Sports / May 7, 2009

Last few weeks of the top European Leagues should yield excitement

May has begun and by now at least a few big European Leagues should be virtually decided. And yet, soccer fans are still waiting for the yearly celebrations of cups lifted into the air and riots in the streets.

Not one major European League has been mathematically decided yet. No team has summed up enough points to where it would be impossible for second place to match them. That’s not to say some leagues aren’t close.

The Italian Serie A, for instance, is more than likely going to be won by Inter Milan for the fourth year in a row. Although, they sit at a comfortable seven points above second place AC Milan, they are coming off a regrettable streak of only six wins in 10 games, which took their lead down from 13 points to what it is now. With only four league games left, AC Milan is praying that Inter keeps slipping.

The Spanish Primera is another league with a pretty solid favorite. After a historic 2-6 annihilation of long time rivals Real Madrid last weekend, FC Barcelona’s seven point lead is feeling pretty good. Madrid’s advantage, however, is persistence, as Barcelona has both the Spanish cup final and Champions league matches to play this week, while Madrid has only games within the League. This, Madrid fans hope, will tire Barcelona enough to force them into making some key mistakes in the remaining four league games.

The Premier League this year is considerably more interesting. Two-year reigning champions Manchester United is holding only a slim three-point lead over Liverpool, and just a six-point lead over Chelsea. Liverpool has the same advantage here that Madrid has in Spain, in that both Chelsea and Manchester United are still alive in the Champions League, while Liverpool’s players have time to spend focusing only on the Premier League. All three teams are looking very much in top form, and much to Chelsea’s dismay, all three keep winning. Manchester United has an advantage, however, in that they have four league games remaining, while Chelsea and Liverpool each have only three apiece.

Gordon Barratt

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