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Barcelona 3 United 1

Our Catalan opponents gave a master-class in football as United`s dreams of winning the Champions League, on home soil, were ended.

Sir Alex Ferguson surprised nobody with his starting eleven with it being exactly as the tabloid press had hinted.

Team - Van der Sar, Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Park, Carrick, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez

Subs - Kuszczak, Smalling, Anderson, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Owen

First Half - United got the action underway and started well. Sir Alex had formulated a plan and Barcelona were being denied time and space. With Barca not getting off to the start they envisaged Valdes had to race out to foil Rooney after a huge clearance from Van der Sar

Another long ball, minutes later, caused confusion at the heart of the Barca defence with Valdes and Pique almost causing a catastrophe. After our bright start though, Barca started to come into the game, Villa saw a shot blocked by Vidic and Messi appealed for a penalty after the ball appeared to strike the hand of Valencia.

Barca were, by now, starting to put together some intricate moves and one such move, started by Alves, saw Pedro shoot wide. Messi was coming into the game more now and Vidic reacted quickly after the little Argentine wriggled his way through the defence.

Villa, struggling for goals this season, fizzed a shot towards goal that went wide and then Van der Sar was forced to make a save from the same player. Messi, trying to capitalise on some intricate build up play, was denied by a great tackle from Vidic and Barca were now in control.

With twenty-seven minutes on the clock Barca went ahead. Xavi fed a ball through the eye of a needle and Pedro was on hand to beat Van der Sar with a crisp shot.

Barcelona 1 United 0 (Pedro - 27 minutes)

United didn`t buckle though and although a Rooney free kick, from out wide, came to nothing, were back on level seven minutes later. The move, started by Rooney, saw Giggs play a great ball in that Rooney finished with aplomb from some fifteen yards out.

Barcelona 1 United 1 (Rooney - 34 minutes)

Barca responded by attacking and after Xavi had fired over, Van der Sar was forced to save a shot from Iniesta. But with half time beckoning another great run from Messi saw a cross put in that Villa failed to reach by inches.

Half Time - Barcelona 1 United 1

Second Half - Barca started the second half well, Mascherano went on a seventy yard run to earn a corner that came to nothing before a Xavi shot was deflected for another corner that Barca couldn`t capitalise on.

Van der Sar was forced to save from Alves as Barca carved United open again and with fifty-four minutes gone United were behind again. Messi, in acres of space, found time to fire a shot past van der Sar.

Barcelona 2 United 1 (Messi - 54 minutes)

Barca were now well on top and Van der Sar had to save well from Xavi before making another save from Iniesta after some more great play from our opponents.

Sir Alex threw on Nani in place of a struggling Fabio but seconds later the game was put out of our reach when Barca netted a third goal. Messi slipped a great ball to Villa who curled an unstoppable shot past Van der Sar into the top corner

Barcelona 3 United 1 (Villa - 69 minutes)

United tried to respond and Rooney chipped an effort on to the roof of the Barca net before Giggs appealed, in vain, for a penalty after the ball appeared to hit the hand of Villa. But apart from an effort from Nani that went wide, Barca were always going to hang on to their lead and any dream of United winning the Champions League was long gone.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday May 28 2011

