The 2012-2013 domestic seasons across Europe wrapped up this weekend (1st June 2013). It has been a fun filled packed season of many highs (Bayern Muninch fans can tell you) and many lows. Football is always like a roller coaster of emotions, but this season just felt like it had a bit more than normal.
I'll write a summary of as much detail as i can for the domestic leagues we cover here in the TL Football Thread with as much knowledge as i have!
English Domestic League
Well, the English domestic league pulls in the biggest TV ratings around the world and it didn't fail to bring to the world a crazy season spread of 10 months.
It started with a couple of shocks already. Man City opened their league title defense with a game vs Southampton who had just been promoted back to the Premier league after a 7 year absence. Southampton the surprise of many watching, took a shock 2-1 lead with only 20minutes remaining, however man city showed their fighting spirit to win 3-2 with Nasri scoring the winner late on. Man Utd who finished runners up to Man City had a tricky away fixture at Everton, which would prove to be true and lost 1-0.
The early front runners were Chelsea, leading up until October and then slipped off the pace with a bad month at the end of October and over the November/December schedule. Which also included a change of management! Much to the displeasure of the Chelsea faithful. Man Utd piled on the pressure, beating Chelsea in October and climbing themselves up the league table. Man Utd stood at the top before Christmas, with Man City in 2nd place.
Going into the new year, it would be much the same with Man Utd and Man City at the top with Chelsea Arsenal Tottenham battling around for the champions league positions. This is how it would turn out to be right up until the closing stages of the season.
Man Utd were to run out rightful winners by the end of April crowning their championship with a 4-0 win against Aston Villa who were battling relegation at the time. That would be the 20th title for Man Utd and a very special one for Sir Alex Ferguson as he would later announce that he is retiring from football management after 1500 games managing Manchester United.
With the league sewn up in terms of winners, it left Man City comfertably in 2nd place as all 3 teams in Chelsea Tottenham and Arsenal were to struggle maintaining form in the new year, and it would be these 3 teams battling it out to try and land a place in next years illustrious Champions League.
It would go the last games in the end, with Chelsea clinching a guranteed spot in the top 4 with a dramatic 2-1 victory of Aston Villa in which Frank Lampard became the clubs biggest ever scorer with 203 goals, all achieved in the same game. That would put Chelsea better of goal difference wise than Tottenham and with only Arsenal able to stop them getting the 3rd place.
It would go down to the last games where Chelsea were 2-1 victors over Everton at Stamford Bridge, securing 3rd place and group stage placement for the Champions League and Arsenal who were 2 points in front of Tottenham secure 4th place with a 1-0 victory away to Newcastle. Tottenham were eventually able to win 1-0 thanks to a 90th minute strike from the prolific Gareth Bale, but it wouldn't be enough to overturn the 2 points difference between their North London rivals.
- League Title - Man United
- FA Cup - Wigan
- League Cup - Swansea
- Robin Van Persie scoring 26 times to be named Top Goalscorer
- Gareth Bale to be voted PFA and FWA player of the season
- Sir Alex Ferguson retiring from Manchester United and David Moyes of Everton be named as his replacement
Spanish Domestic League
Spanish La Liga started with it's curtain raiser of Barcelona (Copa Del Rey winners) vs Real Madrid, La Liga winners. It was a great game which saw Real Madrid win (over two legs). Would this be the start of another Jose Mourinho inspired win over their fiercest rivals? Or would Barcelona bounce back?
Well Barcelona would bounce back, even with Pep Guardiola at the helm, after a long successful stint in charge of the team. And wouldn't they do it very well.
It started off with Real Madrid drawing 1-1 with Valencia. This was a bit of a surprise even though Valencia are a good team, Real Madrid dropping points in there first game of the title defense. Barcelona would then respond the following day in their opening league game with a 5-1 drubbing of Real Sociedad! First blood Barcelona!
The start of the season would then get even more important in the future of the league standings of the season with Real Madrid losing their 2nd game of the season 2-1 to Getafe away. Barcelona would have a bit of trouble overcoming an Osasuna side 2-1 away. Thats a 5 points lead opened up for Barcelona after 2 games. Real Madrid had it all to do.
Real Madrid would then pick up their first win in game 3 of the season whilst Barcelona would overcome a nice test again Valencia 1-0. You thought Real Madrid might push on from this, but they would not and drop even further behind Barcelona with a defeat in game 4 too Sevilla. Whilst as you would guess, Barcelona would win their game four 4-1 against Getafe!
Atletico Madrid would be 2nd in the division going into the winter break after an impressive start to their league campaign.
