Barcelona’s 6-2 thumping of hated rival Real Madrid on Saturday was the victory that effectively wrapped up the La Liga title. Even more impressive than the score was the way that Pep Guardiola’s troops recovered from going a goal behind to humiliate Real with a display of superiority that showcased why they are the best team in Europe.
The challenge for Barca is to repeat that performance on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge. Losing in the semi-finals for the second consecutive year is an underachievement for a team that boasts a forward line of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry.
Soccer purists have top be hoping for a Man United v Barcelona final where Messi and Ronaldo can settled who is the best player in the world.
Speaking of United they took a huge step towards winning their third straight English Premier League title on Saturday when they beat Middlesbrough 2-0. Barring a catastrophic meltdown, United will clinch another trophy to go along with the Club World Cup and the Carling Cup titles. United’s next target is the Champions League, with a semifinal second leg against Arsenal on Tuesday.
In Italy Jose Mourinho is probably just a week away from celebrating the Serie A title, as his Inter Milan closed in on its fourth consecutive La Liga title. By my calculations Mourinho has now won an amazing five consecutive league titles (Porto 2003, 2004, Chelsea 2005, 2006 and Inter 2009). What makes the Special Ones record so impressive is that he has done it with three different teams in three different leagues. That will be a record that might never be broken