Soccer Break Tuesday – Bad omens for United

April 26, 2011

The semi-finals of the Champions League are upon us and the omens are not good for Manchester United ahead of their double-header against Schalke 04.

They might be running away with the Premier League title and facing a side who are 10th in their own table (ok, those portents look pretty rosy), but they have come unstuck the last two times they have lined up against German rivals in the semi-finals.

And these particular German rivals have Raul, the pocket poacher who proved far too wily an opponent when they lost to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals in 2000.

But the motivation is there for manager Alex Ferguson, who after 25 years spent overhauling Liverpool’s domestic record, has admitted he is more than a little envious of their red rivals’ European success.

If this clash doesn’t whet the appetite then you only have 24 hours to wait for Real Madrid’s semi with Barcelona – and if you are not looking forward to that then I’m guessing you’ve clicked this link by mistake.

Real boss Jose Mourinho has a knack of rubbing Barcelona up the wrong way and after last season’s semi-final victory with Inter Milan, he has been struck off many a Catalan’s christmas card list.

And for those of you who don’t know your ‘Cules’ from your ‘Meringues’, we have prepared a little pocket phrasebook to accompany the ‘Clasico’.

Finally, spare a thought for fans of Queens Park Rangers who invaded the pitch and staged an impromptu party when they thought they had been promoted to the Premier League only for rivals Norwich to score in the 96th minute to keep them waiting.

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/