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Aapo Virtanen: Don’t Look Back In Anger

Started on 6 November 2018 by Jack
Latest Reply on 5 September 2019 by Justice
How Arsenal have kept up with you this season has been astonishing, although you will surely re-take top spot with the two games in hand. Mbappe is unbelievable and has shown his class all season long. 50 goals with two months to go is a remarkable return!
Well, it looks like you are destined to be second-best. Second to Arsenal, second to Kalle. It is okay.

The title race will head right down to the wire today

With everything looking rosy for Manchester City's title chances just after Christmas, the club has fallen away slightly since then and has let the only other contender - Arsenal - back in with a very good chance of stealing the trophy away from the Lancashire club.

City regained top spot in early April with their wins in both of their games in hand on Arsenal but a loss to Champions League chasing Liverpool in the same month threw the squad into doubt for their corresponding fixture against Arsenal at the end of the month. Manchester City were embarrassed at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal hammered their title rivals 4-0 with Federico Chiesa bagging a brace.

Things went from bad to worse in the club's most recent league fixture with a 3-2 loss to lowly Newcastle United in the North-East. With Arsenal securing one point against Liverpool on the same day, it has led to both clubs being level on points with Manchester City only leading by goal difference, with a seven-goal gap separating the two teams.

Despite being humble about his former club all season, Arsenal manager Carlo Ancelotti upped the ante in the pre-match press conference for the final game of the season which will be played out against the already relegated Blackburn Rovers who are only fighting for pride at the moment.

Carlo Ancelotti:
"I won the league with Manchester City last season and I knew that this would be the situation that we would end up in. Virtanen may very well be good in the Finnish division and the Serie A and whatever. However, when it comes to the biggest league in the world - the English Premier League - I can almost feel his nerves. I know how to win this title with or without having someone like Mbappé and I can't wait to see my team lifting the league title by the end of tomorrow and for Virtanen to be left red-faced."

Virtanen refused to comment on the slamming comments made by the Italian management veteran, saying that he didn't want to become involved in psychological tit-for-tat before such a big moment in both teams' seasons.

Kylian Mbappé will certainly win the Premier League golden boot with 35 goals in 37 games in the league this season - an incredible tally. Arsenal's top scorer, Luis Perez has 20 league goals to his name this season after an impressive second season last term and Thomas Lemar has chipped in with 12 assists this season.

With the team news in, Mbappé has been confirmed as a starter against this afternoon's opponents Fulham as he joins his strike partner Mauro Icardi up top. On Arsenal's side, Ancelotti has announced that the three main players - Milinkovic-Savic, Lemar and Perez - all start against Blackburn Rovers this afternoon.

It's almost three o'clock here at the Etihad Stadium and the excitement and nervousness is reaching boiling point and Fulham's side are all lined up in the tunnel waiting for their opponents for today who have much more at stake than Fulham have had in their entire history.

The Manchester City captain, Mauro Icardi now emerges from behind the walls and down the tunnel with the goalkeeper Juan Otálvaro joining him shortly after. Icardi's face is fixated on the pitch outside where he will be looking to be holding the Premier League title after the ninety minutes have concluded today.

It's the final game of the season here... AND IT'S LIVE!.

1': City have the first-half kick-off here with Mauro Icardi as Blue Moon Rising begins to fade into the background of the fiercely loud Manchester fans who now take the centre-stage. Mbappé in on the ball and he looks determined here as he leaves the rest of his team behind and surges through the middle of the Fulham midfield. Mbappé's let one go! He's hit the crossbar!!! Just ten seconds into this fixture and the Premier League top scorer has already come millimetres away from giving Manchester City the lead and the Fulham players - and City players alike - look stunned by such a marvellous piece of individual brilliance by the Frenchman.

3': An excellent challenge by Golovin on Lewis hands possession to the mightily impressive Leon Bailey who has come deep into his own half to retrieve this loose ball. He's got two strikers fifty yards ahead of him but apart from that the rest of the Man City team are on the edge of their own box at the beginning of this counter attack opportunity. It's fired long upfield to Icardi who has gone wide to collect the ball. Bakayoko has gone to close him down but that is a magnificent ball over the head of Wilmot to Kylian Mbappé who is absolutely unbearable in these positions! Mbappé is one-on-one with Rogers... It's taken round him and it's an empty net for Mbappé, and it's a goal! Kylian Mbappé has put Manchester City three points ahead of Arsenal in this race but it feels like a mountain for Arsenal who will just begin to start receiving this news in the stands now!

