Having become close friends with a Chelsea fan during my time in Manchester, and hence inured and softened to their particular lack of charm, it’s easy for me to say this, but even if I hadn’t, I still think I’d still be claiming it: sometimes football provides nights so exciting and truly exceptional it reminds us why we fell in love with it in the first place. Even the tedious smugness of John Terry and Frank Lampard can’t spoil what was a performance of remarkable drive and intelligence. Oh, okay, they can a bit.

* * *

I spent the rest of the night playing table football, listening to decent live music, and drinking homebrewed beer in a self-styled anarchist squat (not my choice of venue, but it was a surprisingly cool place!). This evening was a good one.

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