The last game of the Bunwer Apertura season before the festive hiatus saw the lads make a trip to Villaverde in Madrid’s supposedly mean southern suburbs to take on an outfit that have been something of a bogey team for the men from Albion in recent seasons. Bar Galicia Villaverde regularly grind out results against the tougher teams in the division thanks to hard-nosed defending and a physical approach which can disrupt the passing patterns of their rivals. FCB had been held to a goalless draw on the previous two outings against them and were looking for something of a change of fortunes this time round to keep in touch with the leaders.
As if any more Christmas coal were needed to stoke the incandescent flame of Rami’s passion, the opposition manager is a colleague of the man from North Shields and Rami duly knocked his pre-game speech out of the park, telling his charges to relieve the opposition of their appetite before their upcoming Christmas dinner by giving them a good stuffing! A starting XI of Jorge, Ed, Macca, Omar, Harry, Oscar, Christoff, Matt, Mathias, Sober Calum, and the returning Ish took to the field under the obtrusive sex shop billboards and the faint roar of the A-42 to do just that and make sure that Christmas wasn’t cancelled for the big-hearted maniac in the dugout.
It looked from about the fifteen-minute mark that ol’ saint Nick was going to be marking the British outfit as “naughty” on his ledger this year however as a cross from the right was intercepted by Jorge under severe duress from the opposition striker. In the ensuing kerfuffle, words were exchanged as they invariably are in these situations and according to the debutant referee some of those words were very naughty and directed at somebody’s sainted mother. More kerfuffle and handbags later and FCB were down to ten men and Matt ‘the cat’ was donning the gloves for an indirect freekick for Villaverde 7 yards from goal. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and Oscar, who was to prove himself a bloody sound lad later in the night, stopped the piledriver of a freekick at point-blank range with his big handsome bearded bonce to keep the scores level. FCB, now riled up with a sense of righteous injustice, promptly went down the other end and made it 0-1 thanks to Sober Calum who did well to round the keeper after terrific hold-up play from Ish. The second followed shortly after as a side that prides itself on being ‘contundente’ was opened up by a delightful pass by man of the moment Oscar for Sober Calum to round the keeper and slot in to double the advantage before the break.
Those who have played any team sport to any decent level will tell you that there are some games they refused to lose, that they simply knew at some point or another that the day was theirs, they might tell you that there was simply a look exchanged between teammates which said that there was no way that they were going to let the opposition beat them that day for whatever reason. The FCB players at halftime on Saturday calmly discussed the tactical proposition of third man runs and covering the extra man in midfield with that same unspoken confidence binding them to the pact that this would not be BGV’s day.
Sure enough, 3-0 came shortly after the interval when Ed looked up from left back and saw a previously unknown player known simply now as SC defying his own lungs and bursting beyond his midfield berth stretching the covering defenders. Wrapping his left foot round the ball he set this mysterious force of nature free down the left. Sober Calum still had a lot of work to do from the left side of the box but he did it with the aplomb his alter ego might not have mustered to bag his hattrick and plonk the victory angel atop the FCB Christmas tree. This was to be more or less the last action for Ed however as he went off injured (still can’t walk properly 6 days later!) shortly after having a ball played over his head and failing to get to the opposition winger who shot past the otherwise excellent stand-in keeper Matt for 1-3. On came returning heartthrob Alberto for his crocked captain, Pete for Macca and Christmas elf Sam playing his last ever game for the club for Mathi.
The next goal of the game came from the outstanding Ish who did excellently to finish off a fine move from a tight angle after good work from a man just discovering the subtle joys of a night in and playing with untrammelled genius every time the ball came his way. In bizarre fashion, the next action of note was a trigger-happy referee sending off Ish for his second yellow card
The Spanish side were now clearly defeated and playing like they knew it. The space in behind was as vast as Graeme’s garden presumably is, and after a couple of near misses which all on the bench agonised over, everyone’s favourite little pest and jolly Christmas elf bagged himself a leaving present in the form of a goal which he did well to scramble in after a cross from the right courtesy of Jordan -who if he’d followed his instincts and shot would have been a real grinch!-
1-5 the final score and one team were to thoroughly enjoy their Christmas meal dickheads, fake boobs and all, while the other would be far too stuffed to enjoy theirs.
Goal of the game: SC
Man of the Match: Calum Cant
Quote of the match: (who else) Rami “They’ve got their Christmas meal today and I want you to go out there and stuff them so they have no appetite!”
Happiest moment of the match: Sam scoring in his final game 🙂