Sunday, February 20, 2011
What about those Blues! (No, not Chelsea, Everton.) It’s the 119th minute –the last minute of extra time – and up steps Leighton Baines to take a free kick from outside the box. He curls it into the corner to take it to penalties. Dare I watch? (We don’t do well at penalty shoot-outs.) Then Phil hits the winner. A great team – and manager - performance against the west London billionaires who (a) are the FA Cup holders; (b) spent over £70 million on players last month; and (c), haven’t lost a cup game in three years. I thought I wasn’t into triumphalism in football – but please allow me this one: I don’t often get the chance. (We find out later that manager David Moyes had already decided that, should the game go to penalties, he would put Phil Neville in as taker of the fifth penalty - because he was sure Tim Howard would save one, so the fifth would be the most crucial one and he knew Phil could handle it.)
Reading next, at Goodison Park on March 1 - St. David’s Day.