As we know it and I feel fine

Last night I read Ray Bradbury’s short story The Last Night of the World to my daughter. It’s a story about people’s reaction to the foreknowledge that the world is going to end. Every adult on the planet is visited in a dream and a voice tells them that October 19th, 1969 is the last night of the world. The adults share the dream with each other and conclude that this must be true. And they finish their last night on earth doing the things they have always done, cleaning the dishes, tucking the children in to bed, before lying down for their last sleep.

My daughter said she hated the story. “Because it’s the last night on earth. They didn’t do anything! I would want to have the most fun ever.” Her eyes are a little red, she’s holding back a tear.

“What would you do?” I ask.

“I don’t know! But something fun.”

I don’t have the heart to tell her what I’m thinking. That this could be the last night. That we are fragile creatures. That an earthquake could take us all at any minute, without warning. But I do tell her, “well, I wouldn’t do anything but this.” And then I kissed her little forehead and hugged her.

Perhaps it’s easy for me to say that, to resign myself to the inevitable. I’m old. I’ve had a lot of fun. She’s right to say that she doesn’t even know what fun she would have, because there is so much left for her to do. I remember being her age. I remember thinking that the point of life was to get the last drop of chocolate out of every cup of hot chocolate.

I also know what it’s like to wish for more. I can imagine Arsenal as Barcelona just for a day. Down four goals in the first leg of a Champions League tie they score three in the second leg making it 3-4 on aggregate. I was in the stands when Arsenal did this once against AC Milan. Every cell in my body seemed to be vibrating at a higher frequency. I remember turning to the people sitting next to me at half time, my eyes wild, and declaring definitively that Arsenal were going through.

In the second half we had our moment. Gervinho was played in, took a shot which the keeper couldn’t hold on to and which fell to van Persie. We were all on our feet. Holding our breath. This was our moment. And van Persie chipped the ball but the keeper stopped the shot. The breath we collectively let out at that moment could power the Black Forest.

Barcelona last night had an even more terrible moment. PSG’s Edinson Cavani, who like Giroud only scores goals of eye watering beauty, had blown several clear cut chances in this match but when a ball was pinged around inside the box and came flying at him, he struck that volley with the outside of his right foot and scored a vital away goal. Barcelona no longer needed to score 4 goals to get back into the game, they needed 6. They needed three goals in the last half an hour, actually.

And as is the case in these situations, the fans in the stands were numb. The stadium went quiet. Barcelona spent the next 20 minutes going through the motions.

But Neymar struck a free kick for a goal, leaving Trapp rooted to his spot. It was that moment which turned the game. Trapp’s indecision belied a weakness in PSG. This was a match they could have and should have won easily. Angel di Maria, the architect behind the first leg’s 4-0 win, was played clean through with a 1-v-1 with the keeper and yet his shot was either tackled away by Javier Mascherano or he simply kicked the dirt when he meant to chip the ball.

Barcelona were then awarded a penalty. “Awarded” seems generous here. Luis Suarez went to ground on the slightest contact, holding first his head, and then his neck, pretending that he had been garotted by PSG’s defender Marquinhos. Imagine Arsenal being Barcelona for a day: at Camp Nou they were awarded two penalties. One for a defender slipping over and then Neymar intentionally running into his tumbling body and the other for Luis Suarez doing his Sgt. Elias death scene dive.

Instead, the very night before that famous Barcelona match Arsenal also needed four goals to advance. After going up 1-0, the exact same situation as Barcelona, had what looked to be a clear penalty on Theo Walcott denied. Instead of the defender falling to the ground and Neymar intentionally tripping over him, Walcott had his legs taken by Xabi Alonso. There was a hint that Xabi won the ball, but certainly no benefit of the doubt was afforded Walcott.

And then as if the football gods needed to prove a point, in the 52nd minute Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny was given a red card when Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski shoved off of him and flopped to the ground. Earning a penalty and killing Arsenal’s chances of getting a result.

In the Barcelona match there were numerous examples of PSG getting “fouled” at least as hard as Lewandowski. There was the challenge by Mascherano on di Maria for example, but Barcelona didn’t get punished, Arsenal did and down a man Arsenal went on to get picked apart, losing 5-1 on the night and 10-2 on aggregate.

