Our first Champions League group stage match ended in a 2-1 win over Real Betis in Spain. Stevie was not in the team. Yes, it's true. We won. I'm delighted that we won without Stevie. Not that he was not playing, but rather we're not a one-man team. The miserable plight of England has been splashed all over the newspapers. And the most important reason is the tactics of Sven being built around David "celebrity" Beckham. A one-man team ain't going to succeed, period.
We took an early goal lead through a curling Pongolle lob over the Betis keeper. 2-0 up when Garcia got one from a Zenden low cross. The Betis fans were playing a huge role throughout the match. The atmosphere was pressurizing but our Spanish players were coping very well. We were playing a really good team game despite people questioning Rafa's tactics.
Betis grabbed one goal back in the second half. Our defensive line suffered a sudden lapse, allowing Arzu to get an easy goal. We were in a defensive siege during most of the second half. Stevie came on in the late stages and we held on. This is a great win for us. Real Betis is a team that could frighten even Real Madrid when on home ground. Keep it up, lads!