Whilst the drama and excitement of the 2013/14 Premier League run-in has come to an end, UEFA have wasted no time in enacting an elementary sanction on billionaire Premier League champions Manchester City for breaching the rules of Financial Fair Play.
Prior to Real Madrid's 4-0 thumping of Osasuna last month, Sergio Ramos had netted just 1 goal in 43 appearances in all competitions this season. Fast-forward to the present day and the defender has 5 in his last 6, including a brace against Bayern to cement Los Blancos' place in the Champions League final...
Plenty of English fans delighted in the schadenfreude of Liverpool's late-season collapse but it's to the detriment of the sport the underdogs don't succeed more often. Regardless of club loyalties we should be able to enjoy the unlikely success of clubs with significant financial disadvantages.
Chelsea welcome Atletico Madrid to Stamford Bridge this evening to play out the second leg of their respective semi-final ie - and, following a dead heat in the first meeting, both sides still have it all to play for.
This has not been about David Moyes at all. His sad fate would have been the natural destiny of any inheritor of what was clearly a poisoned chalice, made more poisonous by the addition of that lethal factor of self-delusion. Because Manchester United have succeeded in convincing themselves that they are something special; the Biggest Club in the World.
On Tuesday night Borussia Dortmund came perilously close to pulling off the impossible. Chasing a three goal deficit following their first leg defeat to Real Madrid in the quarter-final of the Champions League, the German side were 2-0 up heading into the break after Ángel Di María had seen his penalty saved a quarter of an hour into the game...
I don't want to put a downer on Liverpool's success but they have played far fewer games than the other top teams. Liverpool fans seem to react very angrily when I mention this, but it's true!
It seems incredibly harsh to place all of the blame on Moyes considering the state of the club when Ferguson departed, primarily in terms of their squad. Manchester United possess a wealth of talent, however, the main problem is that their young players are still not at the level required for Premier League glory and their more experienced men are past their peak.
I am also increasing concerned by the trappings of modern football, by rising ticket prices and players who earn dizzying multiples of real people's salaries. It is an unease with a sport that is become increasingly corporate and globalised...
The three-time European champions have just held this year's favourites to a draw at Old Trafford and there is time to have a look at the what we picked up during the 90 minutes.
Vincent Kompany is widely accepted to be the single best defender in the league, but it's hard to pick another exceptional player to pair him with as the chasing pack are all too old, slow or mistake-prone. The lack of defensive depth in the league is one of the main reasons that English teams are having such a hard time in Europe lately.
Winning it is no longer seen as much of an achievement, especially for clubs who would usually identify themselves as Champions League level sides. Teams competing in the old UEFA Cup were the second best team in their respective countries. Now, however, competing clubs from bigger countries could be fifth, sixth or seventh best and in the case of relegated domestic cup winners like Wigan or Birmingham City, could even be from lower divisions.
After watching his side systematically dismantled at home to Liverpool at the weekend, David Moyes must be wondering if his tenure at Old Trafford could be any worse. Unfortunately for him, come Thursday morning, it definitely could - and it likely will. As United lick their wounds following that 3-0 humiliation inflicted by their fierce rivals, their Champions League status also hangs finely in the balance.
Mourinho knows his Chelsea side can't go on scraping through 1-0 victories for much longer. His deliberate tactic to unsettle the opposition simply won't work; Pellegrini, Wenger and Rodgers are too mature and sophisticated to fall foul of his childish games.
After a few seasons of English Champions League stagnation, we are yet to see how this season's crop of teams shall fair, next season should be a year in which the Premier League can once again lay claim to being one of the top European powers.
The pair are locked in a long-standing personal duel which stretches back to their time at Inter Milan, when they occupied the San Siro hot seat in direct succession to each other. As Mourinho celebrated a famous treble win during his second season in Milan, Mancini complained that his Portuguese successor was taking undue credit...