Man United blast into the tenth 1-nation Final



Manchester United FC’s win against FC Barcelona has ensured that a tenth major UEFA club competition will be settled by a final between domestic rivals.

Paul Scholes celebrating after his goal

United will meet either Liverpool FC or Chelsea FC in this season’s UEFA Champions League final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on 21 May in what will be only the second final contested by two English teams in the history of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup and UEFA Cup. The first was when Tottenham Hotspur FC defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers FC over two legs in the inaugural UEFA Cup final in 1971/72.

Two previous UEFA Champions League finals have been played between sides from the same nation. Spain set the ball rolling in 1999/00 as Real Madrid CF defeated Valencia CF 3-0 at the Stade de France, with goals from Fernando Morientes, Steve McManaman and Raúl González, while the 2002/03 final saw AC Milan meet Italian rivals Juventus, with the former prevailing 3-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.

That game in Manchester was the most recent of five all-Serie A continental finals including four UEFA Cup showpieces. Juventus beat AC Fiorentina 3-1 over two legs in the 1989/90 final, while FC Internazionale Milano prevailed 2-1 on aggregate against AS Roma the following year. In 1994/95, Parma AC beat Juventus 2-1, also after home and away matches, while Inter beat S.S. Lazio 3-0 in the one-legged 1997/98 final at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

There has been one all-German final to date, in 1979/80 when Eintracht Frankfurt beat VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach on away goals, losing 3-2 away but winning 1-0 at home. The semi-finals of that competition also featured four sides from the former West Germany. More recently, the 2006/07 UEFA Cup final was contested by two Spanish sides, with Sevilla FC beating RCD Espanyol 3-1 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in Glasgow.

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