By Joe Behan
We are at the final lap of the season and the results reflect an outstanding footballing year. Bayer Leverkusen is, of course, the team to watch. And there are not many happy Celtic campers around after Rangers beat the Hoops in the Scottish Cup final. However, the back-to-back SPL titles for Martin O’Neill, and achieving Champions League respect, somehow excuses not winning the double. Still, losing to Rangers, for some of the Bhoys, is inexcusable. Celtic looked red-hot favorites for the cup, but this year has proved that it isn’t over until the fat lady sings. Arsenal and Real Madrid may want to take note of that clichT.
In the EPL, Arsenal will need to keep their feet firmly on the ground after they won the FA Cup beating Chelsea 2-nil. The clear favorites were tested by Chelsea, but still the red-hot Gunners came through. It has to be expected that Arsene Wenger and Co. will do the double. Then again, we are on the back of a roller coaster EPL year and the fans across the board are still singing. Standing in Arsenal’s way is Manchester United. The Gunners are odds-on favorites to lift the title, but it will come as no surprise if we are in for another twist or two when they play Man. U.
It is perhaps with the Red Devils that we saw an even more shocking result when Bayer 04 Leverkusen beat them in the Champions League semifinal on the away-goal rule. There are plenty of excuses as to how United slipped up. Many fingers point to Alex Ferguson’s defense, but it’s too late. All that’s left for Roy Keane and Co. is to stop Arsenal. On May 15, Leverkusen meet Real Madrid in the Champions League final at Glasgow’s Hampden Park. The tongue-twisting names of the German outfit are still not getting the respect they deserve in England, even after disposing Arsenal and Liverpool along the way in the CL. In fact, even in Germany the passionate supporters are giving Bayer little chance against a stacked Real.
Bayer’s coach, Klaus Toppm
Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo
Subscribe to one of our great value packages.