Who do you want next, Smudge? Bilbao or Turin?
And give us a proper European away day report. Not 3 weak fucking lines!
Great report, sounds like a perfect european away day. A huge ambition of mine that Ill probably never get to realiseSame as last round, Ill take anywhere but Russia, Ukraine, Roma or Napoli. Anybody else I will be making every effort to get there. Ive wanted Inter since the day we qualified, so the winner of Celtic/ Inter is still my first choice, but then Id be over the moon with Ajax, Anderlecht, PSV or Sevilla.
HA HA! Sorry! Ive just finished typing this on another forum, so feel free to wade through!
That I did not expect! First, the trip. Fair play, I was reliably informed that Bern is a German speaking city in Switzerland, and as such has a German attitude. Spot on, great infrastructure for getting around the city, great locals, well organised and laid back police, and ultimately just a great day all round in a great city with absolutely no bother whatsoever. Great food as well of course, and the whole day was not nearly as expensive as I was expecting.
Around 2 hours before kick off, we go the tram back to the ground. The police asked the away fans to get off the tram the stop before the ground and directed us the way to walk there, which was obviously just a segregation thing, as it meant we approached the ground from the away side, rather than having to walk through all the home fans bars. There wasnt any bother anyway, and once we arrived at the ground, although there was a police presence, we were still free to go and mix with the home fans, but they obviously avoided that potential flashpoint of having all the away fans en masse having to walk through the home fans all at once and broke us all up. Smart idea I suppose.
The ground itself is very good. Excellent choice of food, though unsurprisingly costly. It was good though, so begrudged paying it much less than I usually would! Only issue I would have with the ground is their choice to only open the one small entrance at one end, and then let us all out of one small central exit at the end. Considering the upper and lower tiers both share a concourse, it was a bit of a crush when we were kept in afterwards. Other than that, its a good ground, modern all round, and yes its got the fences at the front, but I think we've come to expect that away in Europe now. Atmosphere was excellent, even half empty, and good views from every seat.
Finally, the game! The last thing I expected to enjoy as much as I did! Ive said all week to anyone who asks that especially the way we're playing, Id be happy with a score draw to take back to Goodison. Id have especially taken that when Tim Howard reverted back to pre injury form with some pretty dreadful positioning to allow Hoaroau to score from outside the box. We had actually started the better side and the keeper had already made a great save from Lukaku early on, so when we went behind, the worry was there about us not taking our chances. But we carried on playing, carried on being the better side, the keeper making two more good saves from Lukaku and Barkley, before we equalised after 24 minutes when he couldnt get enough on Lukaku's header to keep it out. Brilliant, away goal sorter, now keep it up. And four minutes later, limbs and bodies everywhere as Coleman put us 2-1 up! Lovely interplay sent Naismith to the byline to pull a low cross right across the face of goal, with Coleman unmarked to slide in at the far post. They still looked a little dangerous though, and Howard got lucky when he parried a shot straight into the path of a Young Boys player, who fortunately could only direct his shot straight back at Howard. Then just before half time, dreamland! Brilliant hold up play from Lukaku to keep possession from absolutely nothing, knocked the ball out to the left, Barry put in a low cross very similar to the one for the second goal, it was blocked but deflected all the way across goal, for Lukaku this time to finish off his own move and put us 3-1 at the break. Madness...nobody could believe what we were seeing! But it carried on, and 10 minutes into the second half, Lukaku had his hattrick, first one by an Everton player since Saha got 4 against Blackpool 4 years ago, and only the 4th Everton player to score one in Europe after Alan Ball, Andy Gray and Yakubu. Lovely finish one on one with the keeper with his left foot after breaking away from a broken down Young Boys attack. The penalty for Young Boys looked ridiculously soft from where I was, and that really had the potential to change the tie around completely, with us only being 2 ahead and down to 10 men without our best defender. No worries at all though, as they missed the target completely. It could have been even better too for us, as even with 10 men, we hit Young Boys on the break so many times, as they were understandably bombing forward trying to find another goal or two to take back to Goodison, but we had the better chances than they did. Lukaku ended up missing two easier chances than the 3 he scored!
Unbelievable, a performance that confident and dominant was the last thing I expected, its a long time since Ive seen us play so arrogantly away from home. Wolfsburg away was an excellent professional performance against a damn good side. But I think the last time I saw us really go out and just smash someone away from home like we were God's gift to football was Newcastle last season. Just what we needed, just need to carry it on and keep it up against Leicester on Sunday. Carry on playing like that, we've got no problems at all.
Pics and videos are here.
It's drawn on friday the 27th of february. The tree you see at the UEFA webpage is just there for no reason, each stage is being drawn indivudially this year.Erm, Smudge, the draw for the next round has already been made. You're up against the winner of Torino/Bilbao.
Football fans these days...
It's drawn on friday the 27th of february. The tree you see at the UEFA webpage is just there for no reason, each stage is being drawn indivudially this year.
But I liked how condescending you were, it was a nice touch
Whooooooooooooooo! You sure about that? Because I can't see Uefa doing a whole ceremony for the Europa League itself...It's drawn on friday the 27th of february. The tree you see at the UEFA webpage is just there for no reason, each stage is being drawn indivudially this year.
But I liked how condescending you were, it was a nice touch