Am I missing something? Sporting Lisbon are a pretty good team aren't they? And this was just a pre season friendly wasn't it? So how comes we outplayed them, scored three times without Carroll and Diame in the team, and the match was played in a ferocious fashion with the Lisbon coaching staff doing their nuts when we scored and when only 3 minutes added time was allowed at the end of the game?
Anybody who didn't see the game might think we were lucky but they couldn't be more wrong. Lisbon's first goal was a decidedly dodgy penalty and their second came from a free kick that should never have been awarded: Cole was fouled but he was penalised in a ridiculous decision. DRS would clearly have shown a hotspot around Cole's rib cage!
By the time Lisbon scored that second goal, we had Elliot Lee on up front, Sebastian Lletget on for Nolan and, most amazingly of all, one Pelly Ruddock in the centre of defence in place of Tomkins. Add in Morrison, who started, and that is four kids whose combined age might just about add up to Jussi's!
The goals were superb. The first came from a Boomtown (on at half time) throw, with Maiga back heading the ball into the six yard box and Nolan drifting in behind his marker to steer into an empty net. We were still cheering when Boomtown slipped a pass into Morrison and Ravel buried a shot into the corner from 25 yards. Brilliant! Then Cole sent in a cross and who was that rising, Carroll fashion, on the edge of the six yard box to glance home a header? Only Ravel again! This kid may be good as well as a thuggish arsehole!
Unsporting's goals apart, with both credited to the referee for the assist, we were rarely troubled. Reid made a brilliant goal line clearance after a fantastic twisting run by Carrillo, but that was genuinely it. We bossed the bloody game!
Of course, the last time we had a great pre season was under Avram so we shouldn't get too carried away, but Boomtown looked good, Maiga looked a bit better than last season, and Morrison was, excuse the pun, a ravelation! Add in Carroll, Diame and Collins and who knows, it could be an exciting season!
We even drew a mysterious penalty shoot out at the end of the game. Lee scored his which is promising. Morrison missed his. But who cares?
Player ratings: Jussi 4 (two bad errors); O'Brien 6, Tomkins 6, Reid 8, Taylor 5; Noble 6;
Morrison 8, Nolan 7; Jarvis 6, Cole 7; Maiga 6 Subs: Rat 7, Lletget 6, Lee 6, Ruddock 5 (wasn't he a striker when we signed him?)