European Cup- Barcelona 2, Manchester United 0
Posted on: May 27, 2009 5:33 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2009 4:27 pm
For the second time in the last four seasons, Barcelona are the champions of Europe. What happened tonight at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome was the coronation of probably the greatest football team of all time. Barcelona defeated Manchester United 2-0 in one of the most anticipated football matches ever. To tell you the truth, unless you cheer for Barcelona, the game was somewhat disappointing. However, Manchester United supporters were feeling good about their teams strategy for the first ten minutes. Their attacks on goal created a couple opportunities, but no huge chances. What happened next was against the flow of both the game, and the entire season. Andres Iniesta, the hero for Barcelona in the semifinal against Chelsea, neatly passed the ball into Barcelona Forward Samuel Eto'o, who cut inside United defender Nemanja Vidic and fired a shot right past Goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar. Eto'o had played horribly in his last few games, and immediately changed the pace of the entire game when he scored to make it 1-0 to Barcelona. The goal shocked Manchester United, and they didn't continue with their form that had given them a bit of an edge way early on in the game. Lionel Messi missed a decent chance to extend Barcelona's lead four minutes later, but his shot went wide. Nothing much happened for the remainder of the first half, although Barcelona Midfielder Xavi Hernandez curled a free kick that Van der Sar managed to save just before the half-hour mark. The half had come at a good time for Manchester United, as Barcelona had been looking very close to their second goal. United boss Alex Ferguson put on Carlos Tevez at the start of the second half, hoping that the striker–who appears to be leaving the club this summer– could give them an inspiration. Three minutes later though, Barcelona came very close to a second. A great save from Edwin van der Sar kept the scoreline the same. Barcelona kept the pressure on, and they had opportunities to score at many points early in the second half, the best of which was when Xavi Hernandez hit the post on another free kick. Manchester United had their best scoring chance so far just after that, as Forward Wayne Rooney crossed and Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to convert. However, United's luck ran out in the 70th minute. Xavi Hernandez did well in delivering a cross to Messi, and the Argentine headed it in to give Barcelona the 2-0 lead. Moments later though, United could have gotten one back. Ryan Giggs missed a good chance for United, and the ball went back to Ronaldo, but Barcelona Goalkeeper Victor Valdes blocked it. It was Manchester United's last big chance, and Barcelona lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy again. What Barcelona has accomplished this year is incredible. They started off very poorly in La Liga, losing their first game to a newly promoted Numancia side, and then only managing a draw at home to Racing Santander. However, things quickly turned around, and Barcelona found themselves top of the table after nine games. They beat their rivals Real Madrid twice, including a 6-2 smashing on the road. They also won the Copa del Rey, beating Athletic Bilbao 4-1 in the final. Now, they have completed the treble, beating Manchester United. Their goal difference of 70 is one that might never be matched in any major league. For new manager Pep Guardiola, the season has been a dream come true. What a performance, and what a football team.