April 22, 2011
The stage was set for an epic final and that is exactly what was delivered on Wednesday night in Valencia. The clásico for a third time, even with Barcelona’s domination of late, was a welcome surprised to Spanish football fans. Oh yeah, let’s factor in the fact that these two sides will compete for a spot in the Champions League final next week. ‘The Special One,’ who has won at least one cup with every club he has been with since 2003, was leading Los Blancos towards their first trophy in a few years, while Pep Guardiola’s side was poised to continue their domestic domination. The performance the two sides produced was worthy of all the hype and anticipation, and when the evening was over, it was Madrid as campeón and the party ensued at Cibeles.
April 14, 2011
After taking care of Spurs in the return leg of their quarterfinals Champions League tie, setting a semifinal date with Barcelona, Los Blancos hosted the Catalan side Saturday night at the Bernabeu. Entering the 32nd week (of 38) of play eight points adrift from their northern rivals, the league was undoubtedly a long shot; however, when Sami Khedria’s 89th minute game winning attempt was hit right at Victor Valdes and Barcelona earned a share of the spoils, Madrid’s faintly flickering title hopes were blown out. Jose Mourinho had already made his and his side’s intentions clear a fortnight earlier, fielding a weak side in a league fixture (at a point where three points were vital every week) in favor of resting some key play makers in preparation of their first leg with Tottenham. With league hopes diminished, Madrid are still, nonetheless, in position for what could be a very memorable finish to the 2010-2011 campaign.
April 6, 2011
Madrid dismantled the Champions League debutants Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night, picking apart Harry Redknapp’s side and very likely ending the London club’s magical run in Europe. There was little doubt who were the superior side at the Bernabeu; however, the visitors put themselves at a numerical disadvantage within the first quarter of an hour, eventually in too dire of straights to recover from. Jose Mourinho’s side, playing in their first European quarterfinals fixture since 2004 (the same year Mr. Mourinho won the competition with Porto, who defeated AS Monanco in the final, the same French side who saw off Madrid in this very stage that year), were methodical, patient and have earned their position in the final four (pending a monumental collapse in the second leg). Barcelona’s destruction of Shakthar Wednesday evening have positioned us to expect a very mouthwatering super clasico two leg semifinal to decide which Spanish side will be represented at Wembley come late May.