It would be Barcelona and 18point lead into the new year which would be the comfortable winners of La Liga and the only thing left for them to play for at one stage was "how many" points would Barcelona achieve in this season, and how far would their fiercest rivals Real Madrid be behind them.
The Champions League places began to set a side story to this league with a few teams battling it out for the illustrious 4th spot in La Liga. Valencia Real Sociedad and Malaga would be the teams battling it out for the last spot. It would be Malga the first to falter, last years big spenders and 4th placed finishers. They would however be later "banned" from European competitions and would not of been allowed into the champions league anyway.
That would leave Valencia and Real Sociedad to fight it out for the last Champions League place. This would go down to the last game, with Real Sociedad having a 1 point lead over Valencia, however Real Sociedad last game would be against Deportivo La Coruna who were fighting relegation. Needing a win to secure their life in the league for next season. It would Real Sociedad who would walk out 1-0 winners in that match and guarantee themselves Champions League football for 2013-2014 season.
- League Title - Barcelona
- Copa Del Rey - Atletico Madrid
- Lionel Messi Top Scorer 46 goals
- Jose Mourinho announced he is leaving Real Madrid
German Domestic League
This season would see the German domestic league boom, in terms of respect across Europe in the league system. The German would rediscover some dominance in Europe and the rejuvenation of the might Bayern Munich would rise to take most of the plaudits.
Bayern would start the season very well scoring 12 goals in their first 3 fixtures conceding just 2 goals, where as their old foes and main rivals for the league Borrusia Dortmund would drop points in the first 3 games drawing away at Nurnberg 1-1.
This would just be the start though as Dortmund would only win once in their next 5 fixtures, losing to Schalke and Hamburg with draws to Frankfurt and Hannover. Whilst Bayern would continue their dominance 5 wins out of 5 and 0 goals conceded. Lead at the top of the table and Dortmund struggling for consistency, the title looked done really with Bayern having a 12 point lead of their biggest rivals and last years champions.
This would pretty much be the case for the rest of the season, even though Nurnberg nicked a draw and Bayer Leverkusen beating them in the Allianz arena. 4 points dropped with a 12 point lead was not a problem though and the lead would continue to grow.
Dortmund would though record 2 draws over their rivals through out this season though with 1-1 being the scores in both game. This would not change anything though as Bayern would still comfortably lead the Bundesliga from start...to finish.
The battle for 4th place in Bundesliga would also go to the last game of the season, which would involve Schalke and Freiburg facing eachother. Schalke would hold a 1 point lead over Freiburg going into the match but Freiburg were playing at home. It was a tense battle but Schalke would run out 2-1 victors in Freiburg backyard and claim a 4 point lead and a place in the Champions League for the 2013-14 season!
Bayern would also top Dortmund's record in Bundesliga they set last year with a record of 91points from 34 games averaging 2.7 points per game, oustanding.
Bayern would also set even more German history becoming the first team to with the Bundesliga title, the DFB Cup and also the European cup all in the same season. A great record and a worthy team in Bayern Munich to do so.
- League Title - Bayern Munich
- DFB-Pokal - Bayern Munich
- Stefan Kießling Top Scorer 25 goals
- Jupp Heynckes announced he was retiring, and Pep Guardiola would take over from him
Italian Domestic League
The Italian league was domianted last season by the Princes of Italy in Juventus, with an undefeated season last year and an easy ride to the title it was whether the Inter Milans and Ac Milans could mount a strong challenge along Napoli to dethrone them.
With another match fixing scandal being thrown around the press during the start of the season, it resulted in the Juventus team coach Antonio Conte being suspended for 12months which was later reduced to just 4.
This wouldn't falter the start of Juventus' season though as they would win their first 4 games of the season.
Napoli would be the biggest challenge through out the season to Juventus thanks to their talisman and excellent striker in Edison Cavani! They would also start the season well with 4 wins out of 5 and drawing the other.
Juventus would beat Napoli in the first meeting of the season as well in game 8 of the season to open up a 3 point lead at the top.
This became a turning point as Napoli would then drop points in the next 3 out of 5 games. Whilst Juventus kept on winning and edging out an even bigger lead.
Napoli would begin to put the pressure back on to Juventus, as Juventus would not go unbeaten this year and began to drop the pace at the top. A 3-1 loss to Inter was followed by a draw to Lazio and another loss came to AC Milan. Struggling Juventus were, but they would eventually get back on track and get back to extending the gap at the op.
