Bayern, runaway winners of the Bundesliga in record time, two time losing finalists in the past three editions and on course for a historic treble and more impressively, thrashed ‘the’ Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate en-route to the final take on Dortmund, who had been unbeaten in the competition until the second leg of their semi-final against Real Madrid (a game they feel they should probably have drawn in the least considering the number of chances they did not convert) are in the final for the first time since 1997 when they won the competition.
If that is not tantalizing enough, Mario Gotze, Dortmund’s star player of the past three seasons will be on his way to Munich next season and reports suggest Robert Lewandowski may follow him as well.
Arsenal welcome the newly-crowned FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic to the Emirates tomorrow in what is a crucial but also worth three points as any other Premier League match.
Wigan are fighting for their Premier League survival, so they need the three points just as badly as Arsenal do tomorrow, so there will be no shortage of attacking play. Roberto Martinez can piece together something looking like an attack when he needs to, and this will probably work out for Arsenal, too, as the Gunners tend to play more freely against teams who leave space rather than those who just play a 4-5-1 and stand tall. Wigan may also be a little tired from their cup win over the weekend, so Arsenal should have space to roam.
And roam they must. The three points are crucial to stay ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, and the goal is simple: win the last two games, and the 4th Champions League spot is in Arsenal's hands.
The first thing to do on David Moyes’ checklist is pretty obvious: what to do about Wayne Rooney? The irony is that he’s the man who unveiled, sold and sued Rooney being his boss once more will not be lost on either. Player and manager are understood to have had a agreement since comments in Rooney’s autobiography prompted Moyes to summon the lawyers, but the relationship is unlikely to ever be a warm one.
That does not matter. Managers and players do not have to get on to work together, the bigger problem appears to be Rooney's desire to leave Old Trafford. When he submitted his transfer request in late 2010 it was born of frustration at United seemingly being left behind by the wealth of Manchester City and success of Barcelona. In another ironic twist, Sir Alex Ferguson eventually acted on Rooney's demands and bought a top-class player, Robin van Persie, only for his arrival to lead to Rooney being replaced at the head of United's attack. Played out of position, on occasion left out completely, Rooney again asked to leave. Ferguson turned that down, presumably not wanting to force his successor's hand.
Who will replace Sir Alex Ferguson? That was the question facing Manchester United on Wednesday after Alex Ferguson announced his decision to retire as manager at the end of the season.
Everton manager David Moyes was installed by British bookmakers as the heavy favorite. The Scot has spent 11 years at Goodison Park and is a fiery, no nonsense coach in the Ferguson mold.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a former United striker who has made an impressive start to his managerial at Norwegian side Molde, are also viewed as contenders.
The 50-year-old Moyes has shown loyalty and staying power with Everton — something that will go down well at United after Ferguson's long reign of more than a quarter century at Old Trafford.
With a tight budget, Everton is likely to finish sixth in the Premier League, ahead of Merseyside rival Liverpool for the second straight season.
FC Barcelona will have to produce one of the all-time European comebacks against Bayern Munich on Wednesday if they are to advance to the final of the Champions League next month. The German outfit secured a 4-0 win in the first leg last week, meaning that an away goal for Bayern would leave Barcelona needing to score six times at Camp Nou on May 1. However, Barcelona will take heart from the last time they welcomed Bayern to this stadium in April 2009, with a double from Lionel Messi enough to secure a 4-0 win over their German opponents. That score this time around would take the semi-final clash into extra time.
Sergio Busquets was not fully fit in the first leg of the semi-final and it certainly showed. The Spanish international is again a doubt for the second leg as he tries to overcome a groin strain.
Javier Mascherano, though, is a bigger doubt, and Tito Vilanova will have to take a decision on whether to risk the Argentine against Bayern, with the Spanish club short on defenders.