This weekend witnessed the conclusion of all of Europe’s major football action and there was a unique outcome considering three clubs were able to combine the league and cup trophies together. Bayern Munich won the domestic double in Germany while Chelsea added the FA Cup on Saturday after their triumph in the Premier League the previous weekend. In Italy, Inter were able to retain their Serie A title to add it to the Coppa Italia trophy won against Roma.
All three clubs have had great seasons and have achieved a historic feat despite Bayern having done the double before and the fact Arsenal and Manchester United have done the double in England in recent years. Still this was Chelsea’s first domestic double and manager Carlo Ancelotti deserves lots of credit after taking charge this summer and finally putting to rest the ghost of Jose Mourinho who returned to haunt the London club in the Champions League this year. Since Mourinho’s departure Chelsea have failed to win the Premiership yet have now won the league and the FA Cup double in Ancelotti’s first season in charge, an achievement even the outspoken Portuguese was not able to complete during his successful spell at Stamford Bridge.
As for Bayern Munich they have rebounded after a poor start to the season and their 4-1 destruction of Juventus in Turin in the Champions League served as the turning point of their current campaign confirming their status as a serious threat both in Germany and Europe as well as building tremendous confidence amongst the Bavarian club’s players. Bayern won the DFB-Pokal after crushing WerderBremen 4-0 in the final with the club’s two star players Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery managing to put their name on the scoresheet. Now the Bavarians will eye a historic treble by attempting to win the Champions League next Saturday in Madrid.
Finally, Inter were successful in retaining their Serie A title yet perhaps suffered the most considering the title was in Roma till the 57th minute when Argentina striker Diego Milito succeeded in scoring the winner against Siena to secure the Scudetto to Jose Mourinho’s men. The Nerazzurri were challenged the most amongst the three teams considering Roma put up a brave fight and only conceded the title on the last day of Serie A. The Giallorossi actually let slip of the title when they could not convert their opportunities in the first-half of the match against Sampdoria when they were leading 1-0 only to throw away the match and lose 2-1 courtesy of a Giampaolo Pazzini double. The Nerazzurri also had to overcome the stubborn Giallorossi in the Coppa Italia final when another crucial Milito strike secured the trophy for the Milan side.
At this stage, the Nerazzurri will turn their attention to achieving a historic treble by beating Bayern in Madrid to lift the Champions League trophy. If they succeed in doing so then Inter will have achieved something special and Mourinho might step down after having won the most prestigious trophy in Europe. Regardless of who wins the Champions League, Bayern and Inter have had a great season and England’s Chelsea have also completed a great achievement by winning their first double. It will be interesting to see how those three clubs will do next season when the likes of Manchester United and Juventus will attempt to wrestle away the title from their grip. Bayern will likely continue to dominate in Germany unless they lose Ribery and Robben or one of them. Robben has been particularly crucial in the big games such as the clashes against Fiorentina and Manchester United in the Champions League when his club was in desperate need of goals and inspiration.