Barcelona 3-1 Man Utd: Champions League Final – How Was It For You?

By Chris Wright

Doubtless that the myriad sycophantic Barca-fluffers of this world will be lighting a content cigarette in bed this morning after waking up swaddled head-to-toe in a halo of fuzzy, post-coital afterglow – Clive Tydlesley, we’re looking at you.

There are a thousand other football writers/analysts better suited to take you through the intricacies of Barca’s tiki-taka, but I feel I should have a stab anyway – last night’s Champions League final was the footballing equivalent of watching a man hold an angry midget at arm’s length for 90 minutes, while systematically kicking the poor little bleeder in the crotch every now and then.

There. Consider that my application for Jonathan Wilson’s post over at the Guardian.

The long and short of it is that Barca were pretty damn special last night, the most seductive element of the their play being their staunch refusal to give United a touch for about 70 minutes.

From the outside looking in, it seemed as if the game was effectively over after approximately 11 minutes – that’s when I felt the ‘shift’.

There was a near-audible ‘click’ as the whole dynamic of the game shifted after United’s valiant early flurry petered out and Barca almost immediately settled into their rhythm and began to exert their clear, ingrained superiority – an ingrained superiority perhaps most visible when the Catalans didn’t so much as flinch after Wayne Rooney whipped home his first-half equaliser.

If you’ll forgive my perfect 20-20 hindsight for a moment, I feel that if United were going to even come close to matching Barca so far as goals were concerned, Nani should have probably started in place of Ji-Sung Park as, at the very least, the flighty Portuguese winger may have done something spectacular over the course of the game.

Park may well cover the hard yards on the big stage, but he’s never going to be much of a goal/assist threat and if there’s any side in the world that aren’t going to be phased by an industrious Korean, it’s Barcelona – their style isn’t reliant on particularly quick or strenuous movement, more continuous positional fluidity and a peerless ability to keep the ball moving.

Indeed, the most seductive aspect of Barca’s play was watching them pass themselves into a corner then, with a quick one-two and a minimal shuffle of feet (Iniesta was mesmeric), a channel opened in the gathering ruck and the ball just continued on it’s merry way.


While we’re on the subject, I’d also like to take this chance to commend referee Viktor Kassai on his calm and assured performance.

Had almost any other of UEFA’s pernickety stable of officials been in charge, you get the feeling that Antonio Valencia would have probably seen red before half-time for a series of mis-timed buffets, but the relatively young Kassai’s refreshing reluctance to reach for his cards at the slightest provocation was actually a real joy to behold.

Man of the match? Well, no…but he put in a sterling performance anyway.

So, that’s about all the smoke-blowing you’re going to get from me, it is a Sunday morning after all – how was it for you?

Posted in Barcelona, Champions League, Man Utd

Share this article: Email


  1. TravisKOP says:

    i thought that vidic looked rather weak defensively against the barca attack and wondered why the hell fergie didnt start scholes! especially over carrick! Park ji sung was all over the place in a kuyt like fashion and i really enjoyed his energy out there. I thought for sure that fergie wouldve switched valencia out around the 60th minute when he looked so knackered he might collapse and put in nani then. IMO i would have started giggs and scholes together in the mid to counter (or attempt to at least) the brilliant chemistry between xavi and iniesta seeing as how i cant think of a duo in the world that would rival their chem together other than giggs and scholes. And why didnt he at least give berba a chance to show some merit in the second half and play rather than leaving hernandez in who was showing signs of classic michael owen ability by being perennially offsides. I think fergie had some questionable decisions or lack there of but then again i honestly didnt expect Barca to lose so its all for naught.

  2. Dawleylad says:

    It’s hard but sometimes you have to accept losing and not bully ITV reporters…

  3. TravisKOP says:

    btw did anyone else count how many times busquets went down or was it just me? i counted 4, more than the rest of barca combined, what a bloody knob that guy is

  4. Paul McGuigan says:

    @ Travis : It’s just you :) and btw, Biscuits win :) he even made an assist

  5. Chris also says:

    @ Travis: It’s not just you. Some of us were making it a drinking game. Along with how many times Chicharito was offside.

  6. youreds says:

    You can’t have been that drunk really Chris.

