Inter Clinch A Historic Treble In Champions League Final

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In what looks like Jose Mourinho last game in charge of Inter Milan the Italian champions completed a unique treble, becoming the only Italian club to win the domestic league & cup double and the Champions league in the same season.

The final was more intriguing than exciting and was a complete contrast of styles as Bayern Munich tried to dominate the game, while Inter were happy to soak up the pressure and look to hit them on the break. Still especially in the first 15 minutes it looked like Bayern’s tactics could work as the played some nice expansive football and created a few half chances. They also looked to have an extra advantage when referee Howard Webb wrongly booked Chivu after a theatrical Robben dive meaning he had to tread carefully for the rest of the game. However on 34 minutes Inter struck with a well taken Milito goal. This forced Bayern to take even more chances going forward and in the 70th minute Milito struck again to all but kill off the game. This was a goal of real class and he made Mark van Buyten look flat footed as he went round him in the box to slam the ball home. Bayern continued to push forward but rarely looked like getting back into the game and despite having more possession, corners and shots at goal, only the most partisan of fans would have argued about the result.

In injury time Inter brought on Materazz meaning that the game finished with one Italian on the field for Inter who have dominated this year win a team largely composed of overseas players, A fact that probably doesn’t bode too well for Italy’s chances in the World Cup this year.

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Champions League Final 2010 Preview

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Tonight’s Champions league final between Bayern Munich & Inter Milan is set to attract a massive world wide TV audience, and will mark Bayern’s 8th appearance in the final (including its previous guises) making them the 3rd most successful club in the competition in terms of appearances. It will also be the first final in six seasons which has not included an English Premier League Team with you having to go back to the 2004 final for the last time they failed to provide at least a finalist.  The good news is that it should be an entertaining final and at least here in the UK football fans can sit back as neutrals and enjoy the spectacle.

So who is going to win?
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List of British Domestic Cup Winners in 2009-2010

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The following is a list of the Main British Domestic Football Cup competition winners in 2009-10:

England

FA Cup – Winners Chelsea Runners Up Portsmouth Score 1-0

League Cup – Winners Manchester United Runners Up Aston Villa  Score 2-1

Scotland

Scottish  Cup – Winners Dundee United  Runners Up Ross County Score 3-0

League Cup – Winners Glasgow Rangers  Runners Up St Mirren  Score 1-0

Wales

Welsh Senior Cup – Winners Bangor City  Runners Up Port Talbot Town  Score 3-2

Northern Ireland

Irish Cup- Winners Linfield Runners Up Portadown Score 2-1

League Cup Winners Glentoran  Runners Up Coleraine  Score 2-2 (Glentoran won 4-1 on Pens)

Republic of Ireland

FAI Cup – Winners Sporting Fingal Runners Up Sligo Rovers Score 2-1

No major shocks apart from Sporting Fingal’s excellent result. They were only formed in 2007 so to win the FAI cup so soon is a great achievement. They will play in the Europa League in 2010-11 season.

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Dundee United Wrap Up The Season With Scottish Cup Win

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Dundee United wrapped up their most successful season in years yesterday by adding the Scottish Cup to their 3rd place finish in the SPL. This is only the second time Dundee United have won the Scottish cup with their other victory coming in 1994.

In front of a crowd of 47,122 Dundee United initially looked a bit nervous during a somewhat low key first half, but as it wore on they began to dominate and Ross County were forced to endure waves of United pressure and were undoubtedly happy going in 0-0 at the half.

The second half continued in a similar vein and it was no surprise when Dundee United finally broke the deadlock in the 61st minute when David Goodwillie cleverly lobbed the ball over the advancing Ross County keeper.  The goal forced Ross County to push forward and despite threatening the United goal with a fine effort by Jimmy Scott Ross never really looked likely to get back into the game and two further goals by man of the match Craig Conway sealed the victory.

Despite the scoreline it is important to recognise Ross County’s fine achievement this year. The club are based in   Dingwall which with a population of just over 5,000 makes it one of the smallest towns to support a league club in Scotland and not too long ago they played in the Highland League.

Their path to the Final included beating Scottish Giants Hibernian and Celtic which will rank amongst the biggest shocks in recent Scottish cup history. Their efforts combined with those of Gretna and Queen of the South in the competition in recent years has shown that the gap between the Scottish Premier League and the first divisions is closing and although no not top division club has won the cup since the War this will add further ammunition to those who advocate the expansion of the Scottish Premier League which has grown a bit stale with the teams playing too many games against each other. Ironically it will be Ross County who are most remembered for their efforts when the historians look back at the 2010 season.

