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Billy on the Box: Turn to channel 404 for some demolition derby action on the 401

By Billy Weir

Published 20/10/2016

Keeping it Real: Impact fans try to make an impact in Montreal
Keeping it Real: Impact fans try to make an impact in Montreal

If it's red-hot derby action you want then you took the wrong turn-off, it wasn't the M62 you wanted, it was the 401.

Can I just point out this is a road and not Sky - the game was on channel 404 - and we were in north America and not the north-west of England as the MLS went cross-border for the clash between Montreal Impact (daft name) and Toronto FC (not trying hard enough).

Commentator Callum Williams didn't have five days to build this one up, he barely had five minutes, and he wasted no time in turning the thermostat up to 11.

"We see two old foes go toe to toe as they close in on post-season supremacy," he hinted, with just a little bit of overexaggeration.

"No fuel needed for the fire in Montreal, the animosity burns viciously as it has done for many a year." Indeed, Toronto can trace their history back to 2005 and Impact first impacted upon us in 2010, so brace yourselves.

"This has become known as the 401 derby due to the Ontario Highway which separates the two cities," added Williams, who then veered off onto the M11 for Norwich as he turned into Alan Partridge.

"Away from the workmanlike, dogged approach often associated with the MLS, today the red carpet rolls, we have superstars, we have potential and possibilities beyond the grasp of imagination and have MLS at its peak," he said. I'm glad Liverpool and United players weren't listening or they'd have passed out.

"Some say the taste today is at its most bitter between these sides in over 40 years of Canadian sport - never before has this game meant so much," he added as he talked of a sell-out despite hundreds of blue Impact seats sitting empty.

And what do you know, for once Sky's hype was justified as a fabulous opening goal from Ignacio Piatti meant that "the 401 derby takes a 360 turn in favour of the home side". I'll translate, Impact 1 TFC 0.

TFC equalised though Jozy Altidore, a man who couldn't score his backside with a broken bottle in Sunderland, before Piatti put Impact back in front with a penalty, followed by the bizarre sound of bells that greets a Montreal goal.

A defensive clanger saw TFC equalise again, although blue wasn't only reserved for the seats/fans as Williams was forced to say sorry.

"Apologies if you heard several pieces of bad language throughout the broadcast, it is derby day after all," he said. Don't mention it, Callum, I'm more than happy with a bit of colourful language if the football is good. I mean, there's six years of rivalry to get out of their systems before heading home on the 401.

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