So the long awaited Champions League game for Man Utd against Lille came and went, just. It seemed organised but maybe the omens were there to start with. Firstly, I got the afternoon off work to travel to the game in France, Lens to be precise. A quite incorrect name for a town because they were obviously blind to what was about to transpire. Arriving at the train station to get to my rendezvous with the lads, plenty of time to spare, the Belgian train company decided to cancel all trains. Triffic - thanks for that you bastards.
So, one 70 Euro taxi ride later and I get to the rendezvous with time to spare. Or so we thought. In attempting to drive out of Bruxelleswe were hampered by a derailed tram. How the fuck do you derail a tram? Try and power-slide it round a corner? Anyway, once on the highway we arrived in Lens with a few hours to spare - phew *wipes brow*.
Now whether the guys had heard me or just chose to ignore my statement of "bet we're in the French supporters part of the crowd" they certainly understood when we took our seats in amongst 20,000 fervent Lille supporters!!!
The game itself contained 2 flashpoints on the pitch and rather more off it. The Man Utd fans were tear-gassed for complaining about being crushed. The fact that twice as many people were in that section than were supposed to be seemingly irrelevant. When Lille scored the crowd erupted around us. The fact that they were so fervent obviously obscuring the fact that the goal had been disallowed for at least 3 minutes. Oh dear, how sad, never mind eh?! *chuckles*
Then the real fun started. United scored with a quickly taken free kick, Tippler jumped up and shouted "Yes - get in there!" whilst I just thought 'that's probably not the wisest of moves based on our current location'. He hurredly sat down as chaos erupted around us. The Lille players were told to leave the pitch so as to effectively nullify the game (completely against the rules). Our position in the front row facillitated us watching the missiles being flung at the pitch sail over our heads. Fortunately, their aim was as good as their team's strikers.
Thankfully, nothing else transpired and we were able to leave the ground unharmed at the final whistle. A 1-0 victory just dandy. Then the second part of our adventure began. Lens was gridlocked and no-one knew why. So for 1 & 1/2 hours we sat, not moving whilst what seemed like a hundred Gendarme stood there, moving even less. I could maybe understand if we were the Utd fans but we were in the pack with their fellow countrymen. Go figure!!
Eventually, we arrived back in Bruxelles around 3am instead of the hoped for 12:30. Six-thirty am get up for work? Yeah right - this time I can legitimately blame it on the French. And to top it all, the winning goal was scored by a Welshman - ha ha, justice is served *laughs heartily*.
*curls up in a ball to go to sleep with a broad grin*