Time: 10:00PM

Your Comments

barca are an absolute joy to watch - unless you're playing them!
men against little boys
Fully expected but still as guttening as ever. The better team won on the night and the best team football has ever seen and possibly might ever see won on the night. No shame in losing, lets keep our heads up, be proud that we fought them to our dying breath and focus on next season rather than dwell. Champions League finalists, not bad for a supposed weak side.
As for the game itself. MOTM has to go to one of Rooney, Van Der Sar or Vidic. I don't feel Vidic was provided with enough cover from Evra, Park, Carrick or Giggs and yet still made some great challenges. Van Der Sar, like Vidic, was the reason we didn't get completely battered. Rooney was the only source of inspiration and creativity up front and worked tirelessly to try and get us back into the game. We started off well, in their face, chasing every ball down and not giving them a chance to think let alone breathe. Then, like Rome 2009, we let them play their own game and it wasn't until they scored that we woke up again and got back in their faces and put up a fight and from doing so, we reaped the rewards, a goal, a very good one at that. Then 2nd half, Barca played their game again, we were still chasing the ball and getting in their face but it was a little too late, they had settled and unfortunately from there on there 1 touch, off the ball runs picked us apart. Surpsingly though, when they played the Barca way, we defended well with some brilliant tackles and saves but when they played any other form of football and weren't trying to pass it in the net, we conceded (2 goals from outside the box says it all). The first 2 goals themselves were weak. Evra didn't know whether to track Messi or Pedro and the one time Park didn't track back to help him make that decision we conceded with a simple through ball. The 2nd goal was unfortunate as Van Der Sar's body weight was pretty much set and he couldn't muster enough momentum to change direction and get a hand on an otherwise saveable shot. The 3rd goal was simply class and unsaveable, though I can't help but wonder why someone of Villa's class was able to sit on the edge of the box unchallenged until it was too late. A valliant effort but not enough i'm afraid. What is enough to beat Barca though? The sadest thing about tonight isn't the loss but the fact that this is the last time we will see Van Der Sar play and probably Scholesy as well. Legends.
I think that next season both City and Chelsea wll put up more formidable challenges to Barca. U***** are, whilst not yet a poor side are certainly on the slide, and short on flair and glamour. Too many old players wth Ferdinand, O'Shea, Brown and Fletcher getting on in addition to the recognised oldies Giggs, Scholes etc. Not enough money to replace them and your reserves aren't up to much either. Last league title for a while and no more big European finals either, not even in the Europa League which, if you cut your cloth etc is what you should realistically be aiming for.
Spurs fan here: No shame in that guys, that Barca team is right now simply on a different level to anyone else. Was suprised that Berbs wasn't even on the bench, I think you'll try a little swap move with cash for either modric or bale? Will be an interesting summer. Well done on the 19th title.
kennyclementstache are you sure? You might want to go to the hospital mate because I think you've hit your head. That or a psychiatric hopsital. thenuge I would so very happily swap Berby plus cash for Bale or Modric. We have strikers in abundance but severely lack a left footed LM and a good CM. The only areas that need strengthening in our squad really.
United chokers who are smashed at Wembley by Man City and then crushed by Barcelona. At least City will bring pride to Manchester by winning the champions League next season.
United chokers smashed by Man City and then humiliated by Barcelona. At least City will restore the pride of M ancestor by winning the Champions League next year.
ten men behind the ball and hoofing it out, can only work in the PL, utd got spanked
UEFA could have put on another game at the same time using Barca's half of the field as nobody was using it. ....Face it guys you have just be shown how the game should be played by Champion Teams.
Chelsea are the only ones (barring dodgy referees named Overebo) that can beat Barca
Taste. Your. Own. Medicine.
Tony Rocky Horror
Bad luck boys, until City buy a couple of Barca players to warm their bench you aint got a sniff of beating them!
Stourbridge Villan
Cometh the hour cometh the man...........CITY!!!!! Next season our name will be all over the honours list like a rash, starting with what will, in time become a meangless irritant, the Charidee Shield. We will, if necessary, buy success. We simply don't care!
68% vs 32% possession. 13 vs 1 shot on target. 6 vs 0 corners. 5 fouls vs 15. I think it's safe to call the match one-sided.
"Bad luck boys, until City buy a couple of Barca players to warm their bench you aint got a sniff of beating them!" At least we can afford it!!!!!!
Oh, they'll spend money this summer Doody, and lashings of it. Lord knows they need it with Hargreaves, Ratboy Neville, VDSaars, possibly The Ginger Maimer, Owen and Berbaflop all on their bikes. But we'll still be the ones ruining football!
How many times have Chelsea beat Barcelona Blue_Mel? City fans being delirious as always par fcb. Wswilly3 has crawled out of his cave come the end of the season, where were ya when City were taking a battering from other Premier League clubs every time you drew or lost? Pathetic fickle fan. fcb, both your comments are a fair analysis, quick question though, when you play Barca when isn't it one sided in their favour? This Barca team is a phenomenon, we will most probably never see anything like it again, there's no shame in losing to them. Not even in the slightest. They truly are the only team who can play football the way they do anyone who attempts to copy them just ends up looking stupid.
Oh, forgot to mention Nani could be on his way, Wes Orange has no future, Obertron and Bebe - all surplus to requirements at the swamp, none of them leaving for a huge fee. Should be an interesting summer for the rags.
Believe we've beaten them twice in recent years - friendlies nonetheless, we gave them one helluva game at Camp Nou the last time we played there. Oh, and we battered you in the FA Cup semis (you know, the cup all the rags I know are suggesting is absolutely worthless? LOL). Now I'm really not one to gloat Famous, but I do recall even up to l;ast night how the mighty reds were going to batter Barca, with some even suggesting that they wouldn't even be in the game, such would be United's dominance. Turned out otherwise, and you must forgive me for pointing that fact out!
Can I assume these people who said that to you fcb weren't VMU members but friends or others on other forums? Not to take anything away from you but a 1-0 win in a preseason friendly against a Barca team that didn't field it's strongest side and wasn't fully match fit is hardly a parallel to what we, Arsenal, Chelsea, Madrid and anyone else who has had the misfortune of playing them in the Champions League had to go through.
United crash-land down to earth and about time. The future is City, Manchester City.
look on the bright side lads, lose to the only football team to come from Manchester....AGAIN on August 7th, and it will be a treble again to rival 1999.... 3 times LOST AT WEMBLEY IN 2011....THE Future is bright the future is BLUE......
Didn't Arsenal manage to beat them? That's more than your sorry lot managed!

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