Barcelona demolish United

2011-05-28 22:43

London - Barcelona, inspired by the peerless Lionel Messi, delivered a soccer masterclass to overwhelm Manchester United 3-1 in the Champions League final and lift the European Cup for the fourth time on Saturday.

Messi was at his inspirational best all night at Wembley as the champions of Spain left the champions of England looking like desperate also-rans in the face of their relentless intricate passing and deadly movement.

United somehow reached halftime level at 1-1 after Wayne Rooney cancelled out Pedro's opening goal but Barcelona continued their dominance after the break.

A superb Messi goal and a precise 18-metre curler by David Villa, underlined the Spanish side's dominance over the team they also beat in the 2009 final.

After a short-lived United flurry at the start, Barca were soon in control as they probed constantly in and around the United box.

Although the English side kept them at bay with a series of last-ditch tackles they were eventually undone in the 27th minute when Xavi cleverly delayed a pass to open space for Pedro to calmly tuck the ball beyond Edwin van der Sar.

United looked almost out of their depth but showed why they have reached three finals in the last four seasons by conjuring a well-made equaliser after 34 minutes.

Rooney played a one-two with Michael Carrick then another with Ryan Giggs before sweeping the ball high into the net.

Messi was millimetres away from a second goal after another high-speed give and go with Villa but somehow United reached halftime on level terms.

The parity on the scoreboard was short-lived though as Barca immediately regained control and, after more near misses, duly went ahead in the 54th minute.

United's defenders made the fatal error of standing off Messi on the edge of the box and the Argentine maestro took full advantage driving the ball in low for the 53rd and most important goal of his remarkable season.

It was Messi who set up the third too as he surged into the box and, though the ball was half-cleared, it went straight to Villa who killed it instantly before curling a superb 18-metre shot into the top corner.


Barcelona: Pedro 27, Lionel Messi 54, David Villa 69

Manchester United: Wayne Rooney 34

Halftime: 1-1

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary).


  • supafly - 2011-05-28 22:48

    U knw, most English football fans, especialy UTD fans, are paralaysed with shock, no in fact they're petrified with it as to what happened to their flagship team in their backyard. Well, there's two diff between the two leagues (English v/s Spanish), i.e. in England it's all about how many tackles can you make, compared to how many passes you could make, which is what Spanish football is about (influenced by South American nations, for decades). Come on! Which style do you think will prevail in the end? i.e. You can can only defend for so long, until the power of nature (floods) prevails and break all the levies in front of it! Have you seen a huricane lately? English football is thoughroughly overrated! What? How old is Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand combined? Try and imagine Madiba. I rest my case! It jst doesn't matter how good U R, if U play against this Barcelona team, it's kinda like playing against a team of catoon characters

      HagenDan - 2011-05-28 23:00

      It was men against boys tonight, Barca totally outclassed United as expected by many...However give me the English league any day, less diving and there's actually more than 2 competitive teams. Spurs vs Arsenal, Liverpool vs United, Chelsea vs Arsenal, trumps the joke that was El Classico and whatever rubbish side Barca/Real spend the rest of the season demolishing! Fantastic game though, Barca were even better than usual, amazing.

      JusticeMan - 2011-05-28 23:54

      Vande Sar is 39 yrs old, add that!! U make some good points.... The game was totally one sided, MU looked like amatures. Alex Ferg was certainly humbled tonight, the younger manager out smarted him!

      thundyr - 2011-05-29 06:51

      As an English football fan I'm not paralyzed with shock. Sky Sports overhypes the league, saying that it is strong because the top teams lose to those at the bottom, when in fact all the top sides are in decline. Barcelona's supremacy merely underlines that. But it is interesting that a large percentage of English football fans were rooting for Barcelona on the day - that can't be said of any other English club. Reap what you sow, Fergie.

      Rolie - 2011-05-29 10:42


      clark - 2011-05-29 11:09

      - Listen up all you hysterically fanatical MU fans ; Let's see now, where do we begin - Possession - Barca 68% - MU 32% - Shots on goal- Barca 22 - MU 5 - Corners - Barca 12 - MU 2 - Scoreline - Barca 3 - MU 1 Men vs.boys does'nt describe it - hiding, demolition, thumping gets closer. So old red nose and his ordinary, overated team got a footballing lesson from the masters. I cant wait for the usual piffly responses to be spewed from the MU supporters.

      clark - 2011-05-29 14:28

      - @ Rolie - that makes you 53 - Hmmm - about the average age of MU players . Maybe you ought to consider going on trial at the club.

      mikedek - 2011-05-30 16:17

      So what exactly is your point?

  • @Bt - 2011-05-28 23:08

    well done to the catalans great win

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-05-28 23:10

    ONLY REAL MADRID WILL COME CLOSE TO BARCA! another spanish team! united were like 12 year olds tonight and lady ferguson showed his tactical naivety yet again on the big stage.

      Kyle - 2011-05-28 23:14

      True, Real Madrid is the 2nd best team at the moment.

