The club football season came to an end in Europe with the dramatic finals of the Champions League. The season had mixed feelings for me.
In the EPL Chelsea were crowned champions but they could not reach the finals of the Champions League, which is disappointing. Chelsea had a bad day in office when they lost (conterversial goal) to the eventual champions Liverpool 1-0. Going by their EPL performance this year, it would be hard for the others in the next season to catch up with them unless the real competitors like Manu and Arsenal buy some good guys. Lampard and Terry were the key to Chelsea's success. The match against Barca was nothing short of amazing. It was difficult for me to sit and watch 2 favorite teams fight out and knowing that one has to make way for the other.
Liverpool may not able to defend their trophy as they have not finished in the top 4 of the English league. This has opened the debate of "Are the champions trophy the real European champions?"...Interesting debate!
Arsenal and Manu clashed in the FA cup finals. The amzing finals saw Manu hitting the post 3 times and Arsenal's goalie (Lehmann) saving some splendid kicks. Arsenal finally sent Manu crashing out in the penalties thus ending Manu's trophy less season miserably.
West Brom escaped relegation on the last day of the EPL playoffs. A dramatic win sent Southhamton out of the priemership for the first time in 18 years.
Barca won the Spanish league comfortably. The rich and talented Real Madrid were just onlookers as Barca won matches with ease. When I was in Barca's home stadium, the guide told us that the club president got elected because he promised to get Beckham. He failed to do so but got a better player in Ronaldino. Samuel Eto was in top form through out the season. Eto's comments after Barca's win will defintely add spice to the already hot relationship between them and Real Madrid. He said "Real Madrid Bastards, Hail the winners".
Lyon, Rangers and Juve won the French, Scottish and the Italian leagues respectively. Juventus victory and Liverpool's trashing of Milan left the star studded AC Milan trophyless in the season. CSKA Moscow won the UEFA cup beating first time finalists Sporting Lisbon in front of their home crowd. Rangers beat their arch rivals Celtic by just 1 point.
A similar ending was there in the Indian league. Before entering the final day of matches the top 3 teams were separated by just 2 points and any one could take the trophy. Finally it was Dempo club who won it. East Bengal failed to win their last match. Goans are shining at the moment. Next season will see Bangalore's HASC entering the league again. I hope they escape relegation. I want to watch the goans play in Bangalore. Calcutta's one time gaints Mohan Bagan just escaped relegation.
The best matches of the season.
Liverpool Vs Ac Milan - Finals of Champions trophy...Liverpool wins after they are down 3-0 at half time. Dudek saves penalties at ease.
Chelsea Vs Barcelona - Pre QF of Champions trophy...Chelsea wins.