I can imagine what it would be like if Arsenal were Barcelona for one night. I can imagine my team getting the benefit of four or five big refereeing decisions in a Champions League match against another big club. I just think that the world will probably, suddenly, and inexplicably come to an end before that ever happens.

Qq

45 Comments on As we know it and I feel fine

  1. The game is fixed. Has been since Lehman was red carded for taking out an offside Eto. Try watching that clip. If one can find it tbh.

  2. PSG got uefaLona’d.
    Got home after work yesterday and asked my fellow Arsenal supporter how barca got through- he looked at me with a puzzling look and said no way- he did not know the score, and either did I yet. Figured PSG had 1 or 2 men sent off and a host of dubious penalities awarded to barca. Was half right- ever since that rvp incident I have come to the conclusion that fifa and uefa are overtly corrupt in the name of the almightly dollar.

    • The only problem I have with outright corruption is that it would be significantly more profitable to have more big clubs in more countries. So, they should want Juventus to win a CL final, they would want a French team, and they would especially want an English “powerhouse”. Having the same two countries compete over and over is hugely boring and likely to kill revenue not draw it.

      More likely is that referees are simply swayed by these big moments. At Nou Camp, it’s so easy to give a penalty. At Arsenal, probably not so easy.

      • If you have everyone win it, it reduces the exclusivity. I’m guessing the cost of entering this exclusive club is extremely high.

        If it were easier to win, why would there be hundreds of millions of dollars moving around every year, including going to agents and third parties?

        It’s not just about the viewing figures, which are probably still growing, or at least pulling in more money. They could always throw in a Leicester moment to bring the viewers back if it ever drops. Besides, I doubt very many of the individuals running this thing look beyond their own short term interests.

      • Here’s another explanation that’s simpler than the corruption one: the laws of the game are hopelessly, absurdly vague and poorly worded and therefore ripe to be interpreted in 60 different ways depending on the ref and the situation he finds himself in (e.g. at Camp Nou surrounded by 90,000 baying Catalans). On top of that, many of the laws are just not very smart, if the point is to come up with rules that maximize entertainment and basic fairness (e.g. the card rule, with so little nuance built in such that so many little things potentially lead to game-deciding red cards, is laughably primitive), and typically many players, managers, pundits, and even, seemingly, the refs themselves, won’t know the laws very well or won’t really understand them (because in many cases what details and nuance there actually is in the laws is borderline incomprehensible). We are all so familiar with these problems, and examples are so ubiquitous, that there’s no point going over them. When you add in the fact that many elite players and coaches have become masters of breaking/bending the laws to their advantage, that many refs are just flat out bad at their jobs, and the lack of video technology, you get the current, sorry state of affairs. Lack of consistency, and lack of basic fairness, reigns.

        • I think it’s a much more elegant explanation to assume incompetence… but then I read the match analysis at Untold and the vitriol aimed at Arsenal in the press and yeah, I don’t think it’s an accident.

          Corruption is a fact of life in football particularly when there are millions of dollars at stake. It would be interesting tobsee what the betting action was on the Barca game in Asia,

      • “At Nou Camp, it’s so easy to give a penalty. At Arsenal, probably not so easy.” Then ditch the Emirates and build a better stadium with 100,000 seats. Another good excuse to extend Wenger’s contract 😉

      • Tim, they’re are 2 European FA’s that have exposed and punished corruption in football France and Italy. I don’t have much knowledge of how it was exposed in France other than it was poor Arsène that missed out. In Italy the fans of Juve stopped attending the fixed matches, average gate of 14.5k in a 90k stadium. Football was saved in Italy because the fans wanted real football competition. So politically speaking they broke their oaths of complicity. The English have a disgustingly high opinion of themselves amongst the European community (Brexit) and the way they’ve found their most recent successes in Europe hasn’t been pretty. Not easily endured let alone liked in Europe. Germany has one team with most of the nation behind it, Spain is essentially 2 countries with a team in each that again enjoys exclusivity with their support. Keep those fanatics happy and you have your optimised profiting. Just like Manure being top of the tree here in the uk. Go to a middle of nowhere pub to watch an EFL final between Southampton and Hull and there’s no one there, Manure in a final and there’s a dozen ‘bankers’ materialise I n a village with a population of 8.

    • I think it’s more the case of shockingly bad refereeing at the CL level. You’d think this would be the top level of refereeing and instead it’s an affirmative action program with referees from middling leagues given marquee match-ups in legendary stadiums.

