While I did not write about them until now, I did of course watch the two all-English UEFA club cup finals last week, with Chelsea overcoming Arsenal in 4-1 in the Europa League final, before Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to crown themselves kings of the continent in the Champions League final.
My personal distaste for English teams in general and Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp in particular aside, the EPL really did deserve to have all four European finalists come from its ranks this year, while Liverpool and Klopp are deserved champions who have earned all the praise that is currently coming their way.
Still, there is usually something that bores the rest of the continent and the remainder of the watching world for that matter, when one, (or as in this unprecedented case both) major European finals involve teams from the same country.
I fully accept the charge of hypocrisy when I say that the 2013 triumph of Bayern Munich over Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund was a glorious exception to that rule.
At the same time, those who may point out my hypocrisy, must also concede the fact that the 2013 Champions League final was far more entertaining than this year’s edition.
On another point, the handball rule is far less transparent today than it has been in the past.
The fact that the referee gave a penalty to Liverpool in the second minute of the match may have been correct in terms of the current interpretation of the rule, but it was still harsh, given that the culprit, Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko had no chance of getting his hand out of the ball’s way fast enough.
The incident destroyed the rest of the game, given that Spurs took an understandably long time to recover from that early shock.
On a last note, it seems unlikely that all-English finals will be common in the future, given that a consequence of Brexit , the EPL will soon no longer be able to attract the best players on the planet.