Afternoon all. I never got around to talking about season 12 in Europe in the last post..it’s been emotional..
Genoa and Chelsea had to navigate the qualifying round as they both finished second domestically in 2008.
Geno got the trickier draw, but both emerged unscathed
Anderlecht eased through the group stage
And found time to add a couple more trophies to the cabinet.
This one looks close…
But it really wasn’t…
The group of death was Group D. My clubs Genoa and Chelsea paired with the might of Inter and only one club guaranteed to go through
In the end it came to a Genoa Chelsea play-off. The first team these two clubs had played each other…
Simon Kjer, a Danish attacking midfielder who is valued at £5million plus finally justifies his reputation (Brian Laudrup regen)
A more favourable quarter-final draw for Genoa. In keeping with how the domestic leagues are going, there were some unusual names in the last 8.
Here’s the Aberdeen squad. A few decent Scottish and Irish players there
Led by Pittodrie veteran, Sergeio Rebrov
Sergei got our centre-back sent off, but it made little difference
We picked a reserve team for the second leg because we needed to focus our energy on keeping first place in the league. After 10 minutes I was beginning to panic
The semi final draw kept us apart, leaving open the possibility of an all-human final. Anderlecht would have to get past Inter first…we’ve done it before
Tomasso Conca (Roberto Baggio regen) did the trick at the Vicente Calderon
The Anderlecht all stars team put on a show at San Siro. These were the half-time stats
And we kept it tight in the second half to record a priceless 1-0 win
The second leg was a real nail-biter. Nevland and Trez-e-goal traded blows and Inter were one away goal away from going through
Genoa cruised through, but we lost our captain to injury which would rule him out for a key month
Young Filippo Spinesi got the goals
And so it was written
What about the other trophies?
Let’s get this one out of the way. Well done to Peter Reid and Derby
The FA Cup semis were close run things. Title challenging Villa saw their dreams of a double ended by Bryan Robson’s Newcastle
Newcastle made it two Cup Finals soon after
Birmingham, who have carved out a niche as European experts, also reached a final. It could’ve been a local derby, but mid-table Udinese snuck through against Villa who crash out in another semi-final
Newcastle’s man for the big occasion, South-African Mark Madigage, brought home the FA Cup, but couldn’t do the same in Europe
And Birmingham made it two defeats out of two for England
Udinese, true cup experts…
And so, to the big one. Italy and Belgium came to a halt for the evening to tune in for a Wembley showdown. Here are the line-ups.
Genoa still missing injured captain Alfredo Tisci, but with an attacking three of Mattar, Conca and Eberl who have proved unstoppable all season.
Midfield stalwart Daniele Daino is surprisingly left out due to fitness issues, but Italian international Sinigaglia will be looking to pull the strings
The Anderlecht team picks itself. The only player missing is the injured Rio Ferdinand. Big signing Heidmar Gunnarson is cup-tied for European competition. Players like Nevland, Joilton, Revelles and Sala have seen it all before. The Belgians start as favourites and, if successul, this would be their 3rd Champions League triumph in 4 years.
Cool-headed centre-back Jason Revelles slots home from the penalty spot early on to give Anderlecht the league. Erik Nevland chips in with his customary goal. Despite an immediate reply from Christof Eberl, Genoa are always chasing the game and Anderlecht cling on in front of a near full-house
No complaints about the result, the Genovese had their chances but so did Anderlecht and Tovalieri was man of the match
Europe hasn’t seen this kind of dominance since the Real side of the 1950’s.
Of course, the league is our bread and butter and it’s been a busy domestic season from Spain to England. I’ll leave that story for next time though