      The state of refereeing in our sport is, in my opinion, at crisis level. With Clattenburg leaving I believe England only has four UEFA listed officials. I could be wrong, but the standard requirement is ten. Where are the referees? Where are the ex-players taking up the whistle? It’s becoming shocking.

  3. I might be biased, but this week has surely proven that favor is given to Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

  4. I love the personal stories you write and this one is particularly relatable as I still try to finish the last drop of chocolate in my hot chocolate. Heck I try to finish the last drop of chocolate in my chocolate flavored protein shake. I guess I just never grew out of that.

    I would love to see Barcelona win a CL trophy where they haven’t had multiple controversial calls go their way. Just one. It’s so blindingly obvious that referees are biased towards the big 3 of champions league football. And then there is Arsenal. We always seem to be on the receiving end of every bad call. Is there actual corruption or is it just inherent bias? I dream of a day when FIFA and UEFA actually cares about making the game fair and takes steps to reduce bad calls. We all know it can be done. The technology is there to fix a lot of the issues but only the will is missing. Why? There is only logical conclusion.

  5. Accusations of Barca cheating aside, I think Enriques has shown some steel as coach, there was no capitulation, no wariness at the beginning of the game. I would love to see him on a short list to replace Wenger.

    • Jack, there is no shortlist to replace Wenger because Wenger is not going anywhere. Even if the team sinks out of the top 4 he will put himself forward as the recovery merchant. A top-level coach like Enrique would demand a big war chest. The Board will not offer that. So there is no prospect of a top-level coach coming in.

      • Kroenke is building a $1.8 to 2.6 billion dollar stadium for the LA Rams. There will be no war chest.

        • My understanding it that the City of Los Angeles is footing most of the bill for the stadium, plus he gets a sweetheart deal with lease, concessions, parking etc. I doubt that project impacts Arsenal’s finances. An NFL team is a license to print money.

        • Dr Duh, the LA Rams have absolutely no financial ties to Arsenal. That’s like saying Kraft cheese is in for a tough year because Heinz is building 100 ketchup factories in China. They may be both owned by Kraft Foods but if one goes bust, the other is not affected because their finances are not tied together. Stan is privately financing the LA Rams stadium, but he cannot and will not use funds from Arsenal to do so. Nor does Arsenal’s financial muscle come from Stan’s private stash, that comes from our own earnings as a club and that’s always the way it’s been. Besides that 3 million “consulting” fee that Kroenke takes out every year (probably a dividend in disguise), there is no way he can touch more of Arsenal’s money than that. The books are made public every year and the backlash would be overwhelming, and not just from the fans. It would be a basic violation of the way the club has always been run as a self-sustaining financial entity. No, Stan’s other venture is quite separate and that’s the way it should be.

      • I have a different opinion. The clamour for him to go has gotten too loud now. If he doesn’t step aside at the end of the season my opinion of him will change dramatically because I will start to see him as being seriously deluded and an egoist first and foremost. I think this is the last season for Wenger, I really do.

  6. You can always believe if you know the ref will be with you, you’ll always doubt if you know he’s against you, football is played in the head, if you can’t keep your head you can’t play. It’s not rocket science, I doubt anyone will improve Arsenal’s fortunes in Europe unless we go full Chelsea and play like a bunch of complete tuncs, I feel that’s where a lot of fans want my club to go

  7. Another big difference is whenever we get any controversial decisions in our favour there’s usually immediate uproar and outrage.

    EG. Eduardo v Celtic, Coq v West Ham etc

    • Yep. This.

      Let’s not allow these complaints to take any focus away from the startling way in which our manager, board, and players have screwed up the last few seasons. Still, the plain fact is there IS a media bias against this club.

