Another exclusive European draw

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The Independent Online

So, another night of pulsating football in the European League of Leagues! writes our ever-excitable man about football, Rene McGrit. Another riveting evening of soccer magic, as the mighty men of all four corners of the continent (plus quite a lot from Brazil) matched their mesmerising wiles in the brutal, yet graceful, beautiful game which, despite being mired in the miasma of big money, does sometimes rise above the click of cash tills to produce moments of elegance, more ballet than ballyhoo, more magic than Mammon...

Calm down, calm down, Rene, writes the editor. It was only a few first legs, for heaven's sake. Just take it easy and tell us what happened. Then go and have a drink. Unless you've had one already. In which case, take some of those pills...)

Yes, another stage in the inevitable onward progress of the European League of Leagues took its quiet course last night writes Rene McGrit, our dour, unflappable football correspondent. Crowds turned out. They saw 90 minutes of football. They went home again. Later, the away teams flew home. It had been another round of European football, with lots more to come like it.

Yes, well, not quite so calm as that, Rene, writes the editor. Pep it up a little and let's see what happens.

All eyes were on the English champions M1 Wanderers last night, writes our moderately worked up football man, Rene McGrit, as they flew out to face the Spanish champions Real Pesetas in the first of a four-leg encounter which will determine which of them reaches the quarter-final. Manager Sir Ron Aston was quietly confident as he arrived in Madrid.

"Aye, I'm quietly confident, Rene," he told me exclusively before the tie. "Many of my players have played in Spain before. In fact, many are Spanish. In fact, most used to play for Real Pesetas, so they know their old team well.

"Well, of course, they don't know the team that well, because most of the other side are new to them, being bought to replace the men I bought off them. I suppose the main danger is that my Spaniards will forget which side they are playing for tonight and start playing for their old side. If that happens, we are in trouble."

The game ended in a creditable 2-2 draw, with all four goals being scored by Wanderers' new striker, Juan Desdichado.

"Yes, I am afraid he lost his head around the break and got two quick goals for the opposition," admitted Sir Ron, "but he more than made up for it with two cracking goals for us. Once he remembers which side he is on, he's going to be formidable. That'll be £500 for the exclusive, ta, Rene."

Another good result was gained by the northern side Bradford and Bingley Utd, who hosted the existentialist side, Post-Modernist Paris St Germain.

"The Frenchmen were asking us a lot of questions, Rene," says manager Bert Romsey. "But they overlooked one small detail. None of us speaks French, so we hadn't the faintest what they were on about. We just went in and scored goals. Five, in fact. I told their manager: 'In the words of Descartes, lad, we score, therefore we are'. I think he got my drift. That will be €600, please, Rene."

Meanwhile, in far-off Norway, crack Scottish side Flower o' Carnoustie arrived for a match in the European SOFA Cup, which was unexpected, as they had been comprehensively knocked out in the previous round by Sporting Anorak of Trondheim.

"Aye, Rene," admits Carnoustie manager Bobby Brechin, "Ostensibly we made a bit of a boo-boo, travelling all the way to Norway for no game at all. We were so hyped up for the next round we momentarily forgot we weren't in it. You know you sometimes tell a team to put previous defeats out of their minds? It certainly worked here, and how! But there's more than one way to gain European experience, and I think the boys have benefited hugely from the trip. Call that £100, Rene."

Other results in brief:

Eufa Fruit Cup:

Sporting Nancy 1, Gay Strasbourg 1.

European Dessert Plate:

FC Chocolat Bavarois 1, Crème de Chantilly 1.

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