October 19th – Shanghai Marlins 14-0 AVL Galacticos

After a three-week break or three Watford managers, the Marlins took on Galacticos in only their third game of the season. Anticipating a more difficult encounter than previous seasons, the Marlins let the gaffer do a Brian McDermott and take the weekend off. With a minor army of players that would only be matched by Japan, Shanghai Marlins took to the field knowing that there was plenty of strength and depth in the side. After controlling the opening few minutes, the Marlins – in their white away kit – took the lead when Pete Rosselli drilled his effort into the far corner. Straight from kick off it was 2-0 when Rosselli played strike partner, Zhu, through on goal and he made no mistake as he struck high into the roof of the net. Given the seconds that took place between the opening two goals, it was no surprise that Galacticos’ heads dropped and Shanghai Marlins grew in confidence. It was three when Rosselli dropped his good shoulder before scoring and then four when Gerrard tapped the ball home before hitting the post even harder. The post lost. Zhu made it five with a lofted finish from Rosselli’s cross before completing his first half hat-trick with another well-taken finish. With John allowed enough time to throw his visa (apparently heading for a round of golf afterwards) on the ball whenever it came near him, the defence in complete control, midfield dominating the ball while making incisive passes and the strikers regularly linking up, it was no wonder  Galacticos were having such a difficult game. And like Pele on viagra, it got even harder when Zhu supplied Rosselli with an unorthodox finish from close range and Gui struck from outside the area to make it eight before half-time.

Given the numbers, it was important for there to be plenty of squad rotation and to ensure the tempo didn’t drop during the second half despite the game already being won. The fresh legs made sure that the Marlins didn’t rest on their laurels as they went in search of more goals. Zhao got his name on the scoresheet with a cool finish and Zhu took the team’s tally into double figures. Rosselli was presented with an open goal thanks to Zhu’s unselfish play, which he scored. It was then 12-0 when Rosselli scored the rebound following James’ initial effort. Lucky 13 was scored by James after he dribbled past a couple of cones before finding the far corner from the sort of angle that would make Sylvain Wiltord proud! Zhu grabbed his fifth and the team’s fourteenth with another mazy run beyond some static defenders and a calm finish.

That completed the scoring but there was still ample time between the goals for Will to show off his new triangular haircut as he headed wide, James proved his goal of the season was a swinger with the left-foot while Gui was giving everyone a lesson in French swearing…merde! Special congratulations to Dave, Will and Banksy (the three hacketeers) for doing a Yaya Toure and not receiving any sort of card! A great win and an uneasy game to be motivated for but it’s always good to improve the fitness and goal difference, especially as the league this season appears to be less predictable than before.

Up next are Super 48 and Shanghai Marlins will be looking to consolidate their position at the top of the table with another three-points!