      • Oh. That. If teams can keep digging at you with impunity that causes problems with your players belief, mentality and physical fitness. Oh how we’ve mourned the absence of players through injury, (not all due to being kicked about I grant you, but who knows). We’ve seen time and time again Arsenal players booked for giving back what they receive from their opponents. Anyone else noticing the fantastic behaviour our players generally display when faced with absurd reffing decisions, didn’t see Kos waving his arms about and shouting the odds on Tuesday, I just saw (yes disappointingly) everyone’s heads and hearts drop. Theo gets booked for the slightest show of temper (no worse than Alonso’s after bringing Theo down in the box) whilst Vidal gets away with attempting to remove Sanchez’s knee. Things at the club aren’t perfect at all, but I’m sure our success rate would be much greater without the ‘corruption’. Incidentally, players at the chosen clubs will always have fantastic stats, their lives are made much easier due to having hardly any domestic competition, no one kicking lumps out of them, getting away with cheating as and when they need to (or if they just feel like it), and a media that constantly exaggerates their greatness whilst undermining any competition.
        I maybe alone in a the dumb corner here, but I’ll never have it that all this failure is Arsène’s doing, players have left or given up because wearing an Arsenal shirt is too much. There’s ex players like Sol whom everyone seems to think is a bit doolally but I think there’s a lot he’d like to say about this, it’s just bubbling under the surface which makes him, like myself look foolish due to all the denial the masses hide behind. I do know that Sol is extremely proud of winning his medals at a club like Arsenal, it really was earned and deserved, unlike Leicester City’s.
        Yes, life isn’t fair, the whole world is run like this, yes we could all bury our heads, be grateful that freedom and democracy isn’t dropping bombs down on us to rid us of evil. I just wanted to enjoy a game of footie the other night, for about 50 mins I did, then I switched off.

        • And that is exactly the biggest problem with this. It’s almost impossible to just enjoy a good, clean game of football anymore. That bothers me more than Arsenal not winning.

          Just to say. You’re not alone. I cannot fathom a scenario where with so much money, and such poor regulation/transparency in the game, there won’t be corruption. Especially when we see obviously bad decisions and reporting. (Tips of the iceberg I bet)

          It doesn’t negate all the ‘accusations’ and arguments against Wenger. Ferguson was a great manager. But he wouldn’t have won as much as he did without ‘corruption’. Similarly, Wenger could be a problem, but yeah, Arsenal definitely are on the wrong side of this, which puts them on the right side with me.

          I never turn off an Arsenal game though. No matter how bad it gets. Not that it helps them, but I feel like if they endure it, then so must I.

  8. There were RVP moments over the two ties as well, when you think about Xhaka and Ozil’s chances before half-time in the 1st leg. And like the RVP chance or TH14 in Paris, our two most expensive signings just couldn’t score. I’m still haunted by that fact.

    Video technology would be the death knell for players like Suarez. He would have become the first player to be sent off for two dives. But that’s hypothetical. In reality, it was the 90th minute of a two-legged tie. What did Suarez have to lose at that point? And the ref Deniz Aztekin bottled it.

  9. Yesterday I witnessed everything I admire and despise about Barcelona zipped in 90 minutes. Unbelievable.

  10. I also don’t want to come across as saying that Arsenal are at Barcelona’s level and that the only difference is the referees. Obviously, Arsenal don’t have three 40 goal a season players in the starting lineup backed up with Champions League winning midfielders and defenders, an academy which produces World Cup winners, and a manager who has just won the Champions League and his domestic League.

    • So, basically, Arsenal is nothing like a Barcelona-level club. And money is not an excuse, really. This team cost close to 300 mil to assemble, not to mention the cost of developing young players by playing them through games they had no business taking part in. The cost in points, that is. One might say this is just irresponsible team-building at its finest/worst.

      • Ok, I get that people are disappointed with how the season turned out (who isnt?) but let’s not make it out like we have nothing good going for us. It’s true we are nothing like a Barcelona level club. There are only 3 of those in world football today. That doesn’t mean we are a total disaster. It’s not black and white. We are a nice upper echelon club, but not quite elite. We got to that level during Wenger’s managerial career. Before that we were a nice upper echelon, but not consistently very good club who went through a cycle of winning 1-2 trophies every decade or so mixed with some very mediocre seasons (and I don’t mean top 4!).

        If you’re going to set the benchmark at Barcelona, you’re going to be disappointed every year. They started at a much higher level and they have always been at a much higher level. You’re better off supporting them. I don’t mean that in a mean “you’re plastic” way, just that it’s the reality of it. Arsenal are never going to be a juggernaut like that. I don’t even think that’s anybody’s “fault” really, it’s just that our brand is not what theirs is, it never has been, they have more of everything and all that success just keeps compounding. Could we do better? Absolutely. But we are also not a total failure, nor are we “irresponsible.” Quite the opposite, too conservative at times. The squad we have, as many have said, is pretty damn good. It all fell apart regardless but that’s an example of the unpredictability of sport. You can look great one month and awful the next and vice versa. This team will turn things around, to some extent at least, and they still have the FA cup to play for. Next season we turn a new leaf, regardless of who is in charge and a few exits/entrances we will still have a competitive team to cheer on. Just don’t expect the moon and the stars. The Invincibles were a one off and they are not walking through that door.

