By Jay Bhatnagar

As the league moved to May 13th, there was still so much to be decided and all to play for. What we witnessed on that final day is arguably the greatest single day of football. Manchester City– nearly managed to implode and gift the title to United. The blue half of Manchester was ready to drown in sorrow and the perennial City jokes were about to start doing the rounds once again. City has been undoubtedly the best team in the country and all they needed to do was to beat Queen Park Rangers at the Etihad and the 44 year wait would have been over. QPR came into the game with a wretched away form and for all practical purposes it seemed like a walk in the park for City. However, what we witnessed that day will long live in the memories of all sports fans. With 92 minutes done, City were losing 2-1 and if it stayed that way United would have won the league. QPR had defended with gusto and managed to hold the blue army at bay. Enter Edin Dzeko and a towering header later, the scores are tied. Miles away at the Stadium of Light, the United players and fans are waiting patiently knowing that in 2 minutes they are going to be crowned Champions of England. However, with one powerful swing of his right boot, Kun Aguero decided 3,500 minutes worth of football. A season’s effort came down to the 95th minute on the final day of what has truly been an unbelievable season. City had scored and the title was theirs. The scenes at the Eithad that day were unbelievable, the noisy neighbors, the rich upstarts had done it. They had usurped United and claimed the right to be called the champions of England. As dust settles on one of the most topsy-turvy sports seasons ever, we can say that the best team did win the league.

It was just not the title that was on the line, but 3rd and 4th place were also up for grabs. Newcastle, Arsenal and Tottenham all had the chance to claim the final champions league places. Arsenal after their worst start to the season, were a victory away from sealing 3rd place. This would have been a tremendous achievement, given all the drama that has gone around their season. Losing their two best players– Fabregas and Nasri at the beginning of the season did not help. Then came the thrashing at the hands of United, and everyone was already writing the Eulogies for Wenger. However, what we witnessed during the following eight months was Robin Van Persie’s class and his 30 goals which carried the Gunners through the season. They were able to come back from a 2-1 deficit and win which guaranteed them 3rd place. Tottenham finished 4th and as it stood had qualified for Europe’s greatest club competition given that Munich beat Chelsea at home to win the UCL. This brings us to the events of last night. Chelsea have had a quite sub standard year and finished 6th in the Premier League. In the middle of March, they were staring down the barrel of a horrendous season. Their young manager Andre Villas-Boas had just been fired and they were on the brink of elimination from Europe as well. The last three months and the reign of Roberto Di Matteo can only be described as unbelievable. He had managed to get the stalwarts, i.e. Drogba, Lampard, Cole and Terry to believe and believe they did. What started with an unbelievable 4-1 victory against Napoli culminated last night in Munich.

Chelsea were just happy to be in the Munich, after the rollercoaster of the semi final against Barcelona, most people gave Chelsea no chance against a resurgent Munich side. The game started as most had expected. Munich were on the front foot from the beginning and the entire game was played in Chelsea’s half. However, for all their domination the score was still 0-0 until in the 83rd minute a Mueller again dashed English hopes. This time it was Thomas and not Gerd {most England fans will know the legendary German}. With five minutes to go, one could see the Allianz Arena readying itself for the biggest party of the year. What they did not realize that in Didier Drogba, Chelsea has one of the best big game players and by stretching every sinew of his neck muscles, Drogba was able to drag Chelsea back. 88 minutes gone and the scores are level. In extra time, one knew this was Chelsea’s year when Peter Cech managed to save an Arjen Robben penalty. The momentum had clearly swung and the Bavarians could feel it. However, Munich fans could take comfort in the fact that their team had never lost on penalties {in Europe} and Chelsea had never won on penalties. However, given the unpredictable nature of this season, it wasn’t this simple. Chelsea completed the unlikely victory as Drogba beat Nuer to give the pensioners their Holy Grail. Chelsea had won the Champions League and the script seemed to have been written by a Hollywood writer. It was Drogba who scored the winning goal, and this seemingly dysfunctional Chelsea team had conquered Europe. They had given their owner the title he had spent close to a Billion pounds on. Finally, Chelsea were Kings of Europe and the old-guard of Lampard, Drogba, Cech and Cole had managed to wrest the title away from the Bavarians at home. The immediate impact of Chelsea’s triumph is that Tottenham do not make it to the UCL next season and instead the 6th place Chelsea will be defending their title.

This past season has been an absolutely astounding year of football. A year in which Lionel Messi cemented his status as the best ever player by scoring 72 goals. A year in which Jose Mourinho and his Madristas were finally able to wrest the title away from Barcelona. A year in which the English title was decided by the last kick of the game. A year in which Chelsea {yes Chelsea} were crowned kings of Europe. For all us football fans out there it has been a joy to watch and all I can say now is that I can’t wait for the European Championships to start in June.

 

About the author | Jay is a recent graduate from Grinnell College, where he majored in Economics and Political Science. During the day, he masquerades as a Consultant at Michael Page and at night, he blogs about sports and politics. An avid athlete, Jay loves sports and can be seen discussing the same. He also writes about Terrorism and Nuclear Issues and works with two think tanks in Delhi.

Feel free to send in what you think at contactus@littleblackbookdelhi.com

Arslan says:

from one football fan to another, SUPERB post Jay!…makes for a truly epic read! I couldn’t have summed up this season any better! Well, as far as I see it, the EPL has quite a job on its hands next season to top this season’s feats ;)

Jay Bhatnagar says:

Thanks mate.. I think this current season has really redefined what we should expect from sports in general. It is definitely going to be interesting with both manchester clubs spending in the summer. Also, expect both Chelsea and Arsenal to spend as well. Lets see how it goes