Manchester City 1 - 0 Fulham
Mbappé 3'

5': Arsenal have also opened the scoring thanks to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, it's 1-0 over there too!

Arsenal 1 - 0 Blackburn Rovers
Milinkovic-Savic 5'

6': Oh, and that is a really silly foul to give away in that area by Ben Wilmot who has already been caught out by his positioning today! Every player on this field knows how strong City are from free-kicks, especially now with Golovin heading over to take the ball. Wilmot is protesting the referee but he is alone in doing so. Golovin is setting this one up for himself here. It's about 20 yards out and a perfect opportunity for City to double their lead against Fulham. They've lined up a four-man wall here but I really don't think that is quite enough for such a close-range free-kick. Here he is now. Golovin strikes... Goal!!! It's 2-0 to Manchester City on the final day and although Arsenal lead Blackburn Rovers early on too, right now it looks like City will sail away with the title on the heavy bonus of a good goal difference!

Manchester City 2 - 0 Fulham
Golovin 6'

10': Bailey's taking a throw over on the near side deep inside the Fulham half. Mbappé nods it back to the thrower and is now in acres of space down the left wing. Bailey's decided to cross it himself, though. Wilmot crucially heads away but it's still with Sané in the box facing away from goal. Sané had teed up Mbappé for the cross now and the target will be Icardi... It's reached him! The crossbar again for City! How unlucky for the Argentinian striker who has had such a good year at the age of 32 years old!

19': A long ball forward by the Fulham 'keeper is calmly nodded down by Matthijs De Ligt to Handwerker who is close-by. Now, this is a surging run by the City left-back of which he was renowned for in his Schalke days. He's moved centrally before laying it off to Kovacic. Bailey receives it on the edge with his back to goal, Golovin approaches into space and is given the ball. He's darted into the box and let one go! Stopped by Rogers who has had a hectic first 20 minutes here!

23': Arsenal have now doubled their lead over Blackburn Rovers who look physically destroyed from this season. Luis Miguel Perez bags his 20th of the season in the process.

Arsenal 2 - 0 Blackburn Rovers
Perez 23'

26': Arsenal are really putting a shift in now over at the Emirates! It's a third goal for The Gunners from Thomas Lemar!

Arsenal 3 - 0 Blackburn Rovers
Lemar 26'

31': Fulham really are getting nowhere here. Even at 2-0 up, the City crowd is booing every move the opposition makes here as Bakayoko launches the ball straight to Niklas Sule. Golovin's now played a one-two with Kovacic before Fernandes gets on the ball out on the right. The penalty area is packed with City players despite Fernandes barely being over the halfway line! It's played back inside and it looks like another surging run for Golovin into the area! Just wide from the Russian midfielder!

35': This must be absolutely relentless for Fulham as Manchester City go forward again. City have the defence capable of keeping an easy clean sheet at this stage and seeing out the title win but they want more. Mbappé has the ball from a Bailey throw and comes inside before passing it off to Golovin who has Kovacic as an option on the outskirts of the Fulham left-back. Kovacic could go one more here with Fernandes in acres of space on the right side of the box but he goes it alone! Goal!!! That should be it! City must have won the title now!!! It's 3-0 and it is Mateo Kovacic who has all but secured a back-to-back Premier League title for Manchester City and Ancelotti will have knowledge of this and Virtanen will be making his predecessor eat his words on live television and in front of 60,000 fans crowded into the Emirates down in North London! A tremendous first-half performance so far!

Manchester City 3 - 0 Fulham
Kovacic 35'

43': Fulham have a rare attack here! Virtanen must be pulling his men back after that third insurance goal from Kovacic as Séri has it in the middle here in the City half. Séri is being used as an anchor in this attack as all of his side's passes are being bounced off of him. Lambe has now played it out to the left to the pacey Jamal Lewis. He stops before realising the amount of space he has here if he cuts inside which he does. City don't look comfortable with this attack as Lewis solely dribbles across the face of the goal, Sule has passed him onto De Ligt but he'll have time for a shot here... It's a goal back for Fulham! Jamal Lewis has scored an incredible goal as he cuts in from the left and past the majority of City's defence to finish it past Otálvaro to make it 3-1. Is there a comeback on the way? Surely not.

Manchester City 3 - 1 Fulham
Jamal Lewis 43'

45+1': It's half-time here at the Etihad and Manchester City go in leading 3-1 at the break and are also well on course to winning the Premier League title on the last day in the process.

