So, it’s a 5 point lead at the top of the table–that’s when if Madrid win against Espanyol away tomorrow. Cules are already convulsing and/or rocking themselves in a fetal position, worrying if the end is near, and the EE press are going ballistic as if Madrid winning means they’ll suddenly get 6 points and over throw us.
I say: Get real
First of all, it’s Hlebuary, the time of year where points are given to teams like candy is given to Bojan and Ibi and secondly, it’s after the international break. When have we ever played well after the international break? Add rested players with two eyes on Arsenal, players fighting for their manager’s job [Sporting players for Preciado], incredible fans giving players a boost and we have all the ingredients for a loss that didn’t happen.
I don’t like drawing. I don’t like anything other than winning really, but things happen. We’re still league leaders and I sincerely doubt this will be The Result—the one that potentially derails our season. Our team is amazing and deserve the benefit of a doubt.
If you really think about it, this result is two points gained, not lost. Had it not been for Villa’s chip, we’d have probably lost this one. Pep will also use this result as a possible motivator for Arsenal—our team doesn’t like not winning, you could see that when Pedro!! pounded the ground in frustration and mouthed off to the ref, earning himself a yellow. They have a burning desire to win, and that’s what’s important.
This post isn’t really necessary because I’m sure all of you already know this and are just pissed we ended a streak of 16 wins. No problem with that. The real point of this post was this video below. With Pep and Bojan. You didn’t really think I was going to let this pass by, did you? If you did, how naive of you. 😀 Kxevin will probably articulate the same thing during his review, so you can watch the video below to your heart’s content before his review comes up.
One last thing though: I’ll be posting the first leg of the Arsenal-Barca match soon enough. It’ll be either before or after Isaiah’s preview (or something, we’ll work it out).
[Update] Post Match comments all via barcastuff:
Pep: “Sporting did great, we knew they were strong and they proved it. Against a team that’s tactically and physically that well prepared like Sporting, you can always lose.
“In the first half we had some problems on the wing. In the 2nd half, we could solve the mistakes of the first half. Great goal Villa.
“We’re not invincible; we’re not the perfect team. We just can keep on working.
“As we’ve always said the Liga isn’t finished. We still have some difficult away games and some games vs teams who play against relegations. These players are playing for a better life, always hard.
Villa: “Sporting was very good, in the end we got the draw. We didn’t play bad, it’s the merit of Sporting, they did great, were superior at some moments.”
“We shouldn’t blame international games, Sporting simply played well.”
Alves: “Afellay is still adapting. Despite the half-time result he didn’t do bad. It’s not easy to replace Pedro.”
Xavi: “We had the chances to win, a pity we didn’t and that the winning series got stopped. Our attitude was good, our second half was very good. In the 1st, the passing was maybe wasn’t up to the mark.”
Twitter Iniesta: Although we won only a point, we tried until the end, nothing is easy. Now we have to think about the CL game on Wed”
Twitter Pique: A good point at a difficult venue. Congrats to Sporting for a great job. The Emirates awaits us on Wednesday! Good night!”
Preciado (Sporting coach): “The atmosphere in the stadium gave us extra energy. Drawing against Xavi, Iniesta, etc is great.”
“We’re exhausted but we got a great reward: a draw against the best team in the world.”
Botia (former youth-teamer, Sporting defender): “We had respect for them but we knew at our own pitch we could do something. We defended very good, that has been crucial.”
Cuellar (Sporting GK): “They had 3 or 4 clear chances, true, they could have finished it. But I think they’re happy with the draw”