Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Aren’t Manchester United supposed to be peaking at this time of the season? That’s what all the Red Devils supporters will be asking themselves and their friends on Wednesday after the 0-0 draw at Newcastle United.
Penalty or no penalty at the end when Javier Hernandez went down in the area? And more importantly, will United go on and win the title? Wednesday’s Premier League games involving Arsenal at Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at home to Birmingham City will be decisive.
There is also another game on Wednesday, involving two Spanish clubs who, like Manchester United, sell shirts worldwide and are in the top five most famous clubs in the world. Yep, you guessed it, Real Madrid and Barcelona, part two of four, in the King’s Cup final.
Predictions anyone? Real coach Jose Mourinho said in his pre-match news conference that he will attack their great rivals, while counterpart Pep Guardiola has the upper hand following a 1-1 draw on Saturday and the 5-0 pasting of Real in November.
Having spent 250 million euros on reinforcements and with the final due to be staged at their own Bernabeu stadium, winning the Champions League is seen almost as an obligation for Real Madrid this season, at least by much of the Spanish media.
Kicking off their campaign, perhaps appropriately, in one of Europe’s most expensive cities, Real showed flashes of what may be to come, both in terms of attacking inspiration and defensive vulnerability, as they beat Swiss champions FC Zurich 5-2.