Roma v Inter
Though it may not be widely known, this game has already been played. Some time between way back when and now, at roughly 7.30, at the Stadio Olimpico. Which is awfully strange, to hold a massive football match of such significance in a behemoth of a stadium without the majority public's knowledge. Which makes me think that may be a lie - a big Brazilian princess lie. So maybe it didn't happen.
But we have an EXCLUSIVE script from a television broadcast, therefore it must be, right? Possibly, maybe...
Welcome to the Coppa Italia Final between Roma & Inter, I'll be your host, You Don't Need To Know My Name. Take in the scenes of the stadium while we inch towards kickoff.
t-10. The lineups are out and...
Claudio Ranieri has handed the referee a stack of drawings that look vaguely like a preschool art show with eleven players scribbled in no less than 312 formations, while Mourinho has written his on a €100 bill.
t-5. The standings:
Roma are in second place on 74 points from 36 games, while Inter are at 76 points from 35 games.
t-1. They're out on the pitch. The stadium is bustlin', vibin' and giving Francesco the thumbs up, so Totti turns around and gives the thumbs up right back to the Curva Sud. And we're of...wait, Jose Mourinho is pulling his players off the pitch! He's ushering them back into the locker room out of protest. Talking to the officials, it appears he wants Francesco banned for life and stricken from calcio record altogether for...goading the Lazio fans? There aren't even any Lazio fans in the building! And he's pulled Edy Reja out of his pocket and held him up in the palm of his hand like a newborn puppy; Edy's mumbling something inaudible as he's just inhaled a helium tank, or so it would seem, while flailing about animatedly.
Innnnnnnnnnncredible scenes from the Stadio Olimpico.
They've finally placated a tearful Mourinho with a t-shirt which says I'm #1, which he clutches to his chest with a grip which could seal the space shuttle.
And with that, we're off.
1' Roma have come out in a 4-4-2 which will changes shapes no less than 7 times before the final tweet. Inter, on the other hand...well this is strange. They're all running around in circles with no apparent tactical sense, shrugging shoulders and doing circles, dogs chasing tails. It vaguely looks like a 2-3-5, but Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito have just pushed up and are playing just beyond Julio Sergio.
2' Simone Perrotta has the ball and Wesley Sneijder comes over to defend...wait, no. Wesley comes over, looks Perrotta dead in the eye, points to a spot ten yards away and bursts into space, furious with rage when Simone does not pass him the ball. End of days? No.
It would appear, ladies and gentlemen, that Inter don't know what to do at the Olimpico with a team actually opposing them.
3' Jose Mourinho, noticing the tactical disarray, has hurried to a duffel on the bench and thumbed through what looks like manuals. The sneaky camera caught a few of the titles, namely The Idiot's Guide To Relegation Side Tactics, The Idiot's Guide To Blindly Throwing On Attackers And Declaring Yourself A Genius, and finally, The Idiot's Guide To Duping The Press Into Thinking You're A Tactical Genius Because You Have A €500m Squad - Again.
It looks like he's ultimately gone with thumbing through The Idiot's Guide To Stealing Kurban Berdyev's Tactics And Then Declaring Yourself A Genius.
4' This breaking: the British media have declared an emergency opening of the presses to trumpet Jose Mourinho's genius.
It would appear their lofty tactical standards of "see ball...kick it...run after it" still stand after all these years.
7' Thiago Motta trips Simone Perrotta as he's running by and Perrotta is getti...Motta's thrown a three-punch combination right into the face of Simone Perrotta! A left! A right! And a finishing hook! It's bedlam! Perrotta crumbles! Surely a red card! It must be, it has to be, it...
Free kick Inter.
8' And now...Thiago Motta has just murdered Simone Perrotta! He's knifed him in the back in the coldest of blood! We are descending into madness here folks. Utter, sheer madness.
Yellow for Motta.
10' For reasons known only to Jose Mourinho, he's throwing a strop on the sidelines, stomping his feet like a petulant little child whose parent won't buy him a toy. In this case, one can only imagine it's his latest eight-figure signing.
12' Roma, somewhat down to ten with the lifeless carcass of Simone Perrotta still lying not ten yards from the center circle, are putting some moves together, but are constantly thwarted by what are normally yellow card offenses, but in Inter's case are perfectly legal. I've been scratching around for the FIFA rulebook which has escaped me, so my only guess is that this is more of Sepp Blatter's stance against Italians.
15' Mirko Vucinic has broken into space! He's pushing towards goal and...and...he's pushed from behind! And the hand which is being used to broken his fall and save his wind pushes the ball away! It's a surefire penalty, as clear as I've ever seen.