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Bayern Munich Coast To Victory In German Cup Final

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The newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich coasted to a 4-0 win over Werder Bremen in their domestic Cup Final on Saturday afternoon to add further spice to this years Champions League Final where they will meet Italian Double winners Inter Milan in a winner takes the Treble showdown.

Arjen Robben (right) opened the scoring with a first-half penalty and further goals from Ivica Olic, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger completed a comfortable win.

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Chelsea Clinch The Double with a Narrow FA Cup Win

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Chelsea joined an exclusive club today when they clinched the English League & FA Cup double with a 1-0 win over Portsmouth. In an enthrauling game Chelsea hit the wood work 5 times in a first half and then had to survive a Portsmouth penalty in the second half, before finally winning the cup thanks to a Drogba goal on the hour mark.

Chelsea were good value for their win creating 24 shots at goal compared to Portsmouth’s 2 and they should have had the tie sewn up before half time had Malouda kept his composure better in the 26th minute and they were also unlucky when Drogba’s shot crashed down off the cross bar but narrowly failed to fully cross the goal line.

Now the clubs can look forward to very differing fortunes as Chelsea continue their quest to add the Champions League to their list of honours while Portsmouth will have to come to terms with losing most of their squad plus manager Avram Grant will no doubt be on the move too.

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2010 Bulgarian Cup Final Goes To Beroe Stara Zagora

Lovech Stadium in Lovech, Bulgaria
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In a close fought final the favourites and Bulgarian League A team Beroe Stara Zagora finally overcame the plucky League B side Chernomorets Pomorie thanks to a 92nd minute goal by Doncho Atanasov.

The final was played at the Lovech Stadium (right) due to it being contested by two lesser clubs and the attendance of only 5,250 probably vindicated this decision. Whatever it was good to see a small club like Chernomorets Pomorie get their moment of glory and for Beroe it was 5th time lucky having lost in their 4 previous finals.

The Bulgarian FA will now have to decide where Beroe Stara Zagora will play their European Ties as their stadium probably wont meet UEFA standards.

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Bayern look to complete stage two of their Treble quest

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Today will be the 67th  German Cup final which will take place at the magnificent Olympic Stadium in Berlin (right). The final will be contested by Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and the current Cup holders Werder Bremen, who have won the cup on six previous occasions.

If Bayern do win the cup it will set them up for a chance of the famed Treble as they hav Inter Milan to play in the Champions League Final on Saturday May 29th.

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2010 FA Cup Final Chelsea V Portsmouth

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With around 30 mins to kick off there has been no late injiry scares and John Terry has declared himself fit to play. Chelsea will pick from:

Cech, Hilario, Turnbull, A Cole, Kalou, Alex, Drogba, Terry, Malouda, Lampard, Deco, Anelka, Zhirkov, J Cole, Belletti, Ballack, Kakuta, Sturridge, Ferreira, Bruma & Ivanovic (who is doubtful due to a Knee Injury)

Portsmouth who are struggling to put a squad together will pick from

James, Finnan, Rocha, Mokoena, Ben-Haim, Mullins, Belhadj, Hughes, Boateng, Wilson, Yebda, Utaka, Piquionne, Diop, Dindane, Ashdown, Kanu, Smith, Basinas, Sowah, Vanden Borre & O’Hara. The majority of these will be playing their last game for Portsmouth.

The winner will get a nice chq for £1.8 million to go with the coveted cup and the runners up £900,000. Normally there is a European place for the Winners or runners up if the winners have alrady qualified but this year the FA in a classic kick someone while they are down move probably wont allow Portsmouth to compete. Lets hope they change their minds as Pompey could really do with the money next season.

Chelsea are justifiyably strong favourites to lift the cup today and in doing so complete the League & FA Cup double for the first time in their history.

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World Cup 2010 Preview Group H

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Group H – Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile

This looks a very interesting group and although most of the attention will be on group G as the “Group of Death” this one is almost as tight and should produce some great games. If anything this is more interesting as there is no whipping boy here and even the supposed weakest team Honduras will fancy their chances of grabbing second spot.
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