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2012 in review – Part 2: Madrid hit 100, Chelsea clinch UCL, Spain triumph & two surprises

January 3, 2013 By Angela Asante
As another chapter in this 21st century closes, the time has come to roll back the calendar year from January to December and look at the top 20 things that happened in 12 months during 2012.

Real Madrid won the Spanish La Liga title with 100 points on May 13, 2012.In Part 2 of 4 pieces, we put the spotlight on Real Madrid’s record-breaking La Liga season. There is also space for Chelsea’s stunning UEFA Champions League triumph, Montpellier’s surprising French Ligue 1 success, Holland’s shocking Euro 2012 campaign and Spain’s ultimate victory as Europe’s best.

Previous2012 in review – Part 1: Messi scoops Ballon d’Or, Zambia, Dortmund, Atleti & City triumph

6. Real Madrid hit 100 points in La Liga

May 13, 2012 – It had not been done before in the history of La Liga. Not even Barcelona, during Pep Guardiola’s marvellous four-year spell as coach, reached a century of points. 


Three of Real Madrid’s 100 points came at the Camp Nou in front of 99,252 spectators. The April 21 Clasico is the particular encounter that sealed Los Blancos’ edge over Barcelona in the 2011/12 Spanish La Liga season. It also represented Madrid’s first El Clasico victory at the Camp Nou in La Liga since 2007.

Club top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted a whopping 46 goals on the road to glory, eventually describe his team’s 32nd league triumph as phenomenal, stating:

“I think the best moment so far was winning La Liga. Because I think the Spanish league is the hardest in the world. It has great teams like Barcelona and to finish nine points ahead of them... that says a lot.”

7. Chelsea lift the 2012 UEFA Champions League trophyChelsea won the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history on May 19, 2012.

May 19, 2012 – Against all the odds, Chelsea rose above 31 other UEFA Champions League contenders to win the glittering trophy in Munich. The Blues never imposed themselves as the team to watch in the group stages even though they won their section ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia and Genk. 

The turning point in their season was certainly the dismissal of 2011 UEFA Europa League winning coach Andre Villas-Boas. The Portuguese manager had left Chelsea in an awkward position following a 3-1 loss away in Napoli in the Round of 16. 

Proving pundits wrong, the Blues made a spectacular comeback at Stamford Bridge by exhibiting team play through goals from Drogba, Terry, Lampard and Ivanovic. 

Inspired by this feat, they cruised past Benfica in the Last 8 and fearlessly affronted Barcelona in the semis. Didier Drogba again rose to the occasion in both legs while three-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi failed – for the sixth and seventh time in his career – to beat Chelsea’s goal line.

In the final in Munich, the Blues denied Thomas Mueller from handing a late victory for Bayern. An equalizer by man-of-the-match Didier Drogba sent the game into extra-time. 

The Ivoirian nearly turned into a villain when he conceded a spot kick which Arjen Robben took only to see Petr Cech saving it. In the penalty shoot-outs, Chelsea prevailed 4-3 to take home the trophy owner Roman Abramovich had always been craving.

Montpellier won the French Ligue 1 on May 20, 2012.8. Montpellier clinch French Ligue 1 title

May 20, 2012 – Nobody had predicted that Montpellier would clinch the French crown last season. Lyon, Marseille, PSG and Lille all fell by the wayside as the underdogs dashed to the title.

Montpellier’s secret recipe was a really good defence. They conceded the least number of goals in the French Ligue 1 alongside Toulouse, 34. They scored the third highest number of goals in the league, 68.

Montpellier’s defenders including Vitorino Hilton and Henri Bedimo were excellent. Olivier Giroud amazed the fans with 21 goals and nine assists before moving to Arsenal. Younes Belhanda played his part too with 12 goals to his name. 

Overall, the victory was an amazing one considering that Montpellier was only promoted back to Ligue 1 recently. There were arguably no champions more worthy than Montpellier in Europe last season considering their struggles and size on paper.

9. Netherlands stun with total Euro 2012 fiascoHolland crashed out of Euro 2012 without a single point in the Group of Death.

June 17, 2012 – From club football, the focus turned to the 2012 European Championship and the Oranje were among the three favourites to win it. Alongside Germany and Spain, the Netherlands were widely considered as invincible. They were placed in the group of death with the Danes, the Portuguese and the DFB Eleven. 

Pre-tournament predictions favoured the Dutch to win the group and cruise to the very final stage. However, divisions in the dressing room and poor performances on the pitch saw the 2010 FIFA World Cup runners-up exit Euro 2012 in the group stage. 

Adding to their sorrows is the fact that they crashed out with zero point. Their 2-1 loss to semi-finalists Portugal in Kharkiv on June 17 closed a dark period in the history of Dutch football.

Spain won Euro 2012 on July 1 at the expense of Italy.10. Spain defend their European crown

July 1, 2012 – For La Furia Roja, the adventure in Poland and Ukraine was completely different from the Oranje’s.

