April 21st, 2004 • 10:50 am
More shameful stuff in the Champions’ League, but this time from two teams from whom it was pretty much expected… I’ve written about Porto before. This is not football, it’s pure comedy — only it isn’t funny, and it isn’t at all entertaining.
With everybody falling to the ground at the slightest touch, and faking excruciating pain at the tiniest scratch, it’s no wonder the game is totally impossible to referee, and mistakes are made. So yes, Porto should probably have had a free kick in a very promising position, and then a penalty kick late in the second half. But they have only themselves to blame. With this constant diving and faking, it’s pretty much impossible for the referee to tell the difference. Porto, you reap what you’ve sown… and if you crash out of the competition (as will likely happen), you’ll be the guilty party, not the referees or the opposition.
That being said, Deportivo were not exactly blameless either. They decided from the get-go not to play a football game, and they did their fair share of simulating. The kick that led to the late sending off of one of their players was just unprofessional, even though it was obviously harmless. You just don’t do that, even if you are frustrated by the opposition’s theatrics.
I guess all this will only build up support for Monaco from neutral watchers, and that is a good thing. Because on the face of this week’s game, they fully deserve the supreme crowning. Will they get it? They are just 180 minutes away from it now… They certainly have my vote, without any reservations.