But the referee's given a yellow to Vucinic! Inanity!
17' Rosella, meanwhile, has gnawed her fingernails to the bone as is being hooked up for surgery as we speak, having developed Stage III lung cancer from smoking Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the first quarter hour.
This one's not for the faint of heart.
20' A Roma free kick is awarded 25 yards from net and John Arne Riise is oiling up the hinges of his left leg, machinery lubed and ready. The Kracken lurches back and...into the wall. More accurately: into Lucio's naughty areas. And Lucio is down. Down and hurting. The medical team has dashed onto the pitch and are now imploring Lucio to "rub it out". It would appear the big Brazilian princess is obliging and...he's taking off his shorts? Oh my. He's rubbing it out and...wait, he's taken out his...no.... That's not a... He's rubbing his cli....oh dear, do take the children away from the television. Take yourselves away, I beg of you. This is shameful. An absolute disgrace.
23' That I'm #1 t-shirt has strangely disappeared, but there is a suspicious medium t-shirt-sized bulge protruding from the genital region of his pants as Mourinho walks around with hands in pockets and hips thrust eight feet in front of his chest. Mmm hmm.
24' For those of you merely listening or blind - a quick hello to our Italian refereeing friends - we'd just like to confirm that Simone Perrotta's corpse is still on the pitch, being kicked by Thiago Motta each time he runs by.
26' Gooooooooool Francesco Totti!
I'd tell you how, but in the confusion there are a gaggle of men chasing a pants-less Luciano Moggi around the room behind me with cell phones. Meanwhile, the stadium has gone dark.
33' There's a halt in play as Massimo Moratti has called a press conference from the visitors' locker room to declare, "if we win the Video Replay Final, it will be my greatest summit since Brokeback mountain".
Well that was odd. Also odd was the enormously distracting bobbing sphere just at the bottom of the frame which looked suspiciously like the back of Claudio Lotito's head.
35' It is still, of course, 1-0 to Roma, but the shenanigans after the victory have erased all memory of what happened. We only have one bit of information: an Italian scored, therefore it must be Roma.
36' News coming through the calcio wire...Jeff Gillooly has piped Gianluca Curci. Again: no idea what that's all about. Moving on.
38' On the pitch Inter have just sat down around the center circle at the behest of Mourinho. A curious tactical choice to be sure and...they're playing duck, duck, goosey? Well, the man's certainly a man motivator. What the motivation is, I have no idea. Frank Lampard, who has just arrived in the booth, whispers something in my ear explaining the move which I simply cannot repeat on air. I just cannot.
40' We have word now that Olympique Marseille have won the Ligue 1 crown. Well done to them and Didier Deschamps, who perhaps now can afford a treadmill.
42' Now Jose Mourinho has called a press conference in his technical area. What a farce this thing is. I can't make out much of his babbling idiocy, but the opening line was, "Today, I consider myself the greatest coach on earth, as my Marseille players have won me...".
My coffee is cold. This is the highlight of my day so far.
43' Halftime is swiftly approaching and let me tell you, this game could use it.
45' Oh no. There's a streaker on the pitch. Wait...wait....that's Salomon Kalou! He's broken into open space with the ball and is charging towards Julio Cesar's net. A clear one on one opportunity has arisen. Walter Samuel is closing in fast behind him, thundering down as they enter into the box and....Samuel has two-footed Kalou in the square of the back! It's bloody attempted murder!
Free kick Inter.
[Cheesy highlight videos.]
46' It's now Friday the 7th, around...oh who the fuck knows...as Jose Mourinho has declared his superiority by keeping his men in the locker room an extra 48 hours. I, meanwhile, have run out of adult diapers.
Who the fuck cares anymore.
47' The Inter line has pushed up into the Roman half and...and...Mirko Vucinic has broken through again! Nothing but green befo...wait, what's this? It's a yellow shirt bursting out of the Curva Nord and onto the pitch. Oh dear, another streak...it's Antonio Damato! Piggybacking Antonio Cassano! And...he tackles Vucinic twenty yards from goal!
49' Roma are still playing with ten, or officially ten now, as Simone Perrotta, lying in his casket on the sidelines waiting for his funeral tomorrow, was met by Roberto Rosetti, who sauntered down from the stands and sent Perrotta off for "looking at him funny". You'd think he'd be used to that by now.
51' The giallorossi to ten and Claudio Ranieri has taken off Jeremy Menez and put in Alexander Doni at sweeper. A quick word with the sideline reporter tells us, "I know Alex can't use his hands - but he never puts them in the right place anywho. Maybe he'll save a few by accident this way.".
A calcio genius at work, my dear friends.
