On this week’s show, we are joined by Roger Bennett of ESPN.com who discusses the improbable comeback by Manchester City over Queens Park Rangers…the win that enabled Man City to finish atop the English Premier League title. However, in this web exclusive, we invited Bennett to discuss Saturday’s Champions League Final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
Simply the fact that both teams made it to the Champions League Final was rather unexpected. Both teams upset favored opponents in the semi-finals, with Chelsea knocking off Barcelona, and Bayern Munich spoiling the hopes of Real Madrid.
“Saturday’s Final will be a little bit like going to a hit Broadway show and finding out that the understudies are stepping into the two main roles,” Bennett said. “But it will be a wonderful Final. It’s in Munich, Bayern Munich have qualified, and Chelsea have had a roller-coaster Odyssey through Europe where they’ve been against all odds, at death’s door in several games and come back in valiant fashion.”
While Bayern Munich enjoyed moderate success in the German league this year, finishing 2nd, Chelsea didn’t fare as well, finishing 6th in the Premiership, their worst finish 2002.
“They’ve had a terrible season in the league,” Bennett said. “Uncharacteristically terrible, stained by allegations of racism from their captain John Terry, who will be standing trial in July. The season has been stained domestically, but in Europe, they’ve had one stirring, remarkable performance – beating Barcelona. It was hard to watch – for me it was like watching Gargamel defenestrate Smurfs. But it was incredibly effective. And to become the first London team to lift the Champions League would be a triumph which would be beyond compare.”