Manchester United (1) 1, Chelsea (1) 1 (AET, Man. Utd win 6-5 on penalties)
“It was a truly remarkable night,” claims the Independent’s Sam Wallace, “one that will live in the pantheon forever and quite possibly scar the psyche of every Chelsea fan who witnessed it.” It might also loom large in the dreams of as-good-as-gone Chelsea manager Avram Grant, who will spend the summer wondering how history might’ve turned had John Terry not skidded on the Luzhniki Stadium pitch while attempting what would’ve been a match-clinching penalty kick. Or how superior marksman Didier Drogba would’ve surely been amongst the first five Chelsea players to take a crack at Edwin Van Der Sar had the former not been dismissed after an ill-advised A-Rod-esque love tap aimed at United’s Nemanja Vidic.
As I listen to Dave O’Brien bemoan the New York Mets’ clubhouse tensions, it should be stressed the WWL’s coverage of this monumental event came off pretty well compared to the 2006 World Cup. That said, not all Americans were riveted. At the end of extra time, a waiter at a North Austin eatery was asked who was winning. “I dunno,” came the reply. “I don’t really follow rugby.”