    Admittedly Busquets goes down easily and it is infuriating, but he was exceptional last night, Carrick would have been watching his performance with envy.

  7. Sean says:


    No, No No No. Scholes and Giggs with their combined age of 80 odd would have been walked in midfield. Two players without any real defensive credentials would have not been able to do anything about the passing of barca.

  8. Paul McGuigan says:

    youreds, you are right. He is usually goes down easily and it is very infuriating. But not last night.
    Btw, Biscuits got his karma last night. Straight hit on the face (I forgot who’s kick the ball to him).

  9. kct says:

    Barcelona thoroughly deserved the win. United were tactically very poor though. They should have played 2 defensive midfielders in front of Ferdinand and Vidic. This would have stopped barca from playing the ball through the middle, consequently stopping Vidic & Ferdinand from having to step out like they did with goal 1. I believe the hole they left in front of Vidic and Ferdinand cost them the champions league final. With goal 2 and goal 3 there wasn’t any Makelele/Nigel de Jong style pressure on the ball. They should’ve played anti-football like the Dutch did against Spain, then they might have stood a chance. I’m happy they didn’t though because that would’ve spoiled the final!

  10. youreds says:

    paul mcguigan, for the most part i thought we weren’t gonna have to endure any busquets-theatrics but there was one incident in particular where he went down close to where i was sitting and stayed down despite very little if any contact. even his own players encouraged him to get up. and then he was shouting at rio.. he should really get this out of his game, its unnecessary.

  11. dave says:

    it was evident that sir alex should have played a 5 man midfield, they were majorly overrun and even with 2 strikers hernandez was isolated. parks headless running all night wasnt particularly effective either.

  12. wolfusa says:

    united did not have eleven players on their roster who could’ve beaten barcelona last night. sir alex is a genius coach, and picked the right formation and a near-perfect XI from what was available. if he goes 5 in midfield rooney never gets his goal. nani might have made a difference in place of park, but i disagree that he should have started; he just should have been put in earlier for fabio, who has the stamina of a chain-smoker. park’s energy was important in keeping bodies in front of the barca attack, and nani’s susceptible to making poor passes when he doesn’t see the ball enough.

    now i’m done enjoying barca victories. any team other than they should win the CL next season.

  13. Mike Hunt says:

    Why not have the twins in midfield running round

  14. Anabelle says:

    The reason Man U lost was because their 12th player Howard Webb wasn’t there.

    CL final just showed that Man Ut is crap, and made to the finals by being on the back pocket of some dirty referees.

    Jokes aside, It was one of the happiest days of my life. Watching Man U not just lose, but being trounced, beaten, skinned alive, humiliated was a gift from God.

    How old are they 45-50? Giggs and Scholes combined age is 80.

    And the “Best Coach” chose Owen over Berbatov. What a touch of “genius.”

    Hernandez was rubbish. Looked like a deer caught in headlights. He touched the ball what, 7 times the whole game? And always offside. He should be a bench warmer for Malaga.

    They were lucky to get that goal. Grandpa Giggs was clearly offside when he passed the ball to Rooney.

    Ball possession 30% – that’s 27 min out of a 90 min game. The rest of the time Man U flat footed numb nuts stood around watching Barca play.

    If it wasn’t for VDS, final score should be 6-0.

  15. dc says:

    How was it for me? Well it was my fourth time, but it felt just as good as when I was a virgin.

  16. jojo says:

    best final i’ve ever seen. nothing is going to top busquets getting a ball against his face. aaaaaahhhhh… so sweet…

  17. ceezer says:

    I would of played Anderson over Carrick and probably had Nani out there too. The central defense for Manchester United was pretty poor though two of the goals were just Vidic/Ferdinand watching and retreating.

  18. Raul says:

    i just wish someone would break messi’s leg, knee or ankle

  19. Dont worry says:


    Ok barca were to good but united obviously arent crap i think somebody is annoyed their team did not make the CL final or win the Leauge ?

  20. V says:

    Had Park not started, 3-1 would definitely be the scoreline… at half-time.

  21. Mr. Angry says:

    hahaha… barca were ace

    the fucking manure scum were shit!

  22. Hock says:

    @raul: then you just dont really like football. There have been other far more exciting finals

Leave a Reply