Date:Tuesday May 20 2008
Here are all sorts of random omens for you, to make up your mind about who will win tomorrow's showpiece in Moscow.
On the two occasions that two teams from the same nation contested the Champions League final the winner was the one that finished below his opponent on the league table
- Yet on both occasions the team that had more success in the European Cup won (Real Madrid beat Valencia, Milan beat Juventus)
- United won their last final on the 90th birthday of Sir Matt Busby. This time it's the 50th anniversary of Munich and the 40th of our first European Cup win
- The last time a blue and a red team contested the final, in 2004, the blue (Porto) won emphatically. Patrice Evra was on the losing side (Monaco) at that time
- The last time a team that had won its domestic league that year took part in the final they won it: Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in 2006
- In the years' of recent European Championships (2004 and 2008) the Champions League winner wiped the floor with its opponent, winning 3-0 on both occasions
- The last two finals were won by the teams who were technically the 'home' side. This time it's United who will play at 'home'
- The last three teams who reached the final having never won the European Cup before ended up losing: Bayer Leverkusen were beaten by Real Madrid, Monaco were beaten by Porto and Arsenal were beaten by Barcelona
- The last time the bookmakers' favourites failed to win was in 2005 when Liverpool secured a most unlikely triumph over Milan.
- Sir Alex Ferguson won all his European finals, as did Manchester United.
- And here's my favourite one: since 2003 IN EVERY SINGLE SEASON the team that beat the team that knocked out Real Madrid won the trophy:
003: Juventus beat Real, Milan beat Juventus in the final
004: Monaco knocked out Real, Porto beat Monaco in the final
005: Juventus beat Real, Liverpool knocked out Juventus and went on to win the Cup
006: Arsenal defeated Real and Barcelona beat Arsenal in the final
007: Bayern Munich knocked out Real and got subsequently beaten by eventual winners AC Milan
008: AS Roma beat Real home and away - then they were beaten, home and away, by Manchester United...
Date:Tuesday May 20 2008
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