The World This Weekend
Was it destiny? Or payback for this pre-match display of Bavarian arrogance? Either way, with maybe his last kick of a ball for Chelsea, Didier Drogba won the Champions League final. The Blues beat Bayern on penalties after an intriguing, though perhaps not thrilling, 1-1 draw in normal time and a scoreless half hour of extra-time. Video highlights from the game here, photos and video from the victory parade back in London here, a bizarre interview on Italian TV with a must-have-been-drunk David Luiz here.
How tight is the margin between glory and failure? This tight.
Chelsea’s East London rivals West Ham won the world’s most valuable football match: the Championship playoff final. The Hammers beat Blackpool 2-1 (see goals here) despite being on the receiving end of a barrage from the Seasiders for much of the game. Even if West Ham come straight back down again, the club will pocket around £56m in prize money and parachute payments – way more than the financial prize Chelsea will collect for winning the Champions League. (I’ll bet Roman Abramovich is happier today than David Sullivan, though.)
Mayhem in France on Le Championnat final day. PSG’s fans halted their match against Lorient with a barrage of flares after going a goal down in a game they had to win to have any chance of the title. The Paris side later recovered to win 2-1. Over in Auxerre, Montpellier needed just a point against the relegated home side, but they also fell behind in the first half – though they equalised soon after. Then with twenty minutes to play, Auxerre fans also unleashed a cluster of objects – tennis balls, toilet rolls, tomatoes, flares – on to the pitch in a pre-planned demonstration which forced the game’s suspension as the players were taken off the field. Play resumed, John Utaka scored a second for Montpellier, the game finished 2-1 and Montpellier were champions. French TV cut between the Auxerre-Montpellier match and the PSG players watching it – their game having finished twenty minutes earlier.
Lille’s Eden Hazard scored a hat-trick on his final match for the northern French club – a 4-1 win over Nancy – and after the match the Belgian striker still did not announce “Le Decision“, the long-awaited choice of his next club, telling reporters he had spoken with both Chelsea and “Manchester” (we think he means both clubs).
Kitchee won the HKFA BMA First Division for the second year in a row after second-placed TSW Pegasus lost 2-1 to Sun Hei on Friday. The champions celebrated with a 4-1 win over Biu Chun Rangers on Sunday, giving them a winning margin of four points. Josep Gombau’s side play Indonesian side Arema in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League on Wednesday, and they face Pegasus in the HKFA Cup Final on May 26th.
In Happy Valley at the HKFC Citibank International Soccer Sevens, Newcastle’s youth team beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the Main tournament final, while the Aegeon Ajax All-Stars won the veterans tournament, destroying last year’s champions Top Class FC 6-1 in a rain-soaked decider.
Hibernian’s 110-year wait for a repeat Scottish Cup victory will have to wait at least another twelve months: they lost 5-1 to Edinburgh rivals Hearts in Saturday’s final, meaning Sunday’s victory parade happened in the west of the city rather than the east. Ooh, to, ooh to be, ooh to be a, Hibbee… ouch.