46': Griffiths gets the second-half kicked off again here as City lead 3-1 and top the table.

51': It's just over five minutes into the second half and City are back on the attack with Mamadi Fernandes on the near side. Golovin offers himself up for the pass centrally which he receives, letting the ball run past his body and chasing it. A short pass to Mbappé who has his back to goal on the 'D' of the area. He's slipped Leroy Sané in here! A magnificent double-save from Rogers to deny the German winger twice! Great goalkeeping!

57': Brozovic's clearance can't even get close to the halfway line as Kovacic takes control of proceedings. The Croatian rushes forward before backheeling it to his central midfield partner Golovin. Sané and Golovin play a one-two before he gets a shot off first-time! The roof of the net this time for the Russian who is trying his best for a goal today!

71': It's a throw-in right in line with the halfway line here with Fernandes. De Bruyne hopelessly nods the ball on straight to the feet of Fulham's Brozovic. It's a really slow ball all the way back to the goalkeeper and the City fans are standing up eagerly to see if Mbappé's pace can catch Fulham's shoddy passing out. Rogers has panicked to play another short pass to Ben Wilmot who is now under pressure by Sané. This is incredible pressure and energy from the City players! It's had to be hoofed out by Wilmot but Alaba is aware that he has targets already in the box and launches it back into the danger area for Mbappé to chase. Cleared by Wilmot and it's found Block who now has a great chance to counter attack here! De Ligt is beaten with ease before Sule tries to tackle him but instead he's found Griffiths with a pass! It's two-on-one with Griffiths and Block against Mamadi Fernandes who is coming across. There won't be enough time as Griffiths shoots! It's cannoned back off Otálvaro's feet and it is as much a great save as it is a fantastic clearance!

76': De Ligt robs Matias Fonseca of the ball here. Great defending from the Dutchman. It looks like Golovin will lead the counter attack as he passes the halfway line before a pass to Mbappé who isn't in much of a threatening position here, but he's got De Bruyne making a run over on the right. It's a great ball by Mbappé, straight to De Bruyne who is now on goal! Denied by the crossbar once again for City! That must be the fourth time they have hit the woodwork today! If luck had been on their side today they'd be coasting away rather than a two-goal lead.

76': It's been a while since the last Arsenal goal put Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has now put in his second goal of the game over there and Arsenal's fourth. The fans over there are facing the reality of not having done enough this season though, despite the good form their team is showing today.

Arsenal 4 - 0 Blackburn Rovers
Milinkovic-Savic 76'

90+5': The players on the bench have arms linked along with Aapo Virtanen and Thomas Jorgensen on the touchline. The fans in the stand are waiting in anticipation for the allotted five minutes of added time to be realised by the man in black on the field. Arsenal fans, I would turn off your televisions now as Manchester City are going to be lifting the Premier League title for the second season in a row very shortly!

Rogers puts the ball down, almost trying to stimulate the Manchester City crowd even more with the time he is taking here! Rogers is a Tottenham Hotspur youth graduate so I'm sure it will make him happy that Arsenal have had the title stolen from them - he might even join in with City's celebrations! He's got a big grin on his face, I'll tell you that!

...AND THAT'S IT! Manchester City have retained the Premier League trophy for the second season running! With their former manager Carlo Ancelotti departing to Arsenal who have fought long and hard alongside City this season for the title, it just wasn't enough as their match against Blackburn Rovers concludes with a 4-0 scoreline. They tried their best, but maybe Carlo Ancelotti's insulting comments towards his successor at Manchester City before the game yesterday has motivated Virtanen's side to win it for him!

This season we have seen City lift the UEFA Super Cup, we have seen them lift the FIFA Club World Cup, we have seen them lift the League Cup, now we are seeing them lift their fourth trophy of the season and currently their biggest honour of the season with the Premier League trophy. But that is not all! Next week Manchester City will be at Wembley to take on Everton in the FA Cup Final for the opportunity to bag the quintuplet! But even that is not all! A fortnight later, Manchester City have the chance to finish the season with arguably the biggest club honour in the world as they face AS Monaco at the Stadio Olimpico in the UEFA Champions League Final! Whatever Carlo Ancelotti did as Man City manager, Virtanen has taken what that man has done and could quite possibly beat it within a year of taking the role.

A simply marvellous season has been capped off with Virtanen's biggest footballing achievement to date.

