Nothing Compares to Football
Football stirs up all kinds of emotions during a match. Elation. Disappointment. Exhilaration.The so-called beautiful game takes you on a rollercoaster during the 90-minutes of a typical game.
I’ve had some incredible moments supporting Leeds United. My favourite memory of watching Leeds came in September 2003 when Leeds took on Swindon Town in the second round of Capitol Cup. It was a nothing game to be honest, yet I was still pretty pissed when we were two-nil down and looking like we were being knocked out, once again, by lesser opposition.
England’s Number One!
Ian Harte then pulled a goal back before our goalkeeper Paul Robinson came up for a corner in the dying seconds and headed in the equaliser! I remember it going mental in the stands with myself, and mates Kev and Rich jumping around and hugging each other like a trio of lunatics who’d not taken their meds.
More was to come as the game eventually went to a penalty shootout and that man Robinson ended up saving a penalty that helped us progress to the third round.
“England’s number one, England’s England’s number one!” bellowed around a jubilant Elland Road. The three bouncing lunatics went off into the cold Leeds night beaming from ear to ear with a story that will stick with us if we manage to stave off Alzheimer’s.
Leeds produced another great memory on December 23rd this year when we came from being two goals down against Aston Villa to win 3-2, the winning goal coming in the last minute of injury time. But what happened on Boxing Day was nothing short of incredible and is probably my favourite Leeds United memory.
Two-One Down in Injury Time
We dominated Blackburn Rovers in the first half of the fixture and deservedly went into half-time leading by a goal to nil, an own goal scored by Derrick Williams. The second half was a bit scrappier and Rovers equalised via the penalty spot only two minutes after the restart.
“I can see us losing this one,” I said to my eldest lad.
Low and behold, in the last minute of the game, Charlie Mulgrew put the visitors 2-1 ahead with a cleverly taken long-range free kick. While Bailey Peacock-Farrell probably should have saved it, Mulgrew should be applauded for his goal as everyone in the ground, Peacock-Farrell obviously included, thought he was going to cross the ball in.
“Who are ya? Who are ya?” came the cries from the Rovers fans in the West Stand. My negative prediction looked to be coming true.
Central defender Pontus Jansson, who was superb throughout the game, jeered up the crowd, screaming at his team mates to go for the equaliser as there were four minutes of added time. Jansson played as a makeshift striker of sorts, almost score straight away before Kemar Roofe bundled the ball home in the 91st minute. Those “who are yas” were fired straight back at the Rovers fans!
Amazingly, in the last minute of injury time, Roofe got on the end of a Pablo Hernandez cross and placed his header into the corner of the net for his 13th goals of the campaign and what turned out to be a 94th minute winner! Fuck me sideways! Everyone went crazy.
We were jumping around, hugging and bouncing around with those around us. People falling over seats. It was pandemonium; I’ve never seen anything like it at Elland Road and it makes me smile like the village idiot just thinking about it!
Our manager and possible saviour Marcelo Bielsa said in his post-match interview “that is why nothing compares to football.” You’re not wrong Bielsa, literally nothing compares to this ridiculous game.
“We’re Leeds United, we’re top of the league!”