      CITIZEN - 2011-05-28 23:19

      the best team won period im man utd fan but credit must go where it is deserved well done barcelona you out classed us

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-29 07:05

      The close-up shot of Alex toward the end was something to behold - hands clenched and feverishly shaking, as was his head as the camera lifted. Cannot imagine what he said to his guys after. My prediction was 3-1 all along, and it came to be. The reason for my prediction was based on the self-discipline the Barca team display. Their passing to each other shows their unity, and united (pardon the pun) we stand, divided we fall........... Barcelona - you made us proud. Congratulations

      clark - 2011-05-29 11:15

      - @ Gin - I noticed that too -old red nose was trembling at the might of a great Barca side.

  • Lennox - 2011-05-28 23:17

    The "Fat Lady" has sung and my oh my, how beautiful did she sing. Football from another planet, to make MU, who are a good side, look like amateurs takes a very special side indeed. Like Kaiser Chiefs playing my local club side here in SA, gosh a sight to behold. Wembley, the Theatre of Nightmares for MU..........condolences to all you die hard MU fans. I though Alex had a plan to combat Messi, non existant plan I might add.

      Tracy Emmett - 2011-05-30 08:08

      To be honest, United have been a pretty average side this year... The only person keeping them where they are is Fergie! The day that man retires, is the day United become a very different team.. I don't think anyone else can take an average team and take them to a league win.. Barca, once again making any team look like shool boys! Masterclass!

      OppositeOfSunshine - 2011-05-30 10:54

      I thought the theatre was old trafford, could be wrong.

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-05-28 23:21

    if englands best team of all time were embarrassed like this, then what does it say for the rest of the epl and their teams? jeez

      smallwhirled - 2011-05-29 10:18

      This Manu team is not England's best team of all time. Their '99 team was much better as were the Liverpool teams of the 70' and 80's.

      Jackie - 2011-05-29 10:56

      smallwhirled, you are 100% correct, this Utd team are very average, I think it was a very poor season in the EPL, Utd were just the best of a bad bunch, I guess you could say they won it with experience, geez how old are they.

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-05-28 23:27

    i think even maritzburg united or black leopards wouldv put on a better show than united. anyway, sympathies mufc. next time . . .

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-05-29 00:17


  • Aribs - 2011-05-29 00:34

    well done to Barca and all their REAL fans...completely outplayed United tonight. As for the "one night" supporters...who are the GLORY fans now...? FFT

  • supafly - 2011-05-29 00:35

    Let me school you English football, obsessed fans! You know the problem with EPL (football) is that, surprise surprise, it's infested with British footballers, who in my opinion are failed rugby players, really! The closest an English born lad will ever get to the flair displayed by Messi & most SouthAmerican (who influence Spanish & Italian football) footbalers, is the legendary Gaza (Paul Gascoine) and the up and coming Jack Wilshire, Theo Wilshire and Charlie Adam! Even these guys, as good as they might be or have been, they can't even be mentioned in the same breathe as some of the best Frenchmen to have graced the English game, i.e. David Ginola (Spurs, remember him) Eric Cantona, Thiery Henry, Robert Pires, etc and the Italian of the same calibre, Gianfranco Zola, Paulo Dicanio, fabrizio Ravaneli, etc. Come on! English football , with all it's financial muscle, will always be @ least 2 to 5 steps back cuz it doesn't encourage or promote it's own creative and talented players. I'm talkin nonsense? Okay! How does a player like Andy Cole not have featured more for England than Allan Shearer, despite what he did for UTD both in the Premiership and in Europe? Done! I rest my case. It simple, the EPL managers just don't get it!

      Kyle - 2011-05-29 00:50

      You are very passionate.

      David - 2011-05-29 08:59

      yes, supafly --now how about resting your mouth too. Or at least keep the toilet roll handy. What goes around comes around; Italian football, Dutch football, German football and Brazilian football have all had their moments of glory. Now it is Spain's turn. Well done done to them, but supafly, keep your feet on the ground and your analysis in perspective

      JackMeoff - 2011-05-29 09:40

      CHARLIE ADAM is Scottish...not English born.

      Kaapie - 2011-05-29 11:44

      So how long is it going take for the english to start winning... since '66 they have not managed much

  • Banned - 2011-05-29 01:27

    The greatest team in England versus the Greatest Team the in World.....they deserve to win, Utd didn't bring their A game, they played premier league style and paid the price. Besides Messi, Villa was amazing to watch. - A gunners fan

      Des12 - 2011-05-29 03:44

      How can the scum be the greatest when they only won 3 European Cups? 18 + 5 is still better than 19 + 3!

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-29 07:08

      Gee Des1 - why SCUM?

      Jackie - 2011-05-29 10:51

      GinSA1, Des12 is clearly a Liverpool supporter, as such that's what we call MU, Liverpool have never been given a football lesson like that, the score flattered Utd, even their goal was offside, there is no way this Utd side is a "great English side" past Liverpool gr8 sides would have wiped the floor with them, even our current side, under construction, have won 4 of the last 6 games against the Scum, Utd have just been the best of a bad bunch in the EPL this season, congrats to Barca, possibly the best team I have ever seen.

