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It was an El of a wait but Clas match was worth it


Luis Suarez made his debut for Barcelona against Real Madrid

Luis Suarez made his debut for Barcelona against Real Madrid

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Luis Suarez made his debut for Barcelona against Real Madrid

Scott Minto couldn't have been any happier had his former team been renamed Atletico Charlton and thus justified why he is the presenter of Sky's La Liga coverage.

"Oh, what a night we have in store, the world's greatest playing in football's biggest derby," he said. I'm with you, Scott, let's go, let's go, arriba, arriba, as a Snr Gonzalez used to say.

"A game that always thrills and always excites and tonight with added bite too," he further teased as we panned in on Luis Suarez, about to make his debut for Barcelona against Real Madrid in the El Clasico. Right, on with the game, you little tease.

"Due to UK broadcasting restrictions we unfortunately can't join the pictures until 5.15pm," and suddenly that mistral wind was taken from all our sails.

It meant we had chat with Eidur Gudjohnsen, who played in four El Clasicos for Barca, and Chris Coleman, who didn't, and in the corner of the room wearing headphones and watching his laptop like a surly teenager was Guillem Balague, breaking the broadcasting restrictions.

Sky missed a trick, they could have hired the man who used to do Gerry Adams' voiceovers to come and re-enact the action behind Minto, rather than force the surly one to tell us.

"There's only two minutes and 30 seconds of the game gone and you can see how Real Madrid and Barcelona are playing," he said. Well, you can, we can't, and suddenly more excitement as we had a 'live' goal, witnessed by just one man. More chat followed as the teasing clock in the corner of the screen ticked down agonisingly slowly as Guillem covered his screen up like a school swot so we couldn't have a sneaky look.

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"Tell us what it's like to play in an El Clasico," Minto asked Gudjohnsen as we tried to kill time.

"You have the feeling you're playing in the biggest game in the world, all eyes are on the game and you feel like the whole world is watching," he answered. They are. Except us.

And then we were there, Rob Palmer, Gerry Arconada-Armstrong and some pictures and it was worth the wait, Real levelling through one of the daftest penalties ever seen and then taking the lead in the second-half through Pepe.

"We have some artisans on show but it's a rudimentary goal that separates the teams," said Palmer, the first time 'rudimentary' surely has been used in a commentary but it was an unusual night.

Especially when Professor Arconada-Armstrong hit us with some stupendous statistics after Karim Benzema made it 3-1 to Real.

"It's 3.7 goals per game in favour of Real Madrid and Barcelona's been scoring 2.75, so we knew there were going to be goals," he affirmed, although not that there would be parts of goals too.

"We've got four goals, if we get any more that's a bonus," he concluded.

But we didn't. We waited to see if .75 of a goal would arrive, but to no avail and the last 15 minutes became much like the first, nothing much to see.

The good, the bad and the ugly

The good: An unexpected and big surprise on the Football League Show as Rotherham’s larger than life manager Steve Evans came on and stole the show. A cross between Andy Gray and Shrek, he must be given a job in the Premier League sometime soon just to liven things up a bit.

The bad: Or pot, kettle and black it should be as Liverpool legend Graeme Souness conveniently brushed aside his red-tinted specs to comment on Chelsea not being given a penalty at Old Trafford on Sunday. “Both Chelsea players were being fouled at the Stretford End, was he ever going to give it? I don’t think so. Other way round? 100%.” This from a man who played for a team in an era where a penalty was given at the Kop to coincide with the return of Halley’s Comet.

The ugly: Can I just humbly apologise to a Mr R Savage of Wales for my previous assertion that he is the most annoying creature ever to have crawled into the world of football. This changed on Match of the Day as the hilarious Russell Brand hijacked Sam Allardyce’s post-match interview with hilarious consequences. Not so much Big Sam as a Big (insert appropriately rude word, hilariously).

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