Athens on the Mind

Hi all.  Disappeared into the byways of Europe (Switzerland/Germany) with the folks on a whirlwind 5 day driving tour and just back.  Tying up some loose ends a mere 30 hours before AC Milan v Liverpool tomorrow night. 

Sevilla won the UEFA Cup on penalties after a 2-2 draw with valiant Espanyol.  Despite the pouring rain in Glasgow, the 2 Spanish sides played an entertaining back and forth game until Espanyol was reduced to 10 men with 25 minutes to play.  Espanyol held on to force extra-time but looked done when Frederic Kanoute scored to give Sevilla the lead.  However, Jonatas equalized with 5 minutes remaining for Espanyol to force penalties.   Then, goalkeeper Andres Palop became a legend in Sevilla by saving 3 shots allowing Sevilla to become only the 2nd team in history to successfully defend the UEFA Cup.  Sevilla has secured the 1st step in its attempt at a unique treble.  They trail Primera Liga leaders Real Madrid by 2 points with 4 games remaining and play Getafe in the Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) Final on June 23rd.  

Saturday’s “Dream” FA Cup Final was the exact opposite of the exciting UEFA Cup Final.  Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 in extra-time behind a goal by the deserving Didier Drogba.  Chelsea do the Domestic Cup double (they beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Carling Cup Final in February) while Man U have to be content with their Premiership Title.  To sum up this desultory affair, TTL while paraphrase the great BBC announcer John Motson who said during the telecast that “this first 20 minutes might have been the most boring part of the entire season” (emphasis added but entirely true).   

To speak of more exciting things, Stuttgart won the Bundesliga Title on Saturday by virtue of their come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Energie Cottbus.  The youngsters of Stuggart finished with 8 straight wins to nip hard-luck Schalke 04 (49 year title drought)  by 2 points setting off massive celebrations in Stuttgart.  Stuttgart goes for the double on Saturday when they play Nuremberg in the German Cup Final. 

As for the small matter of the Champions League Final on Wednesday, one can read an excellent preview of it at the always reliable Thatsonpoint.  TTL’s humble preview of the game can be encapsulated in two words:  GO LIVERPOOL!!!

Back tomorrow with a fresh post. ‘Til then enjoy the games you play and watch. 


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