Belfast Telegraph

Hyped-up El Clasico turns into a real disappointment

By Billy Weir

You join me in an awkward situation, not totally of my own volition, as for once I was simply guilty of doing what I was told.

It was all Sky commentator Rob Palmer's fault at the start of El Clasico on Sunday evening.

"Sit back, enjoy, wherever you are, pull up a bar stool, hide the TV remote control if anyone else has a claim to it in your house and don't move for the next one and a half hours," he said.

And I did, and they weren't half annoyed in Dixons, apparently the manager wanted home to see Mr Selfridge and wasn't keen to listen to Mr Armstrong instead.

No such luck for the rest of us as Gerry and Palmer, in an effort to lift the boredom, threw in some politics and sporting analogies to help fill the time.

"Luis Enrique has 17 wins out of 18 and is the King of Catalunya - they take offence if you say King of Spain around here," said Palmer, but thankfully Gerry moved swiftly to avoid an undiplomatic incident.

"It's a bit like a boxing match and they're just jabbing each other, we haven't had any knock-out blows yet," he said.

Moments later a knock-out blow arrived from Barca's Jeremy Mathieu just after Cristiano Ronaldo had hit the bar.

"1-0 down at the Nou Camp was not what they had planned and it would have been different had Ronaldo scored," Gerry revealed. Indeed, and if your abuelita had cojones she'd be your abuelito.

There was more Spanish to come as ex-pat, or ex-Gerry in this case, Armstrong revealed that Ronaldo's equaliser meant he was only one behind Lionel Messi in the race for the Pichichi.

Now I thought he was the Fonz's nephew but it turns out this is the trophy handed out for La Liga's top scorer, so happy days then for Cristiano.

A great save by Barca keeper Claudio Bravo prevented it being 2-1, but as it wouldn't have been two zero the joke was already ruined, and I still feel bad about the Happy Days one so we'll move on.

At least his mum, Juliet, would have been pleased, unlike Neymar who, of course, doesn't have a mum. No, I think that's worse than the other jokes.

Mrs Bravo would have been delighted even more soon after when a hoof up the pitch, sorry, cultured, measured long pass (there is a difference) found Luis Suarez for the winner.

As presenter Scott Minto told us: "Two heavyweights battling it out, Real Madrid were stronger but Luis Suarez seemed to knock the stuffing out of them."

I supposed it makes a change from ripping them open with his teeth.

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