Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Champions League and FA Cup finals 2013

Two Wembley finals - the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup final 2013.

Munchen glad Robben is back.

25th May Bayern Munich 2 Borussia Dortmund 1  Champions League Final  86,298

Definitely one of the best atmospheres at the ‘new’ Wembley.

In the first ever all-German Champions League final both sets of fans delivered although you had to feel for the Borussia supporters who were denied their planned choreography and had to watch as the Bayern fans did theirs and also managed to smuggle in some flares as well.

Was the match a tactical triumph for Bayern allowing Borussia to dominate most of the first half and then turn it around in the second ?

The renowned Bayern defence stayed solid despite the Dortmund pressure and eventually Robben played his part crossing for Mandzukic to convert then scoring himself in the final minute.

Borussia had equalised through a Gundogan penalty and perhaps the result might have different if Dante had got a second yellow card (and if Borussia had made earlier substitutions ?)

But in many ways Bayern, having dominated the Bundesliga season so emphatically and having lost so cruelly to Chelsea in their own stadium last year, deserved the triumph.

Despite the speculation I doubt that this final signals a period of dominance for German teams in  the Champions League - so expect better from the Premier League and La Liga next season.

Elementary my dear Watson.

11th May  Manchester City 0 Wigan Athletic 1  FA Cup Final  86,254

You could get odds of around 7-1 on a Wigan win and one guy I met on the train home had benefited from betting on such a result.
Most of the others in the carriages were City fans bemoaning the insipid performance of their team.
But many, like those in the stadium, remained eternally grateful to coach Roberto Mancini for delivering the league title last season.

On a cloudy and cool day the Wigan fans sang along to ‘I’m a believer’ and their faith was rewarded as their team made an impressive start.
And that pattern continued with City often sluggish against a lively opposition for whom McManaman was often a threat.

Maloney went close with a free kick and Tevez had a shot blocked before Zabaleta got sent off.

And so to the final minutes - a Maloney corner, a Watson header and Wigan won the Cup for the first time.
Then it was just a case, for one punter, of keeping that betting slip dry to claim his winnings.

It was a double-edged victory for Wigan who will be playing in the Championship (and the Europa League) next season whilst City can reflect on a disappointing performance but look forward to the arrival of a new coach and undoubtedly some more investment.

more pics at  http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/1906668764

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