Having failed to persuade the oh so patient girlfriend a Sunday trip to IKEA would be a good idea, I still went anyway, not the Swedish superstore though but to one of the best stadiums in Spain, the adjacent Nueva Condomina, home of Real Murcia C.F. In one of their biggest games in years, struggling Murcia took on near neighbours and sworn enemies, high flying Cartagena.
It's probably because I've been weaned on a diet of semi-professional football played out in front of crowds of about five hundred or so, but there's something quite exciting about a magnificent stadium rammed to the rafters with a huge visiting contingent separated from the locals by a column of hard looking cops that stretches all the way to the top of the stand. The local law enforcement needn't have worried, after a rampant first half the away lot were in the mood to party, which they did, and how!
A debateable Cartagena penalty on eighty two minutes maintained the three goal cushion and saw Murcia down to ten men as former Hercules defender Sergio Fernandez saw red and took an age to depart. Despondent locals streamed away five minutes before Cantabrian referee Sr.Teixeira blew for time. Final score Murcia 1 - 4 Cartagena.
Top - Cartagena's twelfth player
Middle - An assured performance by Pascal Cygan
Bottom - Sergio Fernandez is asked to leave