It can happen that there is a time in the match when the realisation comes that the game is lost, and the cause is hopeless. You are going to be beaten, and the only question is by how many. If you are taking a hammering, then how do you react and to what purpose?
A team in this position can easily slip into a continuing dispute of recrimination and carelessness, concentrating only on avoiding individual blame, and trying to ensure that other team members will be the ones humiliated and scorned. If this occurs then the defeat will be bad, the score against you very high, and the bitterness of the memory will live on for a very long while.
Another response is to just begin to go through the motions. If defeat is certain, then why really bother? You will be only wasting energy and risking injury. In this case things might get a little petty, much time will be wasted, and in some cases there might be an inclination to indulge in some nasty vindictive play.
It is possible, whether by team spirit, or leadership, or sheer contrariness to refuse to accept the inevitable, and to dig in, keep at it, and try to finish at least with some dignity intact. You might even upset the odds, Agincourt comes to mind. Probably you will still lose, but then you put it down to experience, and next time round it will be all very different.
So as far as the UK political economy is concerned, there’s a breathless hush in the close tonight, so will it be Vitai Lampada, or will it be the Retreat From Moscow?