FC Barcelona steam-rolled Manchester United at Wembley last night to win their 3rd Champions League in 6 years, and the 2nd under the instruction of the REAL chosen one, Pep Guardiola.
In what was a repeat of 2009’s final, they took on Manchester United and again came out triumphant.
In the build up to this game Sir Alex insisted that his United Side was stronger than the one that lost to Barca in Milan, but yesterday just proved how mistaken he was. For most of the game, Barca made United look silly with 66% of possession.
Pedrito opened the scoring with a nice finish after a sublime Xavi pass. But within a few minutes, Rooney equalized to give United some hope. It is true that 99% of the very few moments of quality play that United displayed came from Rooney. Also, mention of Goalie Van der Sar has to be made, he pulled off a few sublime saves, and If it weren’t for him, the score line would’ve been more embarrassing.
The teams went into half time level, but only one coaches “Pep” talk (yes, pun intended) proved effective. Barca came out more ambitions to seal the deal. And from the word go, Mascherano led a blazing run deep into Unites end, just what Barca needed to do to rattle to United defense. It seemed for 90 minutes that the United team, clad in white, had to defend. There were times when it felt like all 11 players were packed into the penalty area in attempt to prevent that second Barca goal.
And for a while it proved effective, as for Lio Messi, the United defense would appear to have kept him in check. But a true legend always finds away, and he did. A beautiful strike from the Argentine from outside the box but Barca back on top. United came undone. Messi was all over the place, up front, playing in the mid-field, stringing together some beautiful passes. A well deserved Man of the Match.
David Villa then chipped one into the top right hand corner of the nets to put the final nail in the coffin. All 3 of Barca’s main strikers had gotten their names into the scorecard.
Captain Puyol who was benched came on for the final 2 minutes, but when the full time whistle went, he took off his arm-band and gave it to Eric Abidal who lifted the trophy. A nice gesture for a player who overcame a life threatening conditions months previously.
Just a few points:
•This match was billed as “Spain’s Best vs England’s best.” But anyone who watched the game would have seen that it was really no competition. Is it that English football is just over-rated? Don’t get me wrong, I do love the English league, but it just seems that in comparison to the Spanish and Italian sides, the English teams have a long way to go. Does anyone else hold this opinion? Or am I just being a hater?
•The refereeing was shady. I couldn’t for the life of me understand how Valencia was still on the pitch. I counted at least 4 offenses before he was booked, yet Dani Alves got shown yellow after his first offense. Also, that United goal still looks offside to me.
•And finally, Gerard Pique was seeing cutting down the goal nets after the game (see pics). If anyone remembers, he did this in Milan when Barca won in ’09. Anyone wants to hazard a guess as to what he does with such a large memorabilia?!?!?
Pics coming soon…