Lots of things have happened during the last 2 weeks. Most significant were the Premier League ending and Champions League final. I will go in a chronological order to make this easier for everybody.
The Bahrain grand prix was won by Vettel with Kimi Raikkonen finishing second and Alonso finishing 7th. It was a disappointing race for both Ferrari and McLaren with Hamilton having finished at 8th position. With this race, the 2012 season had 4 different winners from 4 races and Vettel was leading the standings.
The Spanish grand prix threw up another surprise when Pastor Maldonado won the race and Alonso came 2nd ahead of Raikkonen in 3rd place. So from 5 races this season, there have been 5 winners from 5 different teams. This season has been more exiting and even than the previous 2 seasons where Vettel in 2011 season and Button in 2010 season dominated the early races. So now Alonso and Vettel are joint first at the top with 61 points followed by Hamilton at 53 and Raikkonen at 49. Lotus’s start to this season has been a pleasant surprise with both drivers being in the top 10 and the team sitting in 3rd position with 84 points.
In my previous post, I wrote that as an Arsenal fan, I expected Arsenal to finish 3rd, finish with more that 67 points and for van Persie to score 31 goals. We managed to get 2 out of those right and I am immensely satisfied with the end to the season. We had drawn with Norwich in our second last game and that put us in a precarious position in the league but luckily for us, Tottenham drew their match with Aston Villa and on the final match day, 3rd position was still in our own hands. We started well with a Benayoun goal in the second minute but then conceded 2 and put ourselves in danger. Andre Santos and Koscielny stepped up and scored goals in the fist half and second half respectively and we managed to see out the final 10 nervy minutes to finish 3rd in the league. We accumulated 70 points this season and van Persie finished with 30 goals for the season.
Elsewhere, Man U and Man City were both on 86 points going heading in to the final game and Man City had to win the match to win the league. They were 2-1 down to 10 man QPR heading into the final 5 minutes but goals form Dzeko and Aguero won Man City the title. It was a stunning end to a fantastic League campaign which had its share of ups and downs for all the teams.
Chelsea won the Champions League yesterday. I missed the match thinking it will be played today but even if I had known, I probably wouldn’t have followed it. I don’t know if they deserve the title but they did have a most amazing season full of ups and downs. And if you think about it, Chelsea has had the best season of all the EPL teams. Sure, Man City won the EPL, but with the kind of squad they had, they would have looked stupid not to win the title. Man U hounded them all the way and finished on equal points with them and that is a great achievement by Sir Alex Ferguson. Liverpool won the Carling cup but finished 8th in the league, Man U tried hard in the League but disappointed in the cup competitions, Arsenal had a bad start to the season and were never in it to win the League but we played badly to crash out of the cup titles, specially the F.A cup in which we lost to Sunderland. And Chelsea finished the season winning the F.A cup and the Champions League meaning they get a lot of money and get to play in next years Champions league despite finishing 6th in the league. So with 2 significant cup titles with all the ups and downs they had with the sacking of Villas-Boas and bad league form, they are the team of the season for me for the 2011-2012 season.
Nadal lost in the 4th round in Madrid to Verdasco, who I think played fantastic tennis in that match to win the last set from 5-2 down. With Federer winning the Madrid title, he displaced Nadal in the rankings but was seded third in the Rome Masters tournament. Nadal, Djokovic and Federer reached the semi-finals in Rome where Nadal beat Ferrer in 2 sets and Djokovic beat Federer in straight sets yesterday. So Nadal will play Djokovic in the final today.
This is their 32nd match together with Nadal leading 17-14 but Djokovic has won 7 of the last 8 meetings. If Nadal wins this match, it will be his 21st Masters title and he will be back to No. 2 going into French open. It will also be his 6th Rome Masters title. If Djokovic wins the final, it will be his 12th Masters title and he will extend his lead at the top of the rankings. Djokovic had won both the Madrid and Rome titles last year and having lost the Madrid title last week, it will be important for his confidence and position as number 1 to win this title. Specially with the French Open to come in 2 weeks time, it is an important match for both players and should be an interesting tie.