The usually tame first legs of the UEFA Champions League Semifinals were anything but last week. We were treated to an impressive 3-1 Inter Milan victory over defending champion Barcelona, and a tight, red card-filled 1-0 Bayern Munich win over Lyon.
Today, the French side and Munich will turn things up another notch with both managers promising to go on the offensive in hopes of securing a berth in the May 22 final in Madrid. Lyon, heavy underdogs to the fortunate sons of this tournament, have no choice. It's safe to say they'll have to score two or probably three goals to overcome a Munich team that isn't likely to be shut out.
Then, of course, tomorrow is the culmination of what many consider to be the "real" championship. Barca's high-powered offense will be in high gear as they look to overcome a two-goal deficit and the genius of Jose Mourinho -- a tough task.
Odds are we'll see Mourinho finally do what Inter hired him for and win a Champions League final. However, Barca at Nou Camp can never be counted out. And though Bayern Munich seems like an anointed team after their improbable victory over Manchester United, Lyon is a team on the rise playing at home with nothing to lose.
I say Bayern advances with a 2-1 win and Inter survives, losing 3-2 tomorrow, but advancing on aggregate.