Last week Jurgen Klopp announced that he would be leaving Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. It will bring the end to what was one of Dortmund’s best periods. Jurgen was in charge for 7 seasons. From the start of his Dortmund career, you knew he would be a thorn in the side of Bayern Munich. In 2008, he led his side to victory in the T-Home Supercup over the then champions Bayern Munich. Slowly he moved the team up the table and eventually in 2010-2011 he won his first of two back to back Bundesliga titles. He had knocked off Bayern Munich. In 2011-12 he won both the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal. He added two DFL-Supercups. In 2012-13 he had an amazing season that unfortunately ended in defeat, as he led Dortmund to the Champions League final. This year has been difficult, as many of his best players have moved on to other clubs, many of which went to Bayern Munich. Dortmund has been a force under Klopp. It will be interesting to see how they can move on as a club, but more interestingly will be where Klopp will end up. Klopp will be one of the most sought after people during the summer window. Who do you think will get him?
Champions League Preview
This week is the second leg of the quarterfinals. On Tuesday, we will find out if Bayern Munich can pull the great escape and overturn their 3-1 defeat in Porto. PSG are in the same boat as Bayern, except they have to travel to Barcelona. Wednesday is the Madrid derby where it is all to play for. The first leg finished scoreless. It will be interesting to see how the two teams play. Gareth Bale is set to miss the tie with an injury. The other game is Monaco host Juventus. It should be interesting to see if Monaco can score two goals or keep a clean sheet.
In Barcelona, Valencia probably deserved more than 0 points, but they could not find the net and had a penalty saved. Suarez opened the scoring early on after a great movement that ended with a brilliant pass from Messi to Suarez to put it in. Messi did end up getting his 400th goal for Barcelona when he was played in all by himself in the final minute of the game. The 2-0 win for Barcelona means that they remain on top of the table with just 6 games remaining. Real Madrid kept pace as they won 3-1 over Malaga. Atletico gained some distance on Valencia with their 2-1 win over Deportivo. Finally, Sevilla failed to capitalize on Valencia’s defeat, as they could only draw 1-1 with Granada.
In Germany, Bayer Leverkusen jumped into third following their victory over Hannover. Monchengladbach were held to a 0-0 draw at Eintracht. It was not a good weekend for the bottom half of the table, as the bottom 5 teams all lost this weekend. Dortmund is finally in a single digit place on the table as they beat Paderborn. Bayern Munich extended their lead when they beat Hoffenheim 2-0 and Wolfsburg drew 1-1 with Schalke. The lead is now 12 points.
In a battle of the top two in Italy, Juventus showed why they have been the best team in Italy, beating Lazio 2-0. They now have a 15 point lead on Lazio and Roma. Roma drew level on points with Lazio when they drew 1-1 with Atalanta. Napoli also closed the gap on the top 3, as they beat Cagliari 3-0. They are now just 5 points from the Champions League.
In France, PSG and Lyon are level on points after this weekend. PSG does have a game in hand right now that will be played Tuesday April 28th. This past weekend, PSG beat Nice 3-1 to put them one point ahead of Lyon. Lyon then drew 2-2 with St. Etienne. It should be a really interesting run to the finish with just 5 games left for Lyon and 6 for PSG. Marseille continue their slide, as they lost 1-0 to Nantes. St. Etienne is now level on points with them and they are both 2 points behind Monaco for the last Champions League spot.
In England, I think we can finally say that the title race is over. Chelsea will win the title this year as they are now 10 points ahead of Arsenal. Both teams have 6 games remaining, but it is all but over. Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 over the weekend in a typical Jose Mourinho game. Manchester City got back to winning ways as they beat West Ham 2-0. Tottenham also responded to their defeat last weekend with a 3-1 win over lowly Newcastle. Southampton’s dream of the Champions League is most likely over following their 2-1 loss to Stoke.
The FA Cup semifinals took place over the weekend. With a spot in the finals on the line, Arsenal needed extra time to beat Reading 2-1. However, the result of the round was Aston Villa 2, Liverpool 1. The Villans will advance to the final in what was a poor showing by Liverpool. Will another trophyless season and possibly no Champions League next year spell the end for Brendan?