Michael Owen: A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Michael Owen has been far too hurt for far too long. And because of that we mortals don’t see him enough. But I was reminded of his scintillating brilliance last night watching the Liverpool- Arsenal FC final in 2001 on Fox Classics. Arsenal coasting along to a win through Freddie Ljungberg’s goal and the constant forays of Thierry Henry through the left (who missed a sitter that should have sealed the deal). And then comes the last 10 minutes of the match.
Owen takes over and in a fraction of a second, smashes the ball into the net through a sliver of space between Arsenal defenders, stunning David Seaman and the entire Arsenal defense. Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1.
And then comes The Goal. Owen pounces on the ball beyond the Arsenal half line. Martin Keown is about 10 yards ahead of him. Owen accelerates spinning Keown around, the footrace is over in a flash, he is gone to the left and the next thing you know the ball is in the far right corner of the net past a diving David Seaman’s outstretched fingertips. The whole thing was over in a blink of an eye. Liverpool 2 Arsenal 1.
Arsene Wenger looked physically sick. Thierry Henry crumbled onto the ground. Freddie Ljungberg’s orange highlights turned green. And the rest of the Arsenal players stood around with their mouth agape and their hands on their hips. The Arsenal fans went frozen. A chill descended on them. A sick feeling that comes in the pit of the stomach, that the game was thrown away. But more than that, the game was taken away by a sheer force of nature in an instant. The final 3 minutes were played by Arsenal in a daze. Arsenal had all the answers that day except that they could not have won. It was not meant to be.
For anyone with little to no knowledge of soccer or for that matter sport, would not have been left untouched by Owen’s brilliance that day, on a purely instinctual level . As for me, I want to watch that footage over and over again to try to understand how Owen did what he did.
UPDATE: Shourin, here’s the video clip of the gameChristian>>

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