My, my, my! What a difference three days makes, huh? I was too bitterly disappointed to write yesterday. And now, I'm back at home, and Inter is still my bogey team. After the jubilation that was Saturday against Hamburg, to suffer defeat at the 88th minute seems inexplicable: Except for the fact that this has been going on all season long.
The lack of any sort of stability at the back puts all the pressure on the forwards, and when they don't come through? This match happens. Despite the dominance of Bayern for the first 60 minutes, which could have seen us up 4-1, it came down to Bastian Schweinsteiger unable to catch up with Goran Pandev, who smashed home the winner for Inter.
So, who is to blame? Every single person on the pitch. Throw van Gaal in there as well. Kraft not playing to the whistle for Samuel Eto'o's offside opener. The aforementioned Basti for not closing down. Robben and Ribery for being selfish and not passing off or kicking out. Mario Gomez missing at point-blank range. Breno's muff against Pandev for the third. Altintop's ineffectiveness in the second half.
And van Gaal for his naive game plan. His insistence on running offensive drills in practice when that is not the problem area. His having two transfer windows to correct the defensive issues and not do anything with them. The total disconnect between the offense and defence. His arrogance in thinking this is the only way to play football.
I have been, at turns, wildly appreciative and screamingly disappointed this season. Many times in the same match. All the highs and all the lows are part of the total fan experience, I suppose. But, there have been far too many lows that could have easily gone the other way. I guess the only thing good about this loss is now we only have to concentrate on the Bundesliga, screaming and kicking our way in to third place. And knowing that if we lose one remaining match, van Gaal won't make it to the end of the season.
And finally, of course, good on ya, Inter! Only twice before has a team lost at home in their first leg and come back to go through in the second. And for that, you must be congratulated. However, since the only two matches I've ever seen that we've lost have both been against you, you have now eclipsed Manchester United as the team I dislike the most. I will root for your opponents for the rest of my days.
Auf gehts, Bayern!
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