convincing, wasn’t it? Whilst the world commented on the monstrosity cooked up by Kane and Alli, the most important handshake in North London was the one secretly devised by Arsene and Alexis, just in case any media happened to be watching.
Damn you, Alexis, and your desire to win. Damn you, for not tolerating players in the team who are clearly going to cost you a Premier League medal, a bit like Gerrard did to Suarez. You could always leg it to Barca. Oh, you’ve already done that one? OK.
Still, dropping Alexis for the customary beating by a team from the top six worked wonders for Wenger. His side are still perfectly on track for every seasonal benchmark. However, I am still trying to work out whether dropping him was a plea for help or a suicide note. Apparently the board want Arsene to prove he can reinvent himself by next season. Yeah, because Arsene is known for his flexibility in approach. I’m still convinced he is only sticking around to wind up Piers Morgan, which is, frankly, a laudable gesture.
It turns out The FA didn’t buy Zlatan’s “he ran into my elbow” chat or Tyrone’s “I’m not the kind of guy who wants to stamp on Zlatan’s head” plea of innocence. Zlatan got a three match ban thrown at him, which no doubt he trapped on his chest, flicked up on his knee and volleyed into the top corner – because that’s how Zlatan rolls when it comes to three match bans. Tyrone got five matches because, well, he plays for Bournemouth and not United. Phil Jones was very grateful for all this going off at Old Trafford on Saturday as it distracted the world from what a completely awful game he had.
Craig Shakespeare is already coming across as the cat who got the other cat sacked and then got his cream for good measure. He’s been given the job until the rest of the season because Leicester beat Liverpool (statistically not hard if you are in the lower half of the table) and Hull (statistically not hard if you are anyone other than Liverpool.)
Cue the Leicester players relaxing and coasting until the end of the season. Mind you, Merson is dancing a jog of joy as a manager called Shakespeare getting the job is the most English thing you can find in this day and age. I might have done that gag last week. Ah, who cares. As Shakespeare himself said, “Tales is football life told by an idiot,” or something like that.
Harry Kane is most certainly a one-season wonder. Sorry, a one-season at a time wonder. That was the classic hat-trick for me at the weekend. Right foot, left foot, clearly deflected and somewhat dubiously awarded to Kane third goal. Any proper striker will tell you; he’s claiming that. What I like about Kane and Alli as opposed to Pogba and Lingard is that they too have a silly handshake, but then they also have a bucket load of end product on the pitch as well, which the United pair could do well to take a mental note of.
Middlesbrough’s cunning experiment to see if they could avoid getting relegated by aiming to draw every game 0-0 is threatening to be exposed as a sham. They are in trouble, and I would imagine Steve Gibson’s finger must be awfully close to the trigger on the gun pointing at Aitor Karanka.
Eddie Howe could really do without getting relegated if he doesn’t want to become the next Gerry Francis and end up assisting Tony Pulis in working set-pieces 20 years from now. Mind you, the Baseball Cap himself met his match at the weekend, being out-bigged by Sam Allardyce’s Palace. If Palace are to stay up, now is a good time to start winning more than one in a row.
For a sacked Derby County manager, Paul Clement is doing better than Steve McLaren ever did. Swansea will be alright, especially if they keep putting it on Llorente’s head.
Finally, I might stop mentioning Sunderland in this Premier League column because, obviously, they are no longer a Premier League side in any shape or form.
My favourite line of the weekend, and you will know as soon as you read it that I did not come up with this myself – mainly as it is funny – but the Deeney brothers were superb at Vicarage Road. Troy, and his brother Manologabbia, both scored in the 4-3 thriller.
Fair play Eion Smith, I think you should write this junk from next week…