Scott: Was certainly a nice feeling doing the double over my old club for sure, especially following the fallout after my departure :P It turns out that Arsenal took us down the wire though! We very almost bottled it!

TheLFCFan: Arsenal have done excellently, there is no doubt. A lot of it may be down to Ancelotti's arrival after winning the title with City before my arrival but who knows? They're a great side, but maybe not good enough ;)

Justice: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Eat your words.
Wrapped up in style! A fantastic season for Manchester City with potential for yet more trophies. Let's hope the cabinet will be added to further by the end of the campaign.
An incredible campaign from City. The league wasn't won as convincingly as you may have liked but it was won in the end and that is what is important. Now time to go get those last two trophies!
I wonder if Aapo will bump into any more ex-lovers on the next trophy parade. Oh, and congrats on winning the league ;)
Jack's avatar Group Jack
3 yearsEdited

Dele Alli’s extra-time goal won the game for City

On a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon, Manchester City lifted their fifth trophy of the 2025-26 season with a 3-2 win over Everton at Wembley as Aapo Virtanen led the FA Cup celebrations.

Manchester City were stunned early on in the game by Mateo Villa’s 12th minute opener to send Everton 1-0 up in the first-half as Virtanen named a strong line-up including star striker Kylian Mbappé despite the Champions League final coming up later this month.

Everton went in at the break leading by one goal thanks to Villa’s strike and Virtanen’s expression as he headed back down the Wembley tunnel showed that he was worried by his side’s efforts in the final.

It took seven minutes after the second half began for City to equalise through a Mateo Kovacic goal in the 52nd minute with a 20-yard screamer - a trademark strike from the Croatian midfielder.

With the two sides level heading into the final fifteen minutes, Pat Beech put Everton a goal ahead once again in the 77th minute as he drove his shot into the bottom-left corner of Otálvaro’s goal, leading to despair across the City defence who have been out-of-sorts in recent weeks.

However, Everton’s 2-1 lead didn’t last long at all as Virtanen’s 63rd minute substitute and ardent follower from Oulu Maflamory Sylla bagged another equaliser just three minutes after Beech put Everton ahead.

The game was shrouded in controversy by the disallowing of a late winner by Everton’s Callum Wilson whose 89th minute goal was chalked off as the referee ruled that Wilson had pushed City’s defender Matthijs De Ligt before he began to wheel away in the delight of a last-minute cup final winner. Protests ensued by the Everton players and by the manager Steve McClaren who was abhorred by the decision but the referee ended the game at 2-2, leading to extra-time.

The two teams fought a very even match with an almost equal amount of shots on goal and sharing possession. The first-half of extra-time was fifteen minutes to forget but it took Dele Alli until four minutes before the final whistle for penalties to volley home the winner in the 116th minute.

City sat back for the remaining seconds that left as Everton hopelessly pumped the ball forward into their opponents half relentlessly to no avail.

The FA Cup marks Manchester City’s fifth trophy of the season after already securing the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup, the League Cup and the Premier League. Their final match of the season awaits in Italy as the Champions League Final beckons for Virtanen’s side as they will face Thierry Henry’s AS Monaco despite the French side finishing 3rd place in this season’s Ligue 1 campaign.

Everton manager Steve McClaren had to face the sack following the FA Cup Final result after a poor 10th placed finish in the league which came as a shock to some, with many believing he had overachieved with his side this season.

Scott: We don’t do half-measures ;)

TheLFCFan: We have almost finished off the trophy cabinet for this season, just one more to go!

Justice: What was that you were saying about being second place?
Nice win!, good to see that you managed to turn it around, twice!
Great character shown in that performance. The result will certainly boost the side heading into their Champions League final clash against Monaco.
An interesting game for sure. It sounds as though Everton had a couple of real chances of winning the game, especially that last minute goal being disallowed. However, you have to credit the determination of your squad that even when they are down, they still come away with the win and that should put you in a good position ahead of the Champions League Final.

30th May 2026

I had been to the Stadio Olimpico on numerous occasions during my time with Fiorentina. Obviously, Roma and Lazio played their home fixtures there but I had also been there on two occasions with Fiorentina in the TIM Cup Final, with both against Milan. We had succeeded in both cup finals against Milan and I had enjoyed one of my finest moments by securing my first trophy in Italy there in 2024.

