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After buying a badly needed winter coat and bussing it home
Whilst thinking about the warming prospect of El Classico on Sky
The cold lower deck of a Red London bus
Suddenly came to life and felt somewhat warmer
Than when I first sat down after waiting ages for a seat.
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Leaving the bus at my stop
I walked past a small pub bulging at the exits
With fag hags popping in to the street for a quick smoke*
During breaks in the action
As the battle weary and wounded were being attended to.
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As the pub was primarily full of exiled Spanish students
Almost evenly divided between Barca and Madrid
With the remainder being made up of neutrals
The noise blasting out on to the cold London street where I stood
Made for a warming and inviting prospect, so in I went.
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Real Madrid three down (after fifty three minutes)
Were away, awful and seemingly in awe of Barca
The Special One sat on the bench, smiled ironically
As the home teams goals continually flashed up to bate him
Every time events on the field of play came to a halt.
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David Villa, Andreas Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi
Were playing the kind of game
That had us purists purring with delight
Every time the Madrid defence
Was prised wide open with passes of Swiss like precision.
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The Man from The Mountains: Carlos Puyal
Tackled and harrassed Madrids impotent frontline
So much they often wondered where he was
Instead of trying to get the ball under control
Which in turn made gifted players look inept.
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Indeed Xavi and Messi
Were taking on and beating man after man
With a consummate ease
That I’ve not seen for what feels an eternity in these days
Of: If anyone comes near you, then get rid of it quick.
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It was men against boys as the saying goes
As the fourth and fifth goals went in
I was reminded of a bullfighter (in a red and blue shirt)
Toying with an ailing bull (in all white) then striking to it’s heart
Simply as and whenever he wanted to.
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Madrid, the commentator went on to explain to us,
Were a work in progress
And The Special One
Has never had one of his teams beaten or outplayed
So convincingly in his entire coaching career.
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Sitting back in my chair after the final whistle went
As exiled fans from both sides sportingly shook hands
I thought to myself:
I hope Pep Guardiolas team are NOT a work in progress
Or this seasons Champions League could be a mere formality?