Smudger Smith: Title race is not over bar the shouting

The Journeyman Pro

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The Independent Football

In a professional career spanning almost two decades, Simon "Smudger" Smith has played for over 67 clubs and has reinvented himself time and again, from poacher to goalkeeper.

Just like the music career of The Outhere Brothers, the title race is deemed by many to be over earlier than it should be. I'm more positive though and have been responsible for enough big lead losses to know this is still a two Findus lasagne race.

It's great to have the Champions League back although that joy was short-lived for Celtic. Juventus were very touchy-feely for an old lady and couldn't keep their hands off the Bhoys.

I was pleased to see the International Olympic Committee react strongly to the grabby tactics of Juventus by removing wrestling from the Olympics this week. I just hope Uefa will respond equally strongly. Ibrahimovic was on the receiving end of some discipline with his red card and, like Heather Mills, he will miss the second leg.

Manchester United got a good result at the Bernabeu and I can't stress enough the importance of that away goal. I recall losing 2-0 at home in the first leg of a European knockout game. We failed to score in the away leg, drew 0-0 and went crashing out 2-0 on aggregate. As is the rule, each of our 0 goals counted double but even that wasn't enough.

On another occasion we got a decent 0-0 draw in Moscow, then at home we were 3-2 up with seconds remaining. With away goals counting double, only I seemed to realise we were actually 4-3 down. Fortunately we got a corner and, eager as ever, I rushed forward. Sadly we didn't keep hold of the ball and CSKA put it into the empty net. Even though I was the only one being proactive I got the blame for our exit. As a keeper, being a scapegoat comes with the territory.

Follow me on @smudgersmithpro