One more big game left before the World Cup. In the meantime, much was decided atop the major European leagues this weekend.
Barca looked the most dominant of the title-winners, smashing Valladolid 4-0 while never having to rev above 2nd gear to do it. Sure, Messi whiffed on an easy chance, and the first score came via a silly deflection, but they were pouring it on. This team feels more dominant than last year’s treble winners — or at the very least, winning games by huge margins looks easier for them. And 99 points in La Liga is a once-in-a-generation achievement, right? It’d be interesting to see how people would compare the two teams if the ref hadn’t waived off their second goal at home in the Champs semis vs Inter.
As we discussed, Chelsea nearly tripped over themselves on the way to winning the FA Cup. I don’t know how you hoist a trophy with two hands around your neck (especially if you’re penalty “shooter” Frank Lampard), but Chelsea managed to do it, thus completing the first double in Blues history. I admire a lot of the elements of this Chelsea team, but consistency is not one of them. Still, as I said yesterday, when you can screw up that many times and win a Cup anyway, you must be pretty good.
Meanwhile, Inter must’ve watched that FA Cup final and decided that slamming the crossbar repeatedly and mixing in several ridiculous misses in the first half was the key to victory, because they played just about as poorly as Chelsea. And yet, like Chelsea, they came away victorious thanks to an excellent strike by their top marksman. It’s 5 titles in a row for Inter in Serie A, a double already secured, and a chance at the historic treble on Saturday. If they manage to hold onto Mourinho and sign Steven Gerrard (who’d no doubt be rejuvenated by a move), we could be writing that same sentence next season.*
The big boys keep winning and thus keep earning. What else would you expect? But hats off to the champions and their fans — this is the month to revel in (preordained?) glory.
*Yeah, yeah, with the title count upped to 6.