Just 10 days after the Copenhagen derby I was back. Back in Parken, back drinking with Ivar the magician and back watching FCK. The seats in the stadium had been repaired, and this time I had a media pass thanks to Charles Maskelyne, the first Danish person I had ever met who hailed from Ipswich.
For that game against Brondby the whole city had held its breath waiting for something to happen. Tonight with less than a third of the ground full the talk was actually about the forthcoming X-Factor Live Final due to take place on the following weekend rather than FCK’s potential 8th consecutive clean sheet that would break a league record. But still it gave us the opportunity to meet up again with Ivar and experience the Parken Tower – think a tube filled with 4 litres of your finest Carlsberg served at your table – what a pre-match warm up!
FCK FC Nordjaelland – Parken – Wednesday 24th March 2010
The first thing to mention is the roof was closed. Obviously X-Factor was taking precedent here with the lighting rig already up but we were here to see history. FC Nordjaelland’s 100 or so fans gave a good account of themselves throughout the game, proudly waving their flags (did you know it is severely frowned upon to fly a Danish flag after 6pm? And whatever you do never mention a German flag!) but they were outplayed by a FCK team in the first twenty minutes who were walking to the SAS Ligean title after some pre-Christmas challenges from OB and AGF, or so we thought.
The amazing thing is that the away team managed to keep the scoreline at 0-0 for so long. In fact if it wasn’t for a fine reaction save from Johan Wiland in the FCK goal on 34 minutes it was have been 1-0 to FC Nordjaelland.
I am not often distracted by adverts around the pitch but when flashes up as Men2rent.dk you have to think about what market they are trying to attract? (it is a recruitment agency according to my learned friend sitting next to me!). So half time came and went with no score on the board and apart from that one FCN header very little to write home about which was quite handy considering the tower of Carlsberg still sitting heavily in my beer stomach (my girls have a desert tummy which means they can be “full” of their dinner but still find room for ice cream/cake/pancakes so I apply the same principles to beer).
Fifty four minutes in and the script was well and truly torn up as FCN’s Patrice Bernier was allowed to run to the edge of the box unchallenged before planting the ball into the corner of the FCK net with a shot that any Wolves player (too painful to remember from last night) would have been proud of and send FCK’s record clean sheet attempt up in smoke.
FCK went straight up the other end and should have scored from a chance created for Hutchinson but amazingly instead found themselves 2-0 just five minutes later when Nicki Bille Nielsen somehow lobbed the ball over Wiland in the FCK goal with a mis-hit shot from 20 yards. A few minutes later FC Nordjaelland took off Sibuisio Zuma and in one of those rare “we don’t care about who you play for now” moments, all of the sparse crowd gave the former FCK player a generous round of applause – just as player like Rooney would get at Everton, or Lampard at Upton Park.
Sixty eight minutes in and Dame N’Doye (no relation to Dame Judy Dench or Maggie Smith I should add) had FCK’s best chance when he turned the FCN defender and smacked the ball against the bar, giving the crowd the feeling this was going to be a bad day at the office. Hutchinson followed this up with another bad miss as the clock ran down into single digits, but it has to be said that FC Nordjaelland deserved their win even more so than Wolves did at Upton Park last night. FCK had disappointed, creating few chances and spurning the opportunity to go six points clear at the top.
So to the post match activities. As regular readers of the blog will know my Danish extends to “yes”, “no” and “you’re fired” so I wasn’t expecting much from the press conference. I did pick up that FC Nordjaelland were “over the moon” with the result and that FCK’s management were “as sick as a parrot” but that is about it. My one question to Jesper Gronkjaer – “Danni or Cheryl – which one?” went unanswered but not for the want of trying!