The Champions League place in Italy would also go the last game of season, involving AC Milan and Fiorentina. AC Milan needed to avoid defeat to keep 3rd place and the last Champions league spot, whilst Fiorentina needed to win and hope AC Milan lost. Both teams however won, and their would only be Champions league football for AC Milan and not Fiorentina.
- League Title - Juventus
- Coppa Italia - Lazio
- Edison Cavani Top Scorer 29 goals
- Rafael Benitez takes over from the outgoing Napoli Coach Walter Mazzarri as he goes to Inter Millian
French Domestic League
Big spending Paris Saint Germain were the big favorites to win the Ligue 1 this season as they bought in some cracking players, none bigger than Zlatan Ibrahimiovic upfront.
However the league did not start the way in with the French big spenders would of liked...3 draws in 3 games scoring just 2 goals questioned if they may have bought too many players to quickly. Marseille on the other hand started with 3 wins from 3, the biggest contenders to the big spending PSG.
PSG would eventually record their first win of the league season with a narrow 2-1 win over Lille in Lille. Marseille would however continue to win.
It took until the game 7 before Marseille lost, but they were well beaten against Valenciennes 4-1. Marseille would then follow that defeat with a 2-2 draw to PSG and then a 1-0 loss to Troyes to surrender the lead to an inform PSG.
PSG would then take themselves off the top with a bad 3 game run of 0 wins and 2 defeats. Marseille though could only manage 1 win 1 draw and 1 defeat in that time as well, causing the league table to become very close at the top.
PSG and Marseille would then both lose on the same weekend of fixtures to Nice and Lyon respectively, before PSG would go on an 8 game unbeaten run to cement their place above Marseille going into the business end of the season.
From then on Marseille continue to drop points at vital stages of the season trying to chase down PSG at the top, and it was big spending PSG who would eventually run out convincing winners of Ligue 1!
Lyon and Nice would be the teams battling it out for the 3rd place and remaining Champions League spot. With the game pivoting on a penultimate game of the season, which Nice hosting Lyon, with Lyon having a 3 point lead over Nice, Nice had to win at home. This however would not be the case as Lyon would hold out for a 1-1 draw, and Nice's Champions League dreams would be over the following week as both teams would win their last games of the season and Lyon would have 3rd place confirmed.
- League Title - Paris Saint Germain
- Coupe De France - Bordeaux
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic Top Scorer 30 goals
- Reports of Real Madrid wanting Carlo Ancelotti as their manager is sparking rumors of him leaving PSG this summer.
Dutch Domestic League
The Dutch league this season was dominated by the most decorative team in the Netherlands by Ajax. Frank De Boer guided his team to a well earned 32nd league title win. With only 2 defeats in the whole campaign Ajax had to battle up the league table after a slow start. But once they gained top spot they never let it go.
The biggest threat to Ajax over the course of the season ended up being PSV Eindhoven and Feyernord who both finished the league on 69points and PSV eventually hanging on to 2nd spot and the remaining champions spot with their far superior goal difference and also was the best in the league.
It wouldn't be Ajax who lead from start to finish in this years win, but an FC Twente side that went from leading the division for the opening 11 games, to finishing a low 6th position and not even in Europe. Quite a surprise from their opening 11 games!
- League Title - Ajax
- KNVB Cup - AZ
- Wilfried Bony Top Scorer 31 goals
Portuguese Domestic League
The Portuguese league was again dominated by it's two biggest clubs; Benfica and Porto. These two teams again would go head to head for the title.
FC Porto were to start the season with a tame 0-0 draw with Gil Vicente away, but Benfica could only manage a 2-2 draw at home to Braga. Both the big guns failing to win on the opening day of Primeira Liga.
Normal service would resume after that opening day slip ups with Porto winning the next 3 games in a row, however Benfica didn't have as much luck after they drew matchday 4 against Academica de Coimbra 2-2.
Porto and Benfica however continue to tussle for top spot in the division through out the season, with the 1st place often changing hands between the two clubs.
Benfica however did manage to put some air between themselves and Porto after Porto slipped up and drew a few games. Benfica lead the division by 2 points going into the last 2 fixtures. However one of these fixtures would be away to their fiercest rivals; Porto.
This would be too much for Benfica as Porto would put themselves in poll position to be crowned 27 times Portuguese champions with a 2-1 victory over Benfica, scoring a late winner.
Benfica however also had a bigger heartbreak that season, losing the possiblilty of a treble winning season and finishing empty handed. They lost the Portuguese division title lead, the Europa Cup and the Portuguese domestic cup all within 7days of eachother. Not such a nice ending for a good season for the club.