        • We’re a flat-track bully; I don’t see how that makes us a top club. We’re in the top-four by virtue of beating the small clubs. Our away record against the better teams is atrocious and our home record is nothing to brag about, hence why we aren’t really title challengers. We haven’t looked great in years, bar a couple dozen games. Nobody is talking about the Invincibles; that’s a straw man argument. Nobody is saying that we should win another golden trophy. All people want is for this team to be competitive, AND IT’S NOT.

          • What does competitive mean to you?

            Actually, if you want to compete with Barcelona, the last team we had that could conceivably do that was the Invincibles, so it is in fact a relevant point and not a “straw man.”

            By the way, “straw man” has become my least favorite pop culture pseudo-philosophical reference to bias. I’m convinced most people who say it do so only because it’s become a vogue way to discredit someone’s argument. It sounds much smarter than “you’re full of it” but basically boils down to the same thing. It’s getting old, really fast. As is being told “nobody” believes something, as if that could ever be true.

  11. I didn’t think this was a great game while watching it and if it wasn’t for the score line, no one would be talking about a week from now.

    PSG got what the deserved I thought for lining up two banks of fours from minute one, like some third tier club from Eastern Europe.

    Getting two charitable pens in a greatest CL come back ever, is like getting two charitable pens and having the opposing player sent off unjustly in a greatest comeback in the New Castle United history in a 4:4 against Arsenal – big f/n deal.

    Anything with the term “greatest ever” should have no controversy in it , and the performance should be great.
    It wasn’t.

  12. About refs being swayed in big matches to favour big teams, especially at home, what’s the point of professional refs if they’re going to be swayed by big names and be inclined to favour certain teams? These refs are supposed to be the best of the best. Obviously mistakes can happen but a ref that at this level can be swayed by a crowd or a big name isn’t much of a ref in my opinion.

  13. PSG proved that even a team other than the Arsenal can completely and totally bottle it to a truly epic level. Forget the Suarez dive that led to goalfest/rout in the last minutes of the game. He’s just doing what he’s conditioned to do because that’s the state of the game.

    I love a lot about French culture. The cheese, the wine, Voltaire and Le Revolution but not that are always have been Europe’s greatest surrender monkeys. The Maginot Line, the Vichy Gov’t? Should we really expect anything less despite that huge influx of gulf petrodollars? Never mind that hardly any of their stars are originally French. Man, you get to live in that living museum that is Paris, drink the wine have the snails and it’s lights out dudes.

    Same s*%t, different day.

  14. On a more serious note, for a musical project/gig I’m doing, I’ve been listening to David Bowie and breaking down some his (brilliant) songs and desperately wishing that We Could Be Heroes for just one day. Just once before it’s all over and Wenger says his eventual goodbye. We really need that right now.

  15. I thought the referee in Barcelona v PSG had a very good game. True, Suarez dived, but I reckon 90% of the world’s strikers would go down in that situation. After Marquinos put his arm across Suarez, when Suarez had become the last man, it was impossible for the referee to assess the true force of the contact, particularly when behind the players. Marquinos was obviously trying to interfere with Suarez. His defence is that it was not a “big” interference. He put the referee in a very tough spot and got punished.

    • That sums up the Lewandowski incident nicely. And it leaves it entirely to the referee’s discretion if he views that as shoulder to shoulder fair challenge with a resulting dive and yellow card for the diver, or if he views it as a denial of a goal scoring opportunity resulting in a red card, penalty and lopsided match for the rest of the game. That’s a shockingly wide margin for one subjective decision made by a fallible human being, and obviously it opens the door wide for accusations of bias and/or gamesmanship. It’s a huge problem with the game.

      I happen to think referees call games differently in the CL compared to the PL and PL teams are often punished, harshly, for incidents that would’ve been waved on in their domestic leagues. Spanish refereeing is probably more similar, so teams like Barcelona know how to game them better than PL clubs. If there was truly systematic gamesmanship by the referees, then there should be a clear pattern of decisions that go against certain clubs just as there was in Italy during the heyday of Juve’s cheating. I’ve yet to see that be demonstrated.

