Friday, August 26, 2016
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The footballing equivalent of dog turd in your pocket

Imagine putting a hand in your pocket only to find a dog turd.

How would you feel? Disgusted, horrified, saddened, speechless, close to tears?

Anderson Polga’s part in Sporting’s 7-1 humiliation by Bayern Munich thrust all of these emotions and more upon me, as he turned out a display that must mark the nadir of Champions League defensive performances.

 

 

Sporting’s number four was not only at fault for all the goals apart from Podolski's first and Klose’s penalty, but actually actively involved in creating a couple of them, which is some feat.

 

For Podolski’s and Bayern’s second  he played a game of ‘to me to you’ with keeper Rui Patricio worthy of the Chuckle Brothers, inexplicably heading it at his teammate from less than a yard.

 

But this is not exactly the first time such inadequacy has reared its head in the Sporting backline. However, it is one of the few times that a striker of Podolski’s quality has been there to capitalise on it.

 

While Sporting usually escape such displays of incompetency in their domestic league with nothing more than a racing heartbeat, a season’s worth of frustrations were easy to see as Patricio’s hands hit his legs immediately after Podolski’s overhead kick.

 

There’s little to say about Polga’s 39th minute own goal, more just a couple of questions to ask.

1.    Why did he peel away from Lucio, the man he was supposed to be marking?

2.    What the hell was he thinking when he decided to volley the ball in such a position?

Again, the look on Patricio’s face said it all.

 

Bayern’s fourth saw Polga flapping around in the middle of the box, completely oblivious to the fact that he should be challenging Schweinsteiger for the ball, while his floor show for their fifth was nothing short of pathetic.

 

At this point it was incomprehensible that Paulo Bento hadn’t roped him off and replaced him with anything that came to hand. A large bag or a stretcher might have done a better job of obstructing Bayern’s attacks.

 

By the end of the game Polga’s dreadfulness had proven to be contagious. The widespread defensive inadequacies that led to the final goal were more suited to a League Two match than the Champions League, and Polga’s stationary position right behind the goalscorer Muller capped off what can only be described as the worst ever individual defensive display in the Champions League.

 

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