This time was the most important visit to the famous stadium where the Italia ‘90 Final was held. For me, especially as I had never competed in a Champions League Final before and I wanted this to be the perfect debut. My opposite number, Thierry Henry was in the same boat managerially. As a player, he had been involved in two Champions League finals: In 2006 with Arsenal when they lost 2-1 to Barcelona and he captained his side and also in 2009 when he won the trophy as a Barcelona player against Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United team. This meant he knew what this fixture was all about, in stark contrast to myself.

I had never seen security quite like it was tonight, police were everywhere and the flashing blue lights were bouncing off every wall in the surrounding area. It felt like a court date for a serial killer rather than a football final in some ways. As the coach was turning in past the fans who were pouring into the ground, we were laughing at some of the people who had to be turned away by this security because they had forged tickets or whatever the particular different reasons that exist that allow event coordinators to turn people away.

I let the team go ahead of me on the bus this time, partly so they could receive the initial limelight as they are the bunch of players which got us this far regardless of tactics but also partly because I needed time alone to comprehend what I was about to walk into.

The Italian summer evening was so hot which only compounded my nervousness which was already turning my face red. It didn’t help that Leena was past her due date for the baby and knowing that I could become a father at any moment in the next four hours that I would be busy with the Champions League Final. She was in Germany sorting out contract arrangements between a big German car company and the regulatory European Union powers. I never asked her for details about her work as I knew that I wouldn’t be able to understand most of the terms that she used in her job on a daily basis.

I trudged slowly behind the squad who were bobbing their heads up and down to their music blaring through their expensive headphones. My head hung down looking at the stone flooring of the stadium leading up to the security checkpoint and then dressing rooms. I had been feeling confident for days before, even when I found out that Kylian was out for this fixture I still held that same positivity. However, now I was here, my stomach was churning. I could feel something bad coming my way and I just wasn’t sure what exactly it was. Whether it was the occasion, the pressure, the players, the opposition - I had no idea. I had a very bad feeling about tonight. Yet somehow, I had to persuade my players to think the exact opposite of what I was feeling deep down.

Maguire: Shows a lot of resilience for sure!

Scott: After our bad form heading towards that final day against Fulham it's great to get the wins back on the board.

TheLFCFan: The Wilson goal being disallowed was dubious, even as the opposition manager! However, they had the opportunity twice to secure a win there but didn't take it. We just did what any world-class team does and punish the other teams' mistakes!
Aapo's worries are concerning to say the least, hopefully his worry is proven unnecessary.
Kylian's absence will be a huge blow for Manchester City's chances in the final.
Maybe he has a peanut allergy and he ate a Snickers bar, and that's why he's feeling sick.

30th May 2026 | 22:23

I rushed out of the stadium via the emergency exits that the security officers both provided by the Rome council and Man City as it was both where they said to go. My mind was in a frenzy of thrill and nervousness.

Straight after the biggest game in my career, my personal assistant Maria Berger was waiting for me as I was heading back down the tunnel towards the dressing rooms and as soon as she saw me turn the corner into her eyeline she ran towards me, grabbed me by the arms and told me that my girlfriend had gone into labour whilst working over in Germany this evening. As soon as I heard the news a look of frozen delight shattered across my face.

“Paul, any airport that’s nearest will do. My partner is having our baby right now and I need a flight out to Germany as soon as possible. I don’t care how much it costs, I just want a plane ready for my arrival, can you do that?” I said to my driver.

Paul Hemmings was a fantastic man. He himself had served in the Royal Air Force in his earlier years before retiring at the age of 50. He was a man of discipline and coordination, that’s why I depended on him to get me to my baby as soon as humanly possible.

“Great news eh, Aapo!” Most staff referred to me as ‘Mr. Virtanen’, ‘boss’ or ‘sir’, but from my first conversation with Paul where we bonded over a lot of talking points such as the military and flying et cetera, I told him just to call me by my first name from the beginning. “I’ve got two of my own, both boys: Nicholas - or Nico - and James. Absolutely fantastic experience becoming a dad, I honestly am so proud of you. How was the result in there by the way? I’m under instructions not to look at the scores or anything when I’m on club duty.”

“Paul, doesn’t matter how it went mate. I just want to get out of here and over to Leena!” I said to him, as politely as possible.

Paul dialled a number in before pressing call in his phone holder at the front of the car. It was right in the middle of the dashboard so I could see he was dialling from his contacts as he was calling someone by the name of ‘Chris M’. “Chris! I’m on club duty for Champions League Final mate. Got Aapo Virtanen in the back with his PA with me and he needs a flight over to Frankfurt as soon as possible - his lass is having a baby as we speak. Reckon you can get him a plane ASAP? He’ll have it on club expenses or whatnot.”