  16. In track and field events where a record is broken due to excessive wind ‘aiding’ the athlete to a record, the result stands but the record is not given.

    The referee and his crew simply ‘aided’ Barcelona to their victory and unfortunately for PSG, the win stands. UNO (Unai Emery Out).

    Don’t forget that prior to our 2006 final, a linesman was pictured in a Barcelona shirt.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2006/may/16/championsleague200506.championsleague1

    Something that overt drew a reaction but that is an easy decision for officials to make. It is the covert decisions of the Dean’s, et al that are become the problem.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2006/may/18/newsstory.sport2

  17. I don’t buy the corruption thing, not with a last second winning goal of that quality, not with Suarez being booked for a dive (a corrupt referee would have seized that opportunity or at least not given the card), not with this amazing sequence of event.
    This game was just an off the chart statistical aberration. PSG started the game exactly the way they shouldn’t, terrified, abandoning possession, playing close to their goal, intimidated by the atmosphere, by the reputation of the opponent and by their favorite status. They took two goals. Emery obviously bollocked them at half time and demanded that they go back to the recipe of the Paris game: high press, attacking wingers, belief. It worked, they played better, conceded one goal (a soft bot not unreasonable penalty) but scored the goal that should have sealed it. Barcelona lost belief then and PSG started playing really well, creating chances. And that’s when we entered the fourth dimension for a few minutes. Neymar scored a magnificent free kick. That got him in the mood. Suarez, in spite of his earlier booking, obtained a very, very soft penalty,and Neymar, boosted by his excellent performance, did just a little better than a silly ball in the box, he avoided a PSG player (Veratti, I think) and did that delightful chip 10 seconds from the end. We exited the fourth dimension and saw tears of joy and grief on most faces. The PSG coach couldn’t prepare his team in the beginning but did well at half time. It should have been enough. He should not be fired. Barcelona played with impressive belief but got essentially lucky. Neymar had a great day. It happens. Obviously.

  18. Whether the corruption in the game extends to game day I don’t know. I do know that those in charge of the game have shown themselves to be both open to and guilty of corruption on a pretty big scale. It also seems like while there’s lots of areas that could be improved in order to bring a sense of transparency or clarity to the rules and the officiating, the powers that be seem very reluctant to implement any meaningful changes that could lead to less ‘interpretations’ of the rules.

  19. Tim, do you have any data for red cards given out two teams in the champions league? I would be curious to see where arsenal stance especially compared to Barcelona. It seems we are always on the end of a harsh red card whenever we play Barcelona or Byron. But I also realize part of that comes from them being able to exert such pressure on us because their football is so much better. There must Be a systematic way of looking at this.

    • I’ve really tried to figure out a way to account for strength of the team in red cards. From what I understand, a lot of people have been looking at card data and it turns out that underdogs are often the ones punished most harshly.

  20. Hi guys..love this site. The articulation of the author and the learned well thought out responses from you chaps. It’s a pleasure reading. Top quality, unlike our team sadly. What I wanted to add is, and I do believe, that EUFA are corrupt and ensure that certain teams must be there at the death of their globally watched championship. However I digress. There was a very well know bookmakers in the UK which offered the following bet..1) Messi to score a penalty. 2) Cavani to hit the post. 3) Barca to qualify @ 125/1. Over 100 people took the bet, myself included. All 3 events happend but, and here’s the rub, when I/we went to collect we were told the bet was void because it was on the condition that if Cavani hit the post the ball must remain in play and as we know it went out for a goal kick..I kid you not. Seems even bookies are on the scam as well

  21. Hi guys..love this site. The articulation of the author and the learned well thought out responses from you chaps. It’s a pleasure reading. Top quality, unlike our team sadly. What I wanted to add is, and I do believe, that EUFA are corrupt and ensure that certain teams must be there at the death of their globally watched championship. However I digress. There was a very well know bookmakers in the UK which offered the following bet..1) Messi to score a penalty. 2) Cavani to hit the post. 3) Barca to qualify @ 125/1. Over 100 people took the bet, myself included. All 3 events happend but, and here’s the rub, when I/we went to collect we were told the bet was void because it was on the condition that if Cavani hit the post the ball must remain in play and as we know it went out for a goal kick..I kid you not. Seems even bookies are on the scam as well

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