I know I am going to upset an awful lot of people with my article today but at the end of the day I am paid to give my opinions and sometimes those opinions will rub some people up the wrong way.
I am really glad that Chelsea didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t win the Champions League final last night and a little part of me is glad that John Terry and Nicolas Anelka were the two Chelsea players to miss their penalties.
I truly believe that Manchester United are the best team in Europe at the moment and that they fully deserve the double they have won. Chelsea have run them very close and they may feel that they have were unlucky in the final, but they can only lay claim to being the second best team in Europe.
I am sure that no team in Europe could have lived with Manchester United in the first half of the final and no team in Europe could have lived with Chelsea in the second half. They are far and away the best two teams on the continent.
So why am I pleased that Chelsea lost and why am I pleased that John Terry and Nicolas Anelka missed their penalties?
Throughout the final I thought that Chelsea tried to bully and intimidate the referee. Every decision that went against Chelsea was followed by John Terry, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele, Didier Drogba and Ashley Cole surrounding the referee and arguing and shouting at him about the decision.
Chelsea epitomised everything that the FAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬ËœRespect AgendaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is trying to address. At no time did Chelsea let the referee, who had a basically sound game, just get on with his job.
They surrounded the referee demanding bookings and sendings off for United players who had committed minor indiscretions. United players are hardly angels in this area, but the fact that Chelsea players stood out as the Ã¢â‚¬ËœbaddiesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ shows just how bad they were.
The sending off of Didier Drogba was a case in point. A few minutes earlier Manchester United were in possession in the Chelsea half when Joe Cole went down with cramp on the edge of the United area. Carlos Tevez sportingly put the ball out of play so that he could receive treatment and Chelsea gave United the ball back by unsportingly putting the ball out for a United throw by their own corner flag.
When Carlos Tevez did exactly the same thing back to Chelsea, the usual suspects surrounded both Tevez and the referee, incandescent with rage that anyone could be so unsporting. When United players came to TevezÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s defence, Didier Drogba, the big hard man from the Ivory Coast, slapped Nemanja Vidic gently around the face in front of the referee. It was a clear sending off.
I hate to say I told you so, butÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
On to the prediction competition. I said I would give an honourable mention to anyone who got it right. Well, honourable mentions go to Uwazzy, Ahmed Bilal, Pepsodent, Suck, Saamir, Umeora Tochukwu and Akin who all predicted a Manchester United win.
Special mention goes to Adenuga Adeboye who said it would be 1-1 at full time. Unfortunately he went on to predict that Chelsea would win in extra-time.
So who was closest. Well, a certain Graham Fisher predicted a Manchester United win and suggested that the game could well go extra time and penalties. I hate to boast, but I reckon I was closest!
On the whole, it was a great night for English football as the best two teams in our country played out an entertaining game full of excitement, goalmouth action and controversy. It was played with pace, passion and no little skill. I would think that supporters of our beautiful game from around Europe were envious that we have two such teams in England.
It was a shame that Chelsea displayed such ill-discipline throughout the game with their talisman, leader and inspiration, John Terry, being one of the main culprits. I was in a house of neutral English football fans and we were all hoping that John Terry would miss his penalty.
What a sad reflection on the possible captain of our country that we all celebrated when he missed.
Chelsea had their chances and came very close, but overall, Manchester United had more chances and should have won the game in normal time.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a total neutral but I believe that the best team won.
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