Few were prepared to give Caen a chance. The optimism that followed an opening day victory over champions Marseille and then another at home to Lyon a week later had long since vanished. A 12-game run without a win between September and December had put the Norman invasion in retreat.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs the penultimate weekend and sneaky plum time if youÃ¢ÂÂre in the bottom three, but the Premier League plays second fiddle to the FA Cup Final this weekend Ã¢ÂÂ or at least it should doÃ¢ÂÂ¦
As all ancient would-be conquerors would no doubt testify, you can't march on Rome without a large army. Thankfully for Palermo, they're expecting more than 30,000 fans backing them at the Italian Cup Final in the Stadio Olimpico a week on Sunday.
Independiente unwittingly made a milkman out of a young Javier Zanetti. Ã¢ÂÂThat was the year in which I did everything,Ã¢ÂÂ he said. Ã¢ÂÂThey let me go just when IÃ¢ÂÂd closed my books at school and there was no chance of going to another club. So I started to work with my cousin Carlo who delivered milk for a dairy company. I would get up at four in the morning to go pick it up and then take it to the supermarkets. I had to arrive early. When we got out, weÃ¢ÂÂd have lunch and then IÃ¢ÂÂd go train with Talleres.Ã¢ÂÂ
In WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs competition to see who can point out that BarÃÂ§a can win the title in a matter of hours in the most dramatic way possible, it somehow felt as if the heart of the Madrid press simply wasnÃ¢ÂÂt in it.
Chelsea fans will be searching for the alarm clocks hidden underneath the piles of half price Fernando Torres shirts in the Chelsea Megastore - after all, if their side is to have a chance of winning something, they're going to need to wake up their back four.
The titters are only just dying down around Spain after the double teaming by Marca and AS on Monday which saw both papers claiming that the Pichichi top goalscorer prize was the only contest that really counted this season - aside from the Copa del Rey, of course.
The billing was Part One of an epic end-of-season showdown between the league's top two sides, FC Twente and Ajax. The stage was the KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) final. The subtext was a chance to inflict a psychological blow in the build-up to what has taken over as the real cup final: the same two teams' winner-takes-all title-deciding league game next weekend.