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A half empty San Siro didn’t even whistle after Inter Milan’s 2-2 draw with Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.
The Nerazzurri faithful are very used to average performances in Europe, they’ve not won in eight games and haven’t triumphed in the competition since 1965.
Coach Jose Mourinho wasn’t that upset either, he knew Inter had got out of jail thanks to Barcelona’s shock home defeat by Rubin Kazan in the other Group F game. Barca, Dynamo and Rubin are on four points with Inter on three with three to play.
”This is a group with great difficulties. It’s a group with four champions,” he said.
What have the UEFA Cup and the Eurovision song contest got in common?
A) Some people don’t take them as seriously as they could.
B) They give lesser known participants the chance to appear on prime-time TV.
C) East European countries have started to dominate them
And the answer, I’m starting to think, is C … because of A and B.
This year will be the third year in the past six that an ex-Soviet team plays in the UEFA Cup final after victories by Russian sides Zenit St Petersburg last year and CSKA Moscow in 2005.
Watching Shakhtar Donetsk’s dramatic victory over fellow Ukrainian team Dynamo Kiev, I wondered why eastern European teams were enjoying such a love affair with a competition others have lost their passion for.