I may not have been at Loftus Road in body yesterday but I sure was in spirit. And I enjoyed every single minute as you all did!!
I never felt more like singing the blues, when Rangers win and Chelsea lose in the same game ? I think this is a more relevant way to sing this particular song now after yesterday`s incredible game!
And incredible it was, wasn`t it?! Let`s be honest – it could not have been written more perfectly if we had employed William Shakespeare himself to pen the script! There were villains a-plenty, heroes abounding, a real blood and guts-“do or die” performance and a final score line that makes for very pretty – but let`s be honest, unexpected – reading!
And I watched it all on the bed in my Hotel bedroom here in Montreal along with Amy. When the fixture-list threw up this long-awaited West London derby for the weekend of 22nd October 2011, I already knew that I was going to be in Montreal on a flying visit to be with my girl who I wouldn`t have seen since the summer. But I didn`t care – if there is one person in the world I wanted to be with to watch the QPR v Chelsea match, it was Amy – and thanks to the internet, I was able to do so.
She came to our room after breakfast, dressed in her Hoops (as was I) ready for action – remember we are 5 hours behind London so, for us, this was an 11 a.m. kick-off. We huddled up against the head-board, fluffed up the pillows and made ourselves comfortable. She found the best streaming online and then we waited for kick-off, comparing shaking hands and stomach-twisting butterflies, to pass the time!
We cheered and sang, from the comfort of the nice big bed, for the opening minutes, happily watching us contain the Blues but wondering when we were going to get out of our half, when suddenly ? David Luiz pops up to play the part of pantomime villain, and unceremoniously shoves Heidar Helguson off the ball inside the penalty area. Amy and I looked at each other as referee Chris Foy pointed to the penalty spot from his vantage point just outside the penalty area – and we went ballistic. Our hysterical screeches were of delight at the thought that we had a penalty against Chelsea – and a chance to score and, even better, go ahead in the game. We were delirious!
So my hubbie jumped up, set his I-Phone to record, and trained the lens on the two of us as we glared fixedly at the computer. The hysteria when Heidar scored sent the decibels soaring and, for a while afterwards, we all jumped every time we heard footsteps outside our room in the corridor for fear that a security guard would come barging in thinking that some crime had been committed. We went mental, laughing, crying, hugging – nearly falling off the bed – probably just like everyone actually at Loftus Road did! You can actually view this mental hysteria on YouTube if you`d like a good laugh – just type in “Sandy celebrating QPR 1 Chelsea 0”!! I then spent about 5 minutes after this texting, WhatsApp-ing, BBM-ing all my mates actually at the game, to share in theirs and our joy!
When Bosingwa walked (he was clearly the last man and, personally, I thought he didn`t give Foy any option), I was happy! But when Drogba walked, I actually cracked up – I think Amy thought I had finally lost the plot! I was laughing so much, so hard, so loud – because I thought it was beautiful! Poetic justice (I just can`t stand Drogba – never have, never will)! Again, I nearly fell off the bed!!
During half-time, Amy and I retrenched. A Coke helped calm the nerves a little – yes, we were still nervous! I had observed via text to my friend Sara sitting enjoying life at Loftus Road how, like a wounded tiger, Chelsea would be very dangerous in the 2nd half. They wouldn`t have taken too kindly to the shenanigans of the 1st half – even though all those shenanigans were of their own making! They would do anything to get back into the game – even, I thought, by trying to get one (or more) of our own players sent off to “even” things up! I wouldn`t have put it past them!
Then – disaster struck! Amy decided to refresh the stream we had been happily watching the game on – and lost the stream altogether. Panic set in! Fear we would miss the 2nd half! The look of horror on both our faces was equal only to the hysterical delirium we were in remembering we were 1-0 up against 9-man Chelsea! Phew! Amy was able to find a different stream – and we were off.
The 2nd half proved me correct – Chelsea were very dangerous and I felt that we put ourselves under pressure because we didn`t really know how to play against 9 men! Let`s be honest – can anyone here tell me when we last played against 9 men?! But we defended magnificently, Ale Faurlin was superb in midfield – keeping his head coolly whilst all around him were losing theirs (7 yellow cards, Chelsea, really?!) – and whilst we didn`t create too many chances, we did have opportunities which, with a slightly cooler head or more accurate finishing, could have gone a long way to redress the recent drubbing we took at the hands of fellow West Londoners, Fulham!
We cheered and sang constantly (did you hear us?!) We jumped in anticipation of a 2nd Rangers goal in the few attacks we did have. We shrieked in fear a few times – particularly when Nicolas Anelka had that free header towards the end of the game, which he thankfully placed squarely in the hands of our reliable stopper, Paddy Kenny! We laughed a lot – as Foy waved yellow card after yellow card at the ill-disciplined, bad-tempered Chelsea players! We questioned how David Luiz – a remarkable cheat – had not become Chelsea`s 3rd player to depart for an early showed (even Ray Wilkins wondered that point at one stage – commenting that it would probably have been difficult for Chris Foy to send off a 3rd player however much he deserved a 2nd yellow on more than one occasion!)
And then, when the final whistle blew, we looked at each, hugging and screaming with delight – and my tears started flowing! We had tamed the wounded beast! We had mounted it`s head as a trophy on our Loftus Road wall – and by the looks of the tweets, posts and other internet comments I have been reading since, the Chelsea fans are really very bitter about our victory! Talk about sore losers! Amy, Mike and I went into the Hotel`s dining room for a spot of post-match lunch – Amy and I still sporting our colours – when a young Canadian man bowled up to our table, glared at us and said, pointing at the QPR badge: “I hate you! I`m the biggest Chelsea fan in the world – and I hate you!” Really? He`s here in Montreal and he`s “the biggest Chelsea fan”?!!!
See – Chelsea fans may have pretended they weren`t interested in the game – that we “no longer mattered” – but they are, they were, and we do! And we won this round – and how! And I – like the rest of you – shall dine out on this for days & days and weeks & weeks. And the best way to do so – is sit back and watch those Chelsea fans destroy themselves with their own bile as their team did yesterday against ours! Glorious stuff!!
But the best bit? That Amy and I were together as we beat Chelsea in the league for the first time since 1995. Like I said – the only person I would want to be with on this great day! And I was – and it was – and life right now seems simply perfect!! So – altogether now – I never felt more like singing the blues, when Rangers win and Chelsea lose in the same game!!!
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