OK. so that was never the real score… even divided by two. But FC Barcelona won a couple of matches in the last few days that deserve mention.
The first, I'll deal with quickly. Barça beat Real Madrid (and hopefully sealed the Liga title) last weekend, 2-6! It was a fantastic game which we enjoyed in the Pub On The Park (or possibly another pub on a park), which I enjoyed with way too much wine… but "it was class", as Mark E. Smith would have it.
The second, as the same Mark E. Smith would have it, was far more "English Chelsea fan, this is your last game!". The victory was almost Spartan, too. FC Barcelona beat Chelsea FC 1-1, scoring the away goal in the 93rd minute. The game was essentially bookended with goals, given that Chelsea scored in minute 9 with an amazing strike.
Gareth and I watched the game in the Penya Barcelonista de Cerdanyola del Vallès, also known as the Bar Grau (it also serves as headquarters of the Cerdanyola Chess Club and the Cerdanyola Pipe Smoking Association). I got there a pitiful 45 minutes before the game and found two stools left, which I guarded with my life until my compatriot arrived. I fought off honest requests for the extra seat along with various urchins trying to nick it from under my hand. We watched the game unfold, gasping in awe (true meaning of the word), as Essien scored a phenomenally great goal, then we waited and waited… and waited for Barça to get their act together.
We waited until the second half, which saw the majority of Norweigian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo's errors, including at least one certain penalty for Chelsea and an insane red card against Barça (not to mention what should have been a red card for Matt Damon Ballack). In fact we waited until around about the last possible moment. Barça had been building their attacks… Messi had stopped being useless and seemed to be looking for space… and then?
And then POUM! Andres Iniesta scored off a pass off useless Messi.
The Penya went mad. Seriously mad. Madder, even than when we watched Barça win there in 2006. Although there were three minutes to go, we were ecstatic. The Chelsea players were incandescent at the end of the game, obviously feeling that their cheating had got them nowhere. We cheered, hugged one another and jeered.
I joined in the Two Minutes' Hate directed at Drogba and the rest of them (though mainly Drogba). An old man pushed past in the human mass, as I swore at the Great Cheater. I almost saw the Chestnut Tree Café in his scared eyes. The anthem played on loudspeakers as we walked down the street into the evening.