Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the box: A Bridge of sighs and lows for Spurs

By Billy Weir

Bridges have provided all sorts of dramas down through the years - the one over the River Kwai, the one that was too far, more soldiering shenanigans at Remegen and tear-jerking in Madison County, but they were nothing compared to Monday Night Football's climax at Stamford Bridge.

Unless you have been living under a bridge waiting for a passing goat, Leicester City became Premier League champions for the first time in their history when Spurs failed to pick up the win they needed against Chelsea, and it fell perfectly for Sky.

On Sunday, plucky little Manchester United held the Foxes and Louis van Gaal finally lost the run of himself, although he did at last bring some sexiness back into the beautiful game at Old Trafford after an unseemly incident between Marouane Fellaini and Robert Huth.

Not as unseemly as the United boss who then attempted to repeat the hair-pulling act on Sky reporter Patrick Davison.

"When you see what Huth is doing to Fellaini, that's a penalty," said Van Gaal, giving Patrick a fear he'd not experienced since Spongebob Squarepants finally lost it with him.

"Shall I grab you by your hair? asked Van Gaal.

"What is your reaction when I grab your hair? Every human being who is grabbed by the hair, only with sex masochism, then it is allowed." Okay...

So what was going to happen the next night was anyone's guess, with MNF presenter Ed Chamberlin explaining that Spurs hadn't beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since guests Jamie Carragher and Scott Parker were 'in short trousers'.

By my reckoning Carragher last wore shorts in anger three years ago and Parker still does, for Fulham, but let's not split hairs here - and definitely don't be pulling any.

Martin Tyler was just the man for what was to follow, easily the best commentator in the land being handed the mic for what was to become a hair-raising night.

"Chelsea have more problems that you ever imagined," he said, although not as many as when Wayne Bridge was at the club, but let's move swiftly on, while around the side of the pitch an ad proclaimed that football was 'building bridges'.

With what was to follow, no self-respecting troll would dare venture out in case he got a damned good thrashing as the London neighbours came out fighting or, as Tyler said, 'it's been a feisty first 20 minutes.' Give it a while, Martin.

Things took an unpleasant turn with co-commentator Davie Provan criticising Spurs striker Son for "taking two or three touches before he pulls the Tigger." I think he meant trigger, but only fools and tigers can know for sure.

Then two goals, one for Harry Kane and one for Son, before things got a little more feisty, with Mousa Dembele attempting to fix Diego Costa's contact lens in the middle of a kerfuffle.

"And what is Mr Dembele doing?" he asked as the replay showed exactly what he was up to, but at least no tiger was harmed.

Into the second-half and a goal for Chelsea but, as time ticked on, Tyler said Spurs were "still protecting their lead with a reasonable amount of assurance but it only takes a moment".

That 'Aguerrooooooo' moment arrived almost immediately, although this time it was 'Haaaazzzzzaarrdddd' as Chelsea's Eden made it a Bridge of Sighs yet again for Spurs and sent the Foxes howling on the streets of Leicester.

"He has done it, he won the title for Chelsea a year ago, he might have won the title for Leicester City tonight," added Tyler before a brief spell when MNF became WWF and UFC before a TKO for Spurs brought "a stormy end to a sensational evening".

"Leicester City are the champions, the greatest story ever told has its happy ending. The ultimate underdog is now the top dog," added Tyler, who was now on a roll.

"It is about the Cinderella who came to the ball, it's a story that will be told and re-told as long as football is played on this planet."

Hard to follow that. No Chamberlin has been anywhere near as shell-shocked since returning from Berlin in 1938, while Carragher concluded that it was 'the greatest achievement in the history of our game'. But no peace.

All of this is true, it was incredible -Chelsea winning the league for their old boss, Claudio Ranieri, but a word to captain Wes Morgan when he goes to pick up the trophy on Saturday, be careful John Terry doesn't crawl from beneath a bridge and try to lift it.

The Good, the bad and the ugly

THE GOOD: A thrilling end to the Tour de Yorkshire on ITV4 as Irishman Nicolas Roche lost out in a nail-biting sprint to the line with Thomas Voeckler, the Frenchman just edging it. Roche’s cause was not helped by being held up by a small boy in a cloth cap delivering Hovis cutting in front of him on the home straight.

THE BAD: Sporting drama wasn’t just confined to this part of the world as BT Sport showed the A-League as Adelaide United battled it out with Western Sydney Wanderers for the trophy, as commentator Simon Hill explained: “Nicknamed the golden toilet seat by some, to reflect its rather unusual design, both these sets of supporters want it badly.”  Well, it was very exciting…

THE UGLY: You have to feel a little for Mark Selby, the jester from Leicester, picking up a second World Snooker Championship crown on Monday night and being largely ignored because of the achievements of his fellow townsfolk. With that in mind I’ve been to the bookies, I’ve a fiver on Willie Thorne to become Prime Minister and Showaddywaddy to be Christmas No.1. I got 5,000-1, no chance.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph