'You work all your life for these moments'

This weekend was the weekend of mild but ultimately amusing upsets in the world of football: not only did Alex Ferguson say that they had chucked the title away after Manchester United's 0-0 draw at Blackburn, but Tottenham once again somehow managed to snatch humiliating defeat from the jaws of potential glory, losing 2-0 to Portsmouth in their FA Cup semi final.

Pompey will now meet Chelsea (who walloped Aston Villa 3-0 the previous day) in an improbable Cup Final; doomed to certain relegation and not available for the Europa League next season due to financial irregularities, they have a chance at winning the FA Cup for the second time in three years before they plunge into The Championship and complete restructuring. Avram Grant is exceedingly happy, especially for those long-suffering fans

‘To see the fans and players so happy - for these moments, you work all your life,’ he said. ‘To see the members of staff who have been sacked in the dressing-room with us afterwards, people who the players have given their money for them to be with us, it's very humbling.

‘We could write a book about the things that went against us this season. Can they take anything else from us? Points? Administration? Anything else? I don't think any of you will have to go through what we have, to come to work not knowing what would happen next. On 7 February, my staff arrived saying there might not be a club.

‘Not many people expected us to get to the final. A team at the bottom of the table to win against a team like Tottenham: if I was a neutral, I'd have felt the same. If someone upstairs wanted all this, I'd say he's crazy. But we had the belief and the courage to come and win. Every day since I've been here, I've had to answer questions about things off the pitch; contracts, points deducted, administration. For one day, I want to speak only about football. Tomorrow, we will see what happens with the contracts. We're more than happy today.’

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