So who does everyone think will be at Wembley? Manchester United vs. Barcelona is the safe bet, but maybe Real's win in the Copa del Rey final will convince some people they can get through to the final?
Schalke's destruction of Inter after firing their manager and falling to 10th or whatever in the Bundesliga was memorable, especially after Inter went up 1-0 about 30 seconds in with one of the great goals in Champions League history from Dejan Stanković. But I don't think this story goes any further, as Man U wins convincingly. Say 4-1 on aggregate. But then, the only time I've seen Schalke play was the two tilts against Inter, so I don't know much about them.
And I like Mourinho to get Real Madrid past Barcelona in a close match. It will be like the Copa del Rey final and like Inter's win over Barcelona last year: Messi and co. will dominate possession, but Madrid will take advantage of enough opportunities to put them away. I say 2-1 or 3-2 Real Madrid.
This sets up Christiano Ronaldo returning to England to face his old club in the Champions League final. And I don't see Ronaldo playing well in that match, with United winning another European Cup.
United will beat Schalke on aggregate by drawing the away leg and winning the home leg by a single goal without ever looking all that great (much as they have done in the Premier League all season).
Not sure I can call Barca v Real though. It all depends on how negative Mourinho decides to play it - the more defensive, the more chance I think he'll have of frustrating Barcelona and getting goals on just a handful of breakaway attacks.
If Real do go through, I have them losing the final to Man Utd and quite convincingly. On the other hand, I can't see Man Utd beating Barcelona if they get past Madrid - I'd expect an almost exact repeat of the 2009 final.
Well, United looked pretty good last night, so you'd think they're pretty much through. They are, however, playing a German team and tend to do poorly against them, so I'm not prepared to say it's a definite just yet.
Real Madrid will win the first leg. I'm basing this on Mourinho being Mourinho, playing games in the press and Guardiola taking the bait.
Watched the last half of the game with my dad and according to him, Mourinho was indeed being Mourinho: acting like a jackass. Him getting thrown out was poetic justice for all the crap he gives to the media and his opponents. Barcelona has what looks to be an insurmountable lead including what I thought was the goal of the year when Messi sliced through 4 or 5 RM defenders to get the second goal. Can't wait to see them play again next week.
I do not know if anyone else either saw or was present for this, but I figured I would write about this here anyway. I found myself in the latter camp, having arrived at Santa Anita at 6 AM and not leaving until about 5 PM.