The first round of the Bunwer League Clausura got underway on Saturday, and FCB travelled to Getafe on a freezing cold morning to play Bar La Piscina. Once again Rami and Fleck’s team selection was hampered by failing alarm clocks and the men in charge were forced into playing winger Sean in an unfamiliar central role to fill in for sleepy Scandinavian Fabian Asland whose punctuality had gone the way of Ed and Luigi’s the previous week.
Neither team really played to their level in a first half notable for the amount of headers that needed winning and the sun streaming into the eyes of those trying to win them on a poorly laid out pitch. Getafe is a tough town, and the local team endured the first half better than their opponents and went into half-time one goal to the good after a superb ball into the box from the left caught out the Brits’ rookie left back and was smartly finished. At the half, the message was to defend narrower and make Piscina go around not through and aim to transition faster when counter-attacking. This is exactly what FCB did, and the introduction of some Norwegian muscle in the middle saw the ball won back and distributed to the right wing almost straight after kick off. David on the right put in one of his now trademark dangerous crosses and, without needing a touch, club hero and all-round goodfella Zak Harry brought his team level with a swish of his trusty left peg.
This was the cue for a team of cut-throat ex-professionals to bring the game down a few levels with some lamentable theatrics and school playground level whinging. The intensity of play had become too much for them and the team that threatened to do violence to a referee in his own house last season once again stooped to conquer. It is a pretty universally held principle among those who have at one time or another engaged in some form of contact sport that if you are truly hurt on the field of play you do not go to ground screaming only to get up 10 seconds later to act all Billy-Large-Cojones when the referee ignores you. The fact that grown men, fathers and role-models among them, would do so as well as surrounding the referee and inciting violence during a 5 minute break in play that saw the official sit down on the sidelines while the teams bickered amongst themselves is a sad indictment on the life priorities of all involved. The net result was a drop ball, a couple of yellow cards that could have been red, and some tempers irreversibly frayed.
Shortly after, the boys from the pool were in front after a careless pass in midfield let them break and finish accurately beyond Hutch. FCB pressed for an equaliser and as the game became stretched and chances were missed tempers once again boiled over when Rama was tripped on a foray forward and words were exchanged. The Uruguayan lost his rag and lashed out at the opposition centre-half who had been winding him up all game, both players were rightly sent from the field amid more ugly scenes. The game finished shortly after and the Brits were consigned to their first defeat of the Clausura, the only consolation being that they had not behaved as atrociously as their opposition and wouldn’t be heading back to Getafe any time soon.