Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Deja Vu

A highly anticipated night of football, with two British heavyweights clashing in the premier european competition. A full house in the stadium, and millions watching on ITV. The away team bring a one goal lead into the second leg clash, but the home team's players and fans expect a better performance than in the first leg. The pundits are undecided - it may be a classic contest.

The game kicks off with an electric atmosphere around the ground. But quickly, the home fans' anticipation is replaced by a subdued sigh - the blue-shirted away team score! The home side now need 3 goals to win, a huge task for a team whose season's form has been below their best.

The hosts press forward. The crowd try to raise the temperature in support of their side. And then, in an instant, the dream is gone.

The away side's star striker makes it 0-2 on the night, and whilst there is plenty of time on the clock, the tie is effectively dead. The away side grow in confidence and the match turns into a stroll, the home players losing a yard of pace as adrenalin levels evaporate. By the time the home side's continental striker scores, it is merely a consolation, and many fans miss the goal as they head home ahead of the traffic.

The game?

November 1992. European Cup 2nd Round, 2nd Leg. Leeds United 1 (Cantona) Rangers 2 (Hateley, McCoist).

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