Football

Real rocking: Four other European bottle-jobs

Madrid have showed signs of feeling the pressure. (©GettyImages)
Madrid have showed signs of feeling the pressure. (©GettyImages).

La Liga's runaway leaders Real Madrid have represented anything but calmness personified in the headlights of Barcelona, who have cut a 10-point gap to just six with 10 games remaining.

Jose Mourinho showed in his days with FC Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, how to see out title wins, however the indiscipline showed by his Madrid comes at an alarming point in the season where his best laid plans look likely to disintegrate.

If we've learnt anything about Pep Guardiola's Barcelona side over the last three years, it's that no stage or situation is likely to overwhelm them, and despite their efforts to become the first side to claim back-to-back European Cups in the Champions League era, they'll be sniffing blood now Madrid's form has hit the rocks.

As if Barcelona require any encouragement, GMF has decided to look at four incidents in recent years where clubs have succumbed to the pressure in the title run-in...


Newcastle United v Manchester United
Premier League: 1995/1996

With 15 games remaining, Newcastle United led the table by 12 points from both Liverpool and Manchester United. The Toon conceived to then pick up just seven points from the next 28 available, a run which included including that last gasp defeat at Anfield.

Cue Sir Alex Ferguson's mind games, Kevin Keegan's on-air rant, and United's 13 wins in 15 games, and the title went to Old Trafford for a third time in four seasons.


Juventus v Lazio
Serie A: 1999-00

One of the great turnarounds in Italian league history, saw Juventus fall apart in the twilight of the season, as Lazio snatched the title.

Possessing a nine-point lead with eight games left, Juve lost four times, including crucially against Lazio to Diego Simeone's solo strike.

On the final day of the season, needing to win to claim the title, or draw to take it to a playoff with the Roma-based side, Juve went down to mid-table Perugia.

The game was even halted with eight minutes left such were the torrid conditions, as Lazio, having already beaten Reggina, waited for confirmation of their title win.


Real Madrid v Valencia
La Liga: 2003-04

Real Madrid's Galacticos folded in the La Liga title race despite leading by eight points with 12 still to play.

Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, David Beckham and Co. couldn't prevent the monumental collapse, which included a run of five successive defeats at the end of the season.

Rafa Benitez's Valencia lost just one of their last 12 games, as they claimed the league and UEFA Cup double, that won the Spanish boss a move to Liverpool.


1899 Hoffenheim & Bayern Munich v Wolfsburg
Bundesliga: 2008-09

The most surprising comeback of all in our list came from Wolfsburg in 2009, who from ninth mid-way through the season, made up nine points to 1899 Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich.

Felix Magath led the club to a record 10 successive wins after the mid-season break, with Grafite and Edin Dzeko scoring 54 goals between them.

After dropping just five points in their final 17 games preceding the winter break, they finished two clear of Munich, who they crushed 5-1 in April to surge top.

Topics:
Europa League
European News
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League

Article Comments

Trending

Read more

;