First Champions League Semi-final, Manchester United takes the Premier League 2012-2013

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I had to write some words after United’s win tonight, that secured their 20th English title and the 13th on Ferguson’s era. And since I’ll spend some words on what’s going on inside the four lines, will also give my opinion on the first Champions League semi-final match, that will be played tomorrow in Munich, between the german giants of Bayern and Barcelona, both connected by a coincidence that goes the name of Pep Guardiola.

First, it is time to clap once again and give the kudos to Sir Alex. One more time he delivers. This season’s probably had the worst football played in the last five years in the Premier League, but United took the title convincingly and can still beat the record for most points gained in one season if they win the last four matches to be played.

Much will be said about Robin Van Persie, which scored 24 goals in the 34 Premier League United played this season, but to me, all the credit must be given to Alex Ferguson. I like RVP, and he was definitely great (all one needs to do is to watch tonight’s second goal to realize that – watch it below), but I don’t think United has the strongest group of players in their roster.

Also, they are battling against teams that have massive foreign investments (let’s put it lightly) and still come out as winners by far advantage. I found outrageous the request of Mancini for more money for better players. He is a great coach and turned City into a real menace, but lack of money? Didn’t he spend enough already?

This season was a masterclass by Ferguson. I’d say that as coaches, only André Villas-Boas and Michael Laudrup got close to him when it comes to what happens on the pitch. From all, I’ll never say that United played the best football, but certainly played the most effective, and in a year with such low standards, they more than deserved it!

And so it begins, Champions League semi-final, Pep’s former and future clubs clash

Pep Guardiola playing for Barcelona
Guardiola’s former and future clubs meet for the first Champions League semi-final of 2012/2013

This is not the match I’m looking for in these semi-finals, still it is a high octane one, where a big coincidence will play its part. Pep Guardiola’s former and future club are set to meet for the first time after he was announced as Munich’s future coach and much has been said because of that.

Jurgen Klopp already said that he is sure that Bayern is speaking to Guardiola on how to stop the Catalans. While the high executives of the German team strongly deny these claims, one that can see all the sides of this encounter knows that what Klopp is saying must be true.

It is even Guardiola’s interest to help the Germans at this point, since getting to the final of the Champions League and having the chance of winning will represent great economic advantages for the Bavarian club in the near future. A near future which has Guardiola firmly tied to.

I would tend to believe that if Bayern succeeds to win the first leg, there is no return for the Spanish side. I could be wrong, but Bayern is not the same as Milan, and if they actually end up with a 2-0 win, like the Italians did, they have stamped their ticket to Wembley.

There is much to be seen tomorrow. Will Bayern only counter? Or will they try to open the score sheet and sit back for their deadly counters after that? Will Barcelona play an open game as usual against such a dangerous opponent, probably the most dangerous for them to play against? Will they try to hold the ball not to attack, but as a way not to concede so they can take the decision to Barcelona?

The match has all ingredients for a great night and that’s what we, fans of the beautiful game, hope to see. Let it come!