I hate to use such headlines, but it’s even worse when it’s true.
Lille (or more precisely, their management) have used the events of the first leg to create an atmosphere of revenge and resentment amongst the players.
The Lille players are bloody convinced that they were robbed by a cheating Manchester United, and with Lille now accusing United fans of violence and ticket fraud, it seems that Lille’s ego and refusal to admit their own mistake will turn tonight’s Champions League game into a warzone.
Lille are currently responsible for three events, 2 of which could easily get them thrown out of the competition.
1) They keep protesting against a legitimate goal and are accusing Manchester United of cheating and of trying to influence the refs.
2) They walked off the pitch, and if the officials at that point had been trigger happy the match could have been called off as a forfeit.
3) The police used heavy-handed tactics against Manchester United fans, and crowd trouble of that sort has led to clubs being dismissed before. Lille’s saving grace in this case was that it was the police who were more to blame than the Lille fans and the fact that they weren’t at their own ground.
Tonight’s match should result in a tough but convincing win for Manchester United. My only worry is that the moment Lille have a decision go against them they are going to play the cheating card, and if that happens Manchester United players will not take too kindly to it.
Seeing as what happened yesterday, part of me is expecting a brawl – I’m genuinely concerned that something might go wrong, and that would just frackin suck (and get us cards which will pull some of our players out of the next round).