FA CUP SEMI-FINAL
BOLTON WANDERERS 0 STOKE CITY 5
Pinched myself again this morning to make sure I was awake,and not just having one of those footy dreams,where Stoke win everything and Arsenal get relegated.(Been having them off and on since 1971,1972.)This result took most of the pundits by surprise.Even at halftime with The Mighty Potters 3-0 up Kevin Keegan was talking about Bolton recovering to win 4 - 3!
Now I've always had Robbie Savage down as one of the awkward squad.True to form yesterday he was predicting a Stoke win in the face of the unanimous view of the other experts that it would be close but it would be Bolton's day.
He ignored the attempted put downs,and didn't he have fun in the end reminding his colleagues of their predictions.Loved every minute of it,he did,and so did I.
The experts found it impossible to take the edge off this superb Stoke victory.They tried.Still talking about route one unattractive football......didn't see much of that myself yesterday.Still looking for imagined penalties,with Stoke players roughing up their cultured counterparts.....well ref Howard Webb ( what a class performance from him too) was having none of that.Then it was the line 'Bolton were poor'........Sorry but they were played out of it.....
Anyway I stopped listening and disappeared into my Stokie bubble.On the day Bolton were outclassed,by a determined team which clearly took real pleasure in proving people wrong.Etherington's sublime opening strike,Huth's scuff (looked a pretty good scuff to me),Kenwyne Jones's Caribbean cool finish,the immaculate Jon Walters first ( 'the keeper should have done better'they said....no he couldn't....a brilliant shot from distance which curled around the keeper's full length dive to pass just inside the post.....they would have been in raptures on another day if the scorer was Torres or Drogba....but today it was a misjudgement by the keeper!),Walters second a scruffy affair past demoralised Bolton defenders,but they all count the same.
5 - 0....a rout.....highest semi final score for nearly a century....Gollihocks to the pundits.....more strength to Robbie's elbow.....and he's Welsh too!