Not just another Champions League final

Well, friends, it was a GREAT football night last night; and as promised, here’s my account of it… Liverpool against Tottenham, an all-English Champions League final – and my two favourite clubs! I’d been a Liverpool fan ever since I was a kid, and of course I was on their side when they played in the final against Real last year, and lost due to a string of unfortunate circumstances, as you might remember; I watched the match with my parents in Piraeus:

https://romanceloversite.com/2018/05/27/get-together-for-a-football-party/

But since then, many things have happened: I’m now married to my darling Ian, and I’ve moved over to London permanently – to Tottenham… Another one of my favourite clubs (I’d always admired English football), and now my home team! Only last week, we visited our magnificent new stadium for the first time, and I bought a Spurs outfit, certainly intending to wear it on the great day…

https://romanceloversite.com/2019/05/29/the-pride-of-tottenham-hotspur-stadium/

And finally, the day came – the great match. My darling husband Ian, who’s been a Liverpool supporter ever since his childhood days (he grew up in Chester, not far from Liverpool), said he’d be neutral because he’s been living in Tottenham for more than 20 years now, and he’d be happy with whatever outcome; and basically, so would I – except for that ever so slight preference for Spurs… I’ve really developed a deep love for the club over the past few months, I’ve been reading about its history, and I keep listening to the fan songs by our wonderful local duo Chas & Dave all the time:

And, of course, there was no question about where we were going to watch the big final: at our local pub, the Green Gate. Now this pub is special – it’s London Irish, which means the regulars are divided up more or less equally into Liverpool and Spurs fans (most of them being Celtic supporters at the same time as well, but Celtic didn’t come anywhere near the final; they were thrown out of the Champions League in the qualification stage by my Greek club AEK Athens – sorry…), and so it was a sure bet there would be a unique atmosphere for that unique game. Oh yes, there certainly was: supporters of both clubs started coming in wearing their fan gear – and on the wall, they’d placed a Spurs flag and an Anfield Road sign right next to each other! Football, the most beautiful peaceful war…

Since we’d got there, early, we had a drink and some banter with our fellow football fans before the match, and some Spurs songs on the jukebox – and we took a few selfies, of course, to remember that day forever!

Then, the game started, and our eyes were glued to the big TV screen – and after just 40 seconds, the Spurs contingent in our pub froze with terror: the referee decides on a hand ball offence by Moussa Sissoko in the penalty area… Now I can’t deny I felt this was a VERY harsh decision, since the ball had actually hit his chest first, and besides that, in such an important match no referee should award a penalty that early on except if it was really 100% obvious – but… there you go, Spurs were behind 1-0 before the first minute had even finished…

Aaanyway – we, the Spurs fans in our pub, took things as calmly as we could, and all together we continued following a most thrilling and lively game. Both teams had chances to score a goal, but in the end, it were Liverpool who did it; 2-0, game over.

Understandably, I guess, my feelings were a bit mixed for a few moments – we’d come so close to that great dream, and now we’ll have to go on that same long road again all through next season, and considering the extremely tough competition it’s a question whether we’ll make it to the final again right away. BUT as soon as I looked around me and saw all those Liverpool fans jumping for joy, so crazily exultated their team had finally managed what they’d failed to do the year before, and my darling husband looking very happy as well, and then the ceremony on TV, I said “Ah well, never mind, Liverpool are the champs – congratulations, boys!”

The party went on well into the night at our cosy little pub – and, of course, now it was the Liverpool fans’ turn to commandeer the jukebox, with their famous and most beautiful and moving anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone”…

We really lived a perfect example of peaceful football fandom last night – a wonderful experience that shows how much this beautiful game can give to us all!

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