FOOTBALL – Following the final La Liga games where Atletico were victors, the promotions and relegations were also decided for the 2021/22 season. It was also a week of European finals, winners and losers controversy, and speculation.
Champions League winners – Chelsea
The Champions League final took place last night in Porto, Portugal, between Manchester City and Chelsea. The only goal of the match came just before half time when Chelsea´s record signing, Havertz scored for the Blues. Ederson came out his box to make the tackle, but Havertz carried on and followed through to the empty goal.
Although there was only one goal, the game was intense. And most of the match was played end to end with plenty of chances and saves throughout. With less than 14 minutes on the clock, Werner missed a perfect opportunity. Then City looked ready to bag the opener after 27 minutes when Foden appeared to be free inside the box but Rudiger managed to get there and block the attempt on goal. De Bryne and Sterling crossed the ball into the box often, but there seemed to be no-one there to take the strike.
Tensions were high and tackle were hard. As a result, there were a few injuries with players having to be substituted as they were too bad to continue. Chelsea´s Silva came off late into the first half after failing to shake off an injury. Later, De Bryune of City looked groggy and had an immediate black eye after a collision with Anton Rudiger.
There was controversy an hour into the game when City were claiming handball against Reece James. But after consultation, the ref´s decision was the ball came off the chest first and then deflected onto the arm. Sergio Aguero came on as a sub for City and played his last game for the club.
Europa League winners – Villarreal
It was the Europa League Final on Wednesday between Villarreal and Manchester United. Man U went into the game as favourites, but Villarreal found the net first with a fantastic goal from Moreno in the 29th minute. Manchester United very nearly scored the equaliser just before half time.
However, the remainder of the first half didn´t produce any goals, and Villarreal went down the tunnel at
half time, one goal up. Ten minutes into the second half and Manchester United equalised with a goal from Cavani. The match ended at full time 1-1 and went into extra time with no change in the score. Then came the penalties to decide the champions.
The teams were so evenly matched that the penalties went to 21 before the decider came when United goalkeeper David de Gea missed.
It is the sixth time in the past eight Europa League Finals that a Spanish side has won the title.
La Liga 2021/22 – winners and losers
Espanyol of Barcelona, Mallorca and Leganes enter the first division. Meanwhile Huesca, Valladolid and Eibar are relegated to the second division.
Zinedine Zidane is set to leave Real Madrid. The French coach, who still has a season left of his contract, informed the players that he will not continue into the next season.
There has been much speculation and controversy over Koeman´s leadership of Barcelona. After a short 30-minute meeting with the board on Tuesday, there was still no decision regarding his future at Barcelona. Then, as reported by Fox Sports and confirmed by Laporta, Koeman had to go to hospital on Thursday because of an anxiety attack.
Diego Simeone has had an amazing season with Atletico Madrid, and it looks certain his contract will be renewed. El Cholo celebrates his 10th season with Atletico in December.
Messi was not on the team sheet for the final game of La Liga season. He was on rest ahead of national duty in Argentina. Meanwhile, the new contract is at the club awaiting his decision on his return.
Following the emotional La Liga final where Suarez broke down in tears during an interview, he also had a few choice words about the lack of respect shown to him by Barcelona and his thanks to Simeone for his belief in him. He said El Cholo is the best manager he has ever played under.
There have been many surprises throughout La Liga this season, and it is expected many clubs will be having a clear out as they look ahead to the new season.