54' There's a rumble in the stands now, perhaps a frisky Lazio fan who wants to see what a successful team looks like, but it's not - it's...Adriano? Shouldn't he have a game? No matter, it would appear security are asking him to leave. Our resident lip reader says..."for surpassing Stadio Olimpico weight restrictions".
Bloody hell, this place seats 80k!
57' Daniele De Rossi is now getting tattooed on the pitch. It's a mix of Asian art and projectiles being thrown at him by Inter's midfield while the referee isn't looking.
59' Mario Balotelli has broken the line...well, he was a good 7 yards off, but that's no matter...and is steaming in on goal with only Julio Sergio between him and the equalizing goal. Balotelli in and...Mario Balotelli leaps untouched from outside the box four yards inside and clutches his ankle! An astonishing dive!
Rigore Inter! Well this looks familiar.
61' Roma are furious, and rightly so, as Balotelli walks up and kicks JSB in the kibbles n'bits, for which Julio is given a yellow on the grounds of having testicles.
Sneijder at the spot while the referee washes off the ball...and then the other one...before placing his impending penalty kick on the spot. Curiously, Lucio has jogged into the area and is now standing directly in front of Julio Sergio, who cannot see anything! This is absurdity of the highest order! And the whistle for the penalty goes!
Uno-uno. And Sneijder rips off his shirt to reveal a portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte underneath before crumpling to the turf in a sobbing heap. Well that explains that.
68' Apologies for the delay. I'd been handed what seems to be a script on Internazionale company letterhead, the keys to a Pagani Zonda and a list of concubines of my choice, all of which look suspiciously like Mario Balotelli in various costumes and states of undress.
We'll get rid of that right now.
70' Oh dear, Jose Mourinho has descended into a complete epileptic seize. Someone get a strobe light. Wait, no.
His hands are flailing aimlessly, but he appears to be settling back now. Good things that's over, the man's quite a distraction from the football.
71' This just in from the British press...Jose Mourinho's visionary tactical hand gestures.
Who runs these things? It's ink hundreds of miles away for christ's sake!
74' Jose Mourinho is trying to sub in Julio Baptista to time waste what is currently a 1-1 draw. I'm confused. Julio's confused. The whole stadium's confused.
75' Rosetti has again come down from the stands, whispered something into Mourinho's ear and now Jose has told Julio to sit back down.
78' Roman substitution: Bruno Conti for John Arne Riise.
79' Roman substitution: Some guy from Curva Sud for Some Guy From The Back Line.
You never really understand this Ranieri guy - you just accept him.
81' Still deadlocked at the Stadio Olimpico as Francesco Totti has now broken the record for "kicks to an ankle in a career" within the frame of a single Coppa Italia fixture.
He's also added three free kicks to his total.
83' Marcello Lippi has just been spotted in Curva Sud. Our sideline reporter has a quick interview:
Trisha: Why are you sitting in Curva Sud, Marcello?
Lippi: Well, I assessed Roma in the first half and was due to assess Inter in the second, but I'm more likely to find someone eligible for la nazionale here than on Inter's roster.
85' Mourinho is now making his substitutions: three strikers for Lucio, Samuel and Julio Cesar. Well then - no mistaking his intent.
86' The British press is now kicking down my door. Oh get the fuck out, would you?
90' We now enter with three minutes of extra time, but the game has slowed to a crawl with Roma fatigued and Inter unaware that the referee won't always give them games after the 85th minute.
91' A crawl, I say.
92' A crawl.
93' Well there it is. Milito offside goal, 2-1 Inter. He was actually standing twelve yards behind the last defender, but it is no matter:
Diego Milito offside goals are still counted.
That's all for me. I thank you for your viewership, and if you're still here, I question your decision making. Good night.
1 BOGDAN LOBONT
3 MARCO ANDREOLLI
4 JUAN SILVEIRA DOS SANTOS
5 PHILIPPE MEXES
7 DAVID MARCELO CORTES PIZARRO
9 MIRKO VUCINIC
10 FRANCESCO TOTTI
11 RODRIGO FERRANTE TADDEI
13 MARCO MOTTA
14 RICARDO FATY
16 DANIELE DE ROSSI
17 JOHN ARNE RIISE
19 JULIO CESAR BAPTISTA
20 SIMONE PERROTTA
22 MAX TONETTO
24 ALESSIO CERCI
27 JULIO SERGIO BERTAGNOLI
29 NICOLAS BURDISSO
30 LUCA TONI
33 MATTEO BRIGHI
94 JEREMY MENEZ
Burdisso, Mexes, Juan, Riise
Taddei, Perrotta, Vucinic