The conditions were terrible, the Barbars were off colour (literally and figuratively, Barbars in their orange away kit just didn't look right) and the French took advantage. A swirling wind and a setting sun greeted the teams for the first half, with the Barbarians playing into the sun, making visibility on the high balls almost non-existent. The game was frenetic from the start, with neither team holding possession well and most players struggling to come to terms with the conditions.
The French settled first utilizing the experience of their extra man in midfield to get the ball into their big striker. The first goal of the game came when the French opened up the Barbars down the wing, getting in behind the defence and chipping a ball to the back post for the onrushing right winger to tap home, 1-0. The Barbars reacted and were starting to carve out chances of their own. The best of the early exchanges came when Keith, up from the back for a corner, leapt like a salmon at the near post and narrowly put a header over the bar, missing by the width of a bee's dick. Unlucky! The French responded and a shot from the edge of the box was pushed around the post and out for a corner, a warning shot.
A second goal for the French came when a through ball was latched onto by their big striker and a lucky chip found its way into the net, 2-0. The Barbars weren't lying down though, Mo clean through on goal managed to poke the ball past the onrushing keeper, only for his shot to be cleared off the line by a desperate Frenchman. Halftime was fast approaching now and the Barbars were pushing hard. They got their reward just before the break, a scramble in the box from a high ball found, Mo who headed back across the box finding Alex who (somehow!?) rose highest to head the ball home. 2-1. Halftime and game on!
The second half started brightly with Mo again poking the ball past the keeper only to be denied again by a desperate Frenchman! Barbars were then put to the sword with two goals in a matter of minutes: First, a cross-field ball found the big striker alone and after some neat control on the chest, he volleyed it home, 3-1. The fourth followed quickly with the same striker finishing his hat trick, beating 2 or 3 defenders on the edge of the box to smash the ball into the bottom corner, 4-1.
A scrappy incident followed which could and perhaps should have seen a Frenchman going for an early shower. Mo, after being viciously hacked down from behind, got entangled with his attacker whilst on the ground. This was seen as an act of aggression by the Frenchie, who had a pop at Mo. Lucky to only see yellow.
A lucky fifth followed for the French when the ball bounced invitingly off a Barbars defender on the edge of the box. Sitting up nicely it was dispatched into the top corner. Pure arse! 5-1.
Meanwhile the Barbars' new boy Davey on the right was showing a lot of fight, taking people on and trying to make something happen. He got his reward late on when breaking into the box and delicately chipping the ball over the keeper and into the far corner. 5-2. Great finish, more of them please!
A disappointing, deflating, demoralising and demeaning day was complete late on when slack marking on a corner resulted in the experienced midfield French general (supposedly a former national team player for China and currently a football commentator on the CCTV-5 sports channel) having acres of space on the edge of the box to lash home a vicious strike into the bottom corner. 6-2. Misery complete!
A day of few highs and far too many lows. Man of the match went to Davey for his stirring display (even if he does need a few history lessons). Rock bottom has been reached for the Barbars (one would hope!), but we will bounce back against Russia and stop the rot. The time to stand up is now, the time to fight and show you want it has come. Next Sunday, win your battles, leave it all on the pitch and let them know we are here! Time for Barbars to make a stand!