Top 10 Champions League Final conclusions: Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United

Posted by - May 27, 2009 - Champions League, Conclusions, Lists, Manchester United

1. Barcelona were hungrier, quicker, more committed and – bottom line – better than Manchester United. The best team (by a mile) won.

2. What a coincidence. Wayne Rooney’s boots go missing and then their owner go missing too. Anyone seen him, by the way?

3. Pep Guardiola truly is the next Jose Mourinho. The brooding looks in the opening minutes, pacing the touchline whenever there is an important decision to be made, and the Champions League trophy. By contrast Sir Alex Ferguson looked like he was sat in an old folks’ home towards the end of the match. I kept expecting to see a tartan rug on his knees when the camera zoomed out.

4. Sir Alex Ferguson is probably regretting selling Gerard Pique since the centre-back got in the way of just about any attack United managed to create.

5. If Cristiano Ronaldo loves playing in white so much he has got a funny way of showing it. Could this make him want to stay at Old Trafford like Thierry Henry after Arsenal’s defeat in the final?

6. Samuel Eto’o has perfected the shooting up followed by a nervous breakdown celebration.

7. United missed Darren Fletcher big time. Nobody was capable of breaking up Barca’s attacks before they reached the penalty area. They just had to watch Andres Iniesta and Xavi run the show. Maybe Chelsea had the right idea after all.

8. Paul Scholes still can’t tackle. United needed to put a couple of those challenges in during the first-half.

9. Patrice Evra is the ultimate personification of United’s problems. He had been bigging himself up in recent days, believing the hype, and didn’t deliver when it counted. He was given the run around by Eto’o.

10. If the Cristiano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi debate is too close to call, I thought we at least knew who had got the heading side of things sewn up. Apparently not.

  • OmegaSupreme

    Rooney did all right. Giggs, Carrick, Park, Ferdinand, Vidica and Berba were all proper shit.

  • Pilchard Platt

    Messi at 1.69m leapt like a salmon to head in the second. Against an average size united defence of 1.84 and Van der Sar at 1.98. Sums United’s night up really

  • Tanuj Lakhina

    Maybe now Ronaldo would want to prove to himself that he can play great against Barcelona that he moves to Madrid! Wicked thought,I know 😀

  • StuartW

    The only United player whose stock has gone up following this match is Darren Fletcher’s, and that’s because his absence was so conspicuous. I can’t believe so little was done to combat Iniesta & Xavi, and Messi’s dropping into deeper positions. Anderson just wasn’t up to it. There were no crunching tackles on any of Barca’s players when it mattered, despite Chelsea having showed that this unsettles them. And when United did manage to retain the ball the passing from virtually the whole team was abysmal. Seeing Puyol – PUYOL! – skinning Ronaldo at the byline and getting fouled by him was one of many symbolic moments of a sorely disappointing performance.

  • Benhameen

    I am sorry but I think your conclusions are aload of bollocks, Im not denying Man U didnt their best, but they didnt play badly the first goal was a mixture of luck and bad defending. The second goal a defensive error. But man u were unlucky not to score from the rebound from the ronaldo freekick, Pique was lucky to be on the pitch after obstructing ronaldo in the first half and there was a string of man u chances in the first 20 mins of the second half. After that they seemed to lose momentum and Barca shone. Im not denying barca were probably the better team but chances were almost equal. I dont think any team can out posess barca.

  • Mic

    I’m sorry too but this is nonsense, like us against Arsenal, the first goal was vital, everyone was expecting Barce to attack and yet they couldn’t get out their own half until they got a break and once they scored they didn’t look back, just like us against Arsenal, had we not scored against Arsenal, I truly believe they’d’ve been in the final instead we looked the miles better team playing on the counter when if i’m honest, we’re not THAT much better.

    Pique was shite tonight as was the whole Barce back line, Iniesta was the best player out there and had Messi not scored I wouldn’t have known he was playing, it’s a shame he’s getting credit considering he was poor.

    As for Evra, he’s expected to go up and down the flanks all night and he did do, there’s nothing more a player of Eto’os calibre would like more than playing against a tiring full back and that’s exactly what he got, it’s easy to look good on the counter, as I said, just like we did against Arsenal. It’s a shame you know little about football because this is a good site but some shit you spout is actually embarrassing, the better side overall won on the night i’m not going to deny but it could’ve easily been different, if’s and but’s mean shit though don’t they. I fully believe if you try to be a neutral footballing blog, if you’re bitter against a certain team, you shouldn’t comment as your bias ruins it.

  • Seh

    Mic your perception of the game is vary skewed. Pique was great the whole game and was unlucky to get yellow carded. Messi did everything he was supposed to and the goal was beautiful, true he more potent on the wing but still a good performance. I don’t even understand what your trying to get at with the Arsenal situation.

    United were lucky not to lose by more. All your “could have” and “should have” are irrelevant in any game.

    Blogs are allowed to have opinions (even though this one isn’t biased), if you want unbiased go read a paper.

  • Andy

    Mic, my friend, what game were you watching? A re-run of last years’ semi, perhaps?
    You mention the author being bitter, but I think it is you that has been sucking lemons.
    Playing Messi in the middle was a masterstroke by Guardiola.. How many times did we see Xavi, Iniesta and Messi cut Man U apart with their slick traingular passing moves? Fair enough, we didn’t see him taking on the whole team, but he was a vital cog in the short passing machine that Man U were simply unable to cope with.
    As for your comment regarding the backline, tell me, how many clear cut chances did Man U have after the first 10-15 minutes? One? Two
    And you mention a tiring Evra as an excuse? PUYOL rampaged up and down that right wing at least twice the distanced out French friend covered. And, on top of that, he rolled his ankle horrifically in the dying stages in the challenge with Van De Sar, only to pick himself up immediately to charge back downfield to nullify the counter. THAT is commitment, something a chequebook can’t get for you.
    I think Man U’s problem was a coronary one – a deficiency of the HEART MUSCLE.

  • Rob Parker

    Benhameen and Mic,

    You’re both entitled to your opinions, of course, but even your manager (sounds very much like you’re both United fans) has conceded it was a “shoddy” performance.

    Pique, as I said, was in the way of everything. He cut out nearly every cross into Barca’s box. And I owe an apology to Puyol who I thought would be the weak link at right-back. He put in a brilliant shift.

    As for Evra, he was getting torn about and caught out of position from the outset. Remember the first goal came down that flank? And Eto’o beat him a few times after that. So I’m not sure where tiredness and counter attacks come into it.

  • Usama

    Also remember this is the same Barcelona back four that was being ridiculed leading up to the match. They managed to keep a cleansheet and United had one shot on target I think which was Ronaldo’s freekick in the first minute (not sure about this one though). Messi was trying his best but he was being crowded out by three players at a time – even then, he managed to wriggle free atleast twice.

  • Ollie

    Nice job, Rob. Agree most of all about Fletcher’s absence – Carrick loves playing with Fletcher, and missed him big-time last night. Giggs was very poor, Anderson too.

    More conclusions @ Pies:

  • Usama

    9. Patrice Evra is the ultimate personification of United’s problems. He had been bigging himself up in recent days, believing the hype, and didn’t deliver when it counted. He was given the run around by Eto’o.

    And that would be Patrice ‘men against boys’ Evra, then?

  • Joe

    United can be unlocked by a very few teams. Unfortunately for them, one of them was Barca. Not quite a quintuple but not a bad campaign. The loss of Fletcher was probably more significant than most people originally thought. Those role players who quietly do the dirty work week-in, week-out really are vital.