woot, a lovely birthday win. Perrotta scored a neat header off a decent Tonetto cross after just 8 minutes, followed (eventually) by setting up Totti to seal the deal in front of the Sud on 70 minutes. Due to having been in England I couldn't get my ticket in time to be in my normal place and so was in the Curva Nord *gasp* but it was more or less ok. If I had taken my camera it would have been even better since it's nice to be able to take pictures of the Sud from time to time. As it is you get crappy camera phone pics, I'm afraid.
This is during the annoyingly catchy little tune. I remember the first time I saw Arsenal in CL game (we beat Shalke, 3-2 if I recall correctly) I was all excited (incomprehensibly) that they play the tune not on the telly but actually in the stadium.
The Ukrainians had brought not very many people. As you can see.
And they only have one song. Well, not so much a song, really. It goes DI-NA-MO. That's it. They were pretty loud considering how few of them there were. But they were quite monotonous. A chap opposite me got fed up (c'hai rotto er cazzo co' sta canzone di merda) and started offering to invent new songs for them. Still, they kept it up. And put in a much better performance than their team.
In fairness to Kiev they showed some decent patches when they managed to keep hold of possession for more than 20 seconds at a time. But they were basically very poor. We were all over them, and it could easily have been 5 or 6 nil. Juan hit the post in the first half, so did Cassetti in the second, while their keeper made great saves off Mancini and then Giuly who came on for him in the second half. And that's before we even mention all the great chances we squandered. Giuly is one of the most wasteful players I've ever seen, frankly. Perrotta's goal and assist were no less than he deserved for an excellent performance; De Rossi was solid as ever and Mexes was brilliant, getting everywhere. The lack of a comprehensive rout is more to do with our rather lackadaisical approach than anything Kiev did, though. For all our dominance we were not brilliant.
In the second half a ball bounced up into the stand and a group of 3 little kids of about 6 or 7 ran and grabbed it. (Under 14s were free tonight). Ignoring the gesticulations of the ball boy, who must only have been a few years older than them, they ran back up the steps and sat down, triumphant, amid some laughter and applause. The ball boy eventually gave it up for lost. Then some 20 minutes later came the inevitable stewards' response to reclaim the ball and return it to the pitch. Marching down the terrace to confront three small children and their parents came no fewer than 8 stewards in order to confiscate the ball. Which they did in a decidedly heavy handed way. I have to say I can't work out why at all... surely the first thing to do would have been for one steward to go & ask the family to return it? Rather than surround them in an aggressive phalanx? A predictable chorus of booing and shouted abuse ensued. And now we know what the stewards are for: frightening small children. Genius.
Still, I had a good night. And Arsenal won too. All good.