Sunday, 23 May 2010

Leaving The Grand Old Lady...

55th European Cup Final, Santiago Bernabeu – Madrid: Bayern Munich 0 Internazionale 2

Jose Mourinho last night took Inter Milan to their first Champions League win in 45 years, and then announced that he is likely to be coaching at the scene of his latest triumph next season, an announcement which overshadowed Inter’s win.

Inter were well worth their win, when they attacked they had penetration, and defended solidly.  They were aided in this respect by the one dimensional attacks from Bayern.  Shorn of Franck Ribbery through suspension, the attacking onus fell on Arjen Robben, one of Real Madrid’s rejects during Last summer’s transfer window.  This job though looked beyond him, as Bayern looked rather static up front.  Olic, Altentop and Robben had chances in the first half hour to score, but these were long range shots.  Bayern should also have had a penalty as English referee Howard Webb failed to spot a handball by Maicon.  The opener from Inter came rather against the run of play.  Julio Cesar’s long kick was knocked down by Diego Milito to his team mate Wesley Schneider, another of Real Madrid’s rejects, who passed back to Milito, now in space, who clipped the ball past Bayern keeper Hans-Jorg Butt.  In the remainder of the first half Bayern pressed forward, without creating a clear-cut chance, though Inter could have doubled their lead as, hitting on the break, Milito passed the ball to Schneider who shot straight and weakly at Butt.

Bayern got their chance right at the start of the second half, a good move found Thomas Muller right in front of the Inter goal, and he shot right at Cesar.  Within seconds Inter were up at the far end, Milito’s cut back found Goran Pandev, who’s shot was put past the post.  The match settled into the pattern of the first half, lots of Bayern possession but no clear chances created. In the 70th minute, Inter sealed the deal.  a surprisingly anonymous Samuel Eto’o passed down the Inter left to Milito who turned Van Buyten and then side-footed his shot past Butt.  It was noticable that both Inter’s goals came at points when Bayer’s defence were caught out of position.  Inter were now in the pound seat, and could have had a third, but for Bayern’s scrambling defence.

It was a historic night for Inter Milan.  Not only was it their first European Cup since the back to back triumphs under Helenio Herrera, but Inter became the first Italian side to win the treble of European Cup, Lo Scuddetto and Italian Cup.  Yet all of this was overshadowed by his hints that he would be managing Real Madrid next season.  If he did go to Real for next season, i think that it will be something of a mistake to go this summer.  For one thing, in Spain it is the club presidents who buy the players.  In amongst the spending spree Real unleashed last season, almost the last person that was put into place was the current Real manager Manuel Pelegrini.  He was installed as manager after Kaka, Ronaldo, Diarra and Benzema had been signed. Secondly i suspect that Mourinho’s pragmatic tactical approach will not go down well with sections of the Real Madrid support who believe that they should be the best and play like the best. 

Personally I don’t like Real’s constant “chase” for the next it thing in football, their constant courtships of certain players always smacks of being a tad vulgar.  At least this time we have been spared the tabloid tit for tat so far…  Whatever happens, Mourinho’s hints have left a sour taste after what should have been a wonderful achievement for his team.

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