Was the Champions League Draw a fix? Yes. Yes it was. What evidence do I have to support my wild accusation? None, none at all. But lets be honest it wouldn’t be the most unbelievable conspiracy.
If you’ve not bothered to check, here is the draw:
Apoel v Real Madrid
Marseille v Bayern Munich
Benfica v Chelsea
AC Milan v Barcelona
So what’s going to happen? Madrid will beat Apoel but they will play the plucky underdog role to a tee and gain lots of credit for their performances. Perhaps one of their players will move for big money and Ivan Jovanović will get hired by a bigger European club only to go on a poor run of results and get the sack after 6 months in charge.
Marseille will flatter to deceive but ultimately go out because of Munich’s superior fire power. Mario Gomez will continue to bang goals in at an alarming rate and still not receive any recognition whatsoever. Gomez who is one of the most consistent goal-scorers in Europe but is frequently overlooked when it comes to handing out the plaudits and awards. He has 35 goals in 36 games in all competitions this season.
Chelsea will confound expectations and sneak past Benfica, this will result in the press being able to write stories about how Roberto Di Matteo now “deserves” the Chelsea job. This will be the last hurrah of the Benfica team before they sell all their good players in the summer as per usual and have to start again.
The same is perhaps true for Chelsea, this summer certainly has the look of “fresh start” written all over it. Shame AVB managed to piss everyone off so much he didn’t make it till the summer when bringing in the changes he wanted would have been far easier.
AC Milan have the capacity to beat Barcelona. The way I know this is because I watched the 2-2 game between the sides in the group stage. The problem is that when you reach the knock-out stages of the Champions League you’re in Barcelona land. Where suddenly all the referees are against you, red and yellow cards fly at your players like confetti for seemingly innocuous fouls as the powers that be try to ensure that the Catalan team progress.
Only a monumental effort can beat them, Inter managed it under Jose but sadly I don’t think AC have that kind of resolve or performance in their locker as they showed away to Arsenal they are vulnerable. It’s the game of the round but one I expect Barcelona to win.
That takes us nicely to Bayern vs Madrid. Bayern will play well, they have great players, Robben will contribute, Ribery will sparkle, Gomez will score, Madrid will win. Ozil will take great pleasure in showing up his countrymen and Mourinho will start telling everyone that it’s their year.
Chelsea take on Barcelona in a game they have absolutely no chance of winning. Even when the Chelsea side were good they were unable to beat Barcelona. The referees always took care of that. Right now Chelsea aren’t the side that they once were, they are still good, but Barca are if anything, better.
So to the final that everyone wants to see, Mourinho’s Mardrid vs Guardiola’s Barcelona. Messi vs Ronaldo. On the biggest stage in club football. In a final. Splendid. Or not. In what can only be described as “ugly” by commentators the game devolves into a running brawl. Madrid get 2 red cards for absolutely nothing, while Dani Alves and Sergio Biscuits get away with murder all night, throwing themselves around like rag doles with tremendous gusto.
In a rare bit of quality Messi scores a couple of goals and although Madrid pull one back from a set piece late on the game is gone and yet again Barcelona win. This time however Madrid can console themselves with La Liga title and Mourinho can return to Chelsea with his time in charge at Madrid labelled a success.
So there, that’s the champions league covered, there’s no need to watch it now.