I'm sure that I'm not the only one who flicked through the various highlights of yesterdays Community Shield.
Such a wonderful event it is, you might say. Every season, two of England's biggest teams compete and the proceeds go to charity.
Unfortunately, this wonderful idea is not echoed on either the pitch or the post-match interview room.
The first person to mar this event was Michael Ballack. With United in possession at 1-1, the ever competitive German decided to make his mark on the game—ironically, to do this he decided to leave a mark on Patrice Evra too.
As the United fullback made to overlap outside him, Ballack intentionally lashed out with and elbow in the direction of Evra's face, sending him straight to the floor.
Evra didn't even have the ball.
Clearly, Ballack must place a lot of significance on this match, if he decided it means enough to him to attempt to reposition Evra's face to the back of his head.
Referee Chris Foy attempted to play an advantage, but the United play broke down barely seconds after the incident.
Meanwhile, once again showcasing the spirit of the chairty event, Frank Lampard charged right down the field, straight past the still grounded Evra, to score against a virtually none-existant United defence, as their players were too busy finding out if Evra was still conscious.
Did Lampard even have the manners to check on the player that had been mildly concussed so that he could score his easy goal?
No, instead he sped around the stadium to celebrate with Ballack.
Nice one Frank.
Of course, it's not like Evra then decided to be the bigger man and accept that the referee had made a total balls-up.
No, instead he decided to show all the maturity of a five-year and lunged at Ballack with a tackle reeking of revenge, for which he got booked.
Ironically, he got the ball, but that looked like a total accident. Heck, he looked disappointed that he couldn't have made more contact with the German's shin.
Oh Evra, you could have come out of this looking like a tragic victim.
Instead, you look like a total prat.
Oh, but indeed, the good natured antics didn't cease at the final whistle—the two managers saw to that.
First of all Alex Ferguson, who towards the end of last season took several blows (Fletcher's red card, losing to Barca) and managed to keep a level head about it, came out screaming and balling about just about everything.
He made it very clear that he thought Chris Foy was totally wrong, and insisted that Ballack should have been sent off (he has a point, I suppose). Then, in typical Fergie fashion, he made sure to mention that the next time Ballack had gone down he had been faking injury.
You know, Sir Alex, I usually try to defend you. But to go to such lengths over a charity match which you yourself treat as a preseason friendly...surely you could have just complained to the F.A and kept it quiet.
But no, the whole country has to have you screaming in their faces.
Meanwhile, Ancelotti came out and made the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard:
"They didn't see Evra on the pitch so they continued. If they had seen him, a Chelsea player would have put the ball out."
Right, Carlo, here's a piece of advice for you. Fans in England are very passionate. They don't like being treated like idiots. If you're trying to tell us that not one player in blue saw Evra down, then you're insulting our intelligence, and I look forward to watching you get the sack.
Or maybe you really are just that stupid?
Or perhaps, finally, you are revealing the trophy drought at Stamford Bridge...the entire Chelsea team is, in fact, blind?
I don't know why you said that, but Ballack certainly knew Evra was down—that elbow was deliberate—and I find it hard to believe that the other half-dozen or so Blues behind the ball didn't see it too.
Once again, Manchester United and Chelsea do a brilliant job of showing us the ugly side of football.
Maybe I'll stick to watching league two this year.
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