- League Title - Porto
- Taça de Portugal - Vitória de Guimarães
- Jackson Martínez Top Scorer 26 goals
Russian Domestic League
The Russian league was dominated by it's biggest club in CSKA Moscow again this season. The giants of Russian football were to win their 11th league title over rivals Zenit St Petersburg.
The league started as it usually does in Russia earlier than most in July. CSKA were to start alot slower than Zenit this year though, with CSKA losing and drawing in their opening 5 games, where as Zenit would start with maximum points including a big 3-1 win over CSKA away from home.
A small lead for Zenit at the top of the table, but this was to short lived as just like CSKA, Zenit were to drop form in their next few games and lose twice and draw once in their next 4 fixtures. Back to level pegging with their rivals CSKA.
It would be back and forth with both clubs through out the season from here on out, with both trying to peg eachother back with important victories over the other big clubs in Russia. But it would be CSKA who would finish on top of the league after winning 4-1 against local rivals Lokomotiv Moscow.
CSKA reached their title with 2 games to spare and eventually lost their last game of the season away, and finished with a 2 point lead of Zenit.
In other news in the Russian league. Their was controversey in a match between Zenit and Dynamo Moscow;
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On 17 November 2012, the game in which Dynamo Moscow was hosting Zenit St. Petersburg at Arena Khimki was abandoned at the 37th minute with Dynamo leading 1-0 through a free kick goal by Vladimir Granat when a firecracker thrown from the stands hit Dynamo goalkeeper Anton Shunin. Shunin was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with the chemical burns of his corneas and eyelids, conjuctivitis, and otitis of his right ear with partial loss of hearing. Dynamo insisted that the game should be awarded to them. Zenit's general director Mikhail Mitrofanov suggested that Zenit might drop out of the Russian league altogether if the game is awarded to Dynamo. According to the police, the main suspect is a female fan who was arrested after the game. The criminal investigation was opened on the charge of hooliganism. On 22 November, Russian Football Union's Control-Disciplinary Committee awarded the game to Dynamo with a score of 3-0 and fined both clubs. Dynamo had to play their next home game (against Rubin Kazan) behind closed doors and Zenit had to play their next 2 home games (against CSKA Moscow and Anzhi Makhachkala) behind closed doors as well. Yellow cards received by Bruno Alves and Roman Shirokov before the game was abandoned still count for disciplinary purposes. Shunin did not play in the remaining 3 games of 2012. Zenit only gained 2 points in their behind closed doors games, Dynamo won their behind closed doors game. Zenit filed an appeal for that decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which heard their case on 9 May 2013. The appeal was denied on 14 May 2013
- League Title - CSKA Moscow
- Yura Movsisyan Top Scorer 13 goals
- Luciano Spalletti is believed to be the next AC Milan manager
English Domestic League 2012-2013
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Spanish Domestic League 2012-2013
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Italian Domestic League 2012-2013
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German Domestic League 2012-2013
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Russian Domestic League 2012-2013
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Portuguese Domestic League 2012-2013
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Dutch Domestic League 2012-2013
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French Domestic League 2012-2013
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So that's it, the end of the Football seasons in Europe for another year and what a great year it was! Im looking forward to the next season and what a lot to look forward too;
- Pep Guardiola managing another team in Europe in Bayern Munich, can he emulate their success of winning EVERYTHING last season?
- Jose Mourinho returning to Chelsea, can he recreate his success from his first spell at Stamford Bridge
- David Moyes taking over the Manchester United job, can he succeed?
- Barcelona and Real Madrid, will they bounce back in Europe next season and be a stronger contender
- Who will surprise us this season? Will Dortmund continue to be the attractive team that everyone loves to watch?
- Who will be the biggest stars next season? Will Neymar and Barcelona be the best or will it be Gotze and Bayern?
Who will be the biggest Transfer 2012 close season? Find out in the TL Football Thread and come and join us
Thanks to everyone involved in the 2012-2013 Football thread, it has been ever so much fun this year, and i hope everyone has enjoyed the banter we have just as much as i have! We will have even more fun next year as it is WORLD CUP YEAR :D My first World Cup to cover on TL, and oh boy is it going to be a big one in Brazil!!
Special thanks to; Ferrorse for being the GIF man! NuclearJudas for always being around posting results when i could not and of course all the Chelsea fans <3 Sc4k Beater Zeo Malcram etcetc
Oh and how could i not thank everyone of the Barcelona fan boys we have on TL <3 they are so much fun to troll :3