“Yeah, not a problem mate! Should be about forty minutes wait to get all of it sorted but we’ll find a plane for him no problem.” Chris said.

I didn’t know this guy or even seen him before but through him I began wondering how much good someone you have never met before can do for you, which brought me to thinking about my new baby and how I hadn’t even seen it yet apart from the blurry ultrasound images, yet it was creating all kinds of amazing imagery in my head. The first words, days out we’d have, going for long walks through the countryside, taking them to Disneyland for the first time and their first picture with Buzz Lightyear. These were all beautiful images and I was so overwhelmed by it all.

The journey itself from the Stadio Olimpico to the airport was forty minutes which gave the land crew more than enough time to get the flight arrangements prepared, which they did in fairness.

When I got onto the plane with my sports bag, the pilot congratulated me on the baby news before delivering some bad news. “I’m afraid that although this kind of jet usually does provide connection to the internet, it was such short notice of your arrival that we haven’t been able to get that up and running so it’ll just be no service on any mobiles I’m afraid,” it would have been nice to have been receiving minute-by-minute updates of the delivery of my child but it was getting to the hospital in Frankfurt as quickly as possible that was most important.

I had Maria comforting me along the way to Frankfurt’s airport and she was fantastic company. With her being feminine company with one child of her own she was able to soothe any fears that I might have had as well as enlightening my imagination even further. Me and Leena hadn’t decided on a name yet, not even if it was a boy or a girl but me and Maria reeled off a list of names just in case needed them.

The flight was quicker than the regular commercial two hour flight from Rome to Frankfurt as we reached Germany in just less than an hour-and-a-half. From there, me and Maria darted to the taxi point with the fact that we had no luggage in the hold making the transition much easier. In the short taxi ride to the hospital, I thanked Maria for sticking with me all the way through this stressful time.

I raced through the automatic doors of the hospital - almost not letting them open fully before I stopped just short of the reception. “Birth centre?!” I shouted at the receptionist, to which she just pointed to her left and I followed the German signs for whatever looked like ‘birth’. I reached the unit I needed to be at before asking another nurse where Leena was to which she quickly walked me over to her room.

Leena was screaming and I could hear her even through the soundproof walls of the birthing unit. “Aapo Virtanen, the father,” I said hurriedly to the nurses taking care of Leena. I went across to hold her hand so she could press her pain onto my palm. The man who she worked with and brought her to the hospital, Andrew, got up and left after my arrival and I nodded to him in appreciation of what he had done tonight.

The German doctors were saying a lot of words which didn’t make sense to me at all as they were not any normal German words, they were medical terms which made my translation attempts even poorer.

Leena’s pain endured and she was almost crushing my hand at this point. At 02:13, our baby was born. Leena was in tears of both pain and happiness as I headed towards the bottom to receive our baby. However, the nurses rushed our baby off before we even got the chance to look at our baby. I was stunned at how quickly the nurses took the baby away. I went back to sitting next to Leena, who had a million questions about where the baby had gone and stressing about almost everything.

The longer our baby was away from us, the worse things we started imagining although I never personally brought anything up in this time.

Ninety minutes later a nurse came around the corner and my back tightened up as I rose from my chair. “Mr. Virtanen, could I please speak to you?” The nurse asked in a thick German accent.

She led me outside before holding me by my forearms. “Mr. Virtanen, I’m not sure how to say this. This is a very rare thing to happen. I looked it up in English and it is called a shoulder dystocia. The baby boy that you had, because Leena had carried him for longer than usual, he became too big. His head was too big, your baby squashed Leena’s umbilical cord which meant that oxygen could not reach the baby at the time of his birth. I am so, so unbelievably sorry to tell you this news, Mr. Virtanen, but your baby has passed away.” The nurse took a final look at me before dropping her head down to look at the floor before turning away.

I was in paralysis. My baby had died, I had to tell Leena that our baby had passed away. I wasn’t sure how. I wasn’t sure how I was telling it to myself. I had been a father for about an hour and a bit. I stood in the lobby of the unit and it was then that the tears started dripping down my cheeks. The reality of the situation had hit me. My son had died.

TheLFCFan: It might've just been gut feeling about later events...

Scott: Tell me about it, lacking 58 goals in a game like that is just so unlucky.

Justice: There's no ruling that out.

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