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Barcelona 3 United 1

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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Writer:Red Boy
Date:Saturday May 28 2011
Time: 10:00PM


barca are an absolute joy to watch - unless you're playing them!
28/05/2011 22:04:00
men against little boys
28/05/2011 22:10:00
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.
28/05/2011 22:36:00
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.
28/05/2011 22:53:00
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.
28/05/2011 23:03:00
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.
28/05/2011 23:19:00
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.
29/05/2011 00:03:00
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.
29/05/2011 01:10:00
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.
29/05/2011 01:13:00
ten men behind the ball and hoofing it out, can only work in the PL, utd got spanked
29/05/2011 02:51:00
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