Thursday, 18 March 2010
Fulham 5, Juventus 4. Woy Hodgson, you are a miracle man!
What scenes at Craven Cottage tonight. Fulham were 70-1 when Juventus scored first to go 4-1 up on aggregate. The Old Lady from Turin looked unstoppable. The second-best side in Europe with six trophies, how could Woy Hodgson possibly deal with this one?
But back they came with Bobby Zamora - take him to the World Cup! - and Zoltan Gera (two goals, pictured above) evening things up, creating the real possibility of a sensational Europa Cup win. And it got better. Clinton Dempsey plays for the USA against England at the World Cup on June 12 in Rustenburg. His chipped winner into the top corner was quite exquisite, and his tattoos aren't bad either!
Hodgson, who was wise enough to drop me as a 13-year-old when he was coaching in South Africa, said: "You've got to remember I worked for Inter for two years. There was a lot of rivalry. I tried hard to love them but beating Juve for me is one of those special occasions.
"Their goalkeeper actually made four outstanding saves. It was a great night of football. The crowd were incredible, they will remember this night for a long time. We certainly will. But we've got important games to come.
"They'll be celebrating in the dressing room but I'll be nailing their feet to the floor again tomorrow."
Amazing. Liverpool capped off a fine night for English football - and eased the pressure on manager Rafa Benitez - by crushing Lille 3-0 at Anfield to go through to the Europa Cup quarter-final draw tomorrow 3-1 on aggregate.
After goals from the usual suspects, captain Steve Gerrard, who scored from the penalty spot before Fernando Torres struck twice, said: "We got off to a perfect start and the fans were superb for us tonight.
"But the aim was to get three goals because we knew they were dangerous and capable of scoring a goal.
"Rafa Benitez is the manager and he is allowed to criticise the team like. We have responded in our last two games and the challenge now is to take this form into our game with Manchester United on Sunday."