The best way for Vicente Del Bosque to put his critics to bed was to guide his side to success. Spain met Croatia, the Republic of Ireland, France and Portugal before facing the Italians in the final against whom they started the defence of their European crown.

The Spaniards brought ‘Super Mario’ Balotelli back to planet Earth as the scoreboard red 4-0 against the Azzurri at the end of proceedings.

Juan Mata, who played no more than five minutes during the tournament, rounded up Spain’s triumph and a certain £50M signing – namely Fernando Torres – grabbed the Euro 2012 Golden Boot.

Next2012 in review – Part 3: London 2012, Ibra shocks, RVP to Man UTD, racial saga

Written by Samrin Hasib and Angela Asante.



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Group A
Jun 14 11:00amMoscow
Russia 5 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Jun 15 8:00amYekaterinburg
Egypt 0 - 1 Uruguay
Jun 19 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Russia 3 - 1 Egypt
Jun 20 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Uruguay 1 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Jun 25 10:00amVolgograd
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Jun 25 10:00amSamara
Uruguay vs Russia
Group B
Jun 15 11:00amSaint Petersburg
Morocco 0 - 1 Iran
Jun 15 2:00pmSochi
Portugal 3 - 3 Spain
Jun 20 8:00amMoscow
Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco
Jun 20 2:00pmKazan
Iran 0 - 1 Spain
Jun 25 2:00pmSaransk
Iran vs Portugal
Jun 25 2:00pmKaliningrad
Spain vs Morocco
Group C
Jun 16 6:00amKazan
France 2 - 1 Australia
Jun 16 12:00pmSaransk
Peru 0 - 1 Denmark
Jun 21 8:00amSamara
Denmark 1 - 1 Australia
Jun 21 11:00amYekaterinburg
France 1 - 0 Peru
Jun 26 10:00amSochi
Australia vs Peru
Jun 26 10:00amMoscow
Denmark vs France
Group D
Jun 16 9:00amMoscow
Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland
Jun 16 3:00pmKaliningrad
Croatia 2 - 0 Nigeria
Jun 21 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Argentina 0 - 3 Croatia
Jun 22 11:00amVolgograd
Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland
Jun 26 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Iceland vs Croatia
Jun 26 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Nigeria vs Argentina
Group E
Jun 17 8:00amSamara
Costa Rica 0 - 1 Serbia
Jun 17 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland
Jun 22 8:00amSaint Petersburg
Brazil 2 - 0 Costa Rica
Jun 22 2:00pmKaliningrad
Serbia 1 - 2 Switzerland
Jun 27 2:00pmMoscow
Serbia vs Brazil
Jun 27 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Group F
Jun 17 11:00amMoscow
Germany 0 - 1 Mexico
Jun 18 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
Sweden 1 - 0 Korea Republic
Jun 23 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Korea Republic 1 - 2 Mexico
Jun 23 2:00pmSochi
Germany 2 - 1 Sweden
Jun 27 10:00amKazan
Korea Republic vs Germany
Jun 27 10:00amYekaterinburg
Mexico vs Sweden
Group G
Jun 18 11:00amSochi
Belgium 3 - 0 Panama
Jun 18 2:00pmVolgograd
Tunisia 1 - 2 England
Jun 23 8:00amMoscow
Belgium 5 - 2 Tunisia
Jun 24 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
England vs Panama
Jun 28 2:00pmKaliningrad
England vs Belgium
Jun 28 2:00pmSaransk
Panama vs Tunisia
Group H
Jun 19 8:00amSaransk
Colombia 1 - 2 Japan
Jun 19 11:00amMoscow
Poland 1 - 2 Senegal
Jun 24 11:00amYekaterinburg
Japan vs Senegal
Jun 24 2:00pmKazan
Poland vs Colombia
Jun 28 10:00amVolgograd
Japan vs Poland
Jun 28 10:00amSamara
Senegal vs Colombia
Knockout Stage

Round of 16
Jun 30 10:00amKazan
[1C] vs [2D]
Jun 30 2:00pmSochi
[1A] vs [2B]
Jul 1 10:00amMoscow
[1B] vs [2A]
Jul 1 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
[1D] vs [2C]
Round of 16
Jul 2 10:00amSamara
[1E] vs [2F]
Jul 2 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
[1G] vs [2H]
Jul 3 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[1F] vs [2E]
Jul 3 2:00pmMoscow
[1H] vs [2G]
Quarter Final
Jul 6 10:00amNizhny Novgorod
[W49] vs [W50]
Jul 6 2:00pmKazan
[W53] vs [W54]
Jul 7 10:00amSamara
[W55] vs [W56]
Jul 7 2:00pmSochi
[W51] vs [W52]
Jul 10 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
[W57] vs [W58]
Jul 11 2:00pmMoscow
[W59] vs [W60]
Third place match
Jul 14 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[L61] vs [L62]
Jul 15 11:00amMoscow
Final: FIFA World Cup 2018