  • Thingamebob - 2011-05-29 07:41

    What has General Custer, Piet Retief and Man United have in Common.....????? They were all involved in a Massacre....!!!!!!

      FerretGee - 2011-05-29 15:34


  • Samamoe - 2011-05-29 09:39

    Barca thanks for the masterly performance. That was nice. That team you were playing against does nt know how to pass. That was smash in the face for English football.

  • JackMeoff - 2011-05-29 09:43

    ManPoo were made to look like idiots....and i loved every minute of it ! Now Fergie will finally realize that GIGGS, VALENCIA, EVRA, FERDINAND, PARK SUN and FABIO are actually NOT that good as he thinks they are. So nice to see that smug arrogance wiped off those "one-night" ManPoo supporters, Gary Bailey and the whole of Man UTD. You were taught a lesson in football last last and i hope you are hurting.

      infidel - 2011-05-29 10:09

      @JackMeoff... You mean the hurting we have from last night, yeah it hurts, but we are Man Utd and i can only imagine the hurt you go through every year after year after year. I suppost that it makes you the bitter and twisted person you are.... Man Poo???? How old you buddy? 11?

  • CarlosR - 2011-05-29 10:48

    Arsenal was the last team besides Man U & Chelsea to win the English Preimership. The same season Valencia won La Liga. I think the Premiership is as much a 2 horse race as La Liga. If Real & Barca were in the Preimership they would also finish more than 20 points ahead of Man U.

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-05-29 10:58

    @carlosR, well said. people call la liga a 2 horse race but dont realize the epl title has see-sawed between only 2 teams as well for the last long period. hoping for a united-barca final next season so we can hand them 'football lesson part 3 : a trilogy of humiliation'.

  • TypicalDarkie - 2011-05-29 12:37

    OK so barca won on they night and deservedly so, but that doesnt mean we were paralyzed with shock we still 100% behind ManU, they made it to the final and gave a good showing of themselves and we were proud

      Joe - 2011-05-29 20:02

      "gave a good showing of themselves . Yes, I understand your standard of 'Good Showing'.

  • Lloyd - 2011-05-29 16:12

    Lets answer all of the nasty comments from clearly other un informed premiership supporters. Yes Utd lost and where totally outplayed by clearly the best side in the world, at least we were in the final where were all your teams?? Yes Clark we were humbled but at least we get to try again next year more than I can say for teams like lets say Liverpool, we'll send them a postcard from Europe next year oh and guess what even Man City will send them a postcard as well. Yes I agree not the greatest Utd side ever but still managed to beat everyone else (Liverpool by more than 20 points) so bad are all the other sides if they lost to this so called aged average side. Des 12 how quickly you forget the FA cup when it suits you typical of a Liverpool supporter still living in the past 18 + 5 + 8 = 31 / 19 + 3 + 11 = 33 nuff said. Well done once again Barca would loved to have seen what you would have done to some other sides

  • ALCAB - 2011-05-29 20:37

    WELL DONE BARCELONA. from a M.U. fan. I just noticed by the posts that there is now an over supply of Bara and Spanish football supporters. Where have you been hiding ?

      Banned - 2011-05-29 21:20

      Ha, good question, probally some the same place all the chelsea supporters came from in the last couple years.

      mikedek - 2011-05-30 16:29

      In fact these are the "Anti Manchester United" supporters. You either love them or hate them and I am one that loves them. These turncoats will support anyone that plays Manchester United. Pity they do not get that many opportunities to ridicule us as is the case at present. If they really checked Manchester United has lost as many games as Barcelona this season in all the games they played.

  • A(N)ON - 2011-05-30 08:23

    The article headline was 100% spot-on. United were dealt a footballing lesson by what many rate as perhaps the best footballing team ever. Would any other side have been able to stop Barcelona (Messi) on the night - perhaps not. The fact is Barca brought their A-game and like many opposition teams have experienced this season, Barca's A-game is a level above all the top teams in World Football currently. United lost the battle in midfield and whilst our midfield was good enough to deal with most other sides this season - the fact is that they (the midfield) was always found wanting against a few of the good sides. Ferguson now needs to acknowledge that the squad as it stands super-ceded pre-season expectations by winning the league this season and that an investment in a few key personnel especially in the midfield is required to raise the bar. Well done boys we're proud of you - GGMU!!!!

      mikedek - 2011-05-30 16:30

      He has the chequebook out. Watch this space!

  • Daniel - 2011-05-30 14:41

    Despite Barcelona outplaying Manchester United i still believe that if Fergusson had better players like Barca the results would have been different.All i can say is that Fergusson is as good as Pep but all went down to the calibre of players each coach had and to be honest Barca players are very good and may be if Fergusson had the calibre of players at Chelsea or Manchester City then i strongly believe the results would have been different albeit not one sided asit was.Cheers! (DANN in

  • Mahesh - 2011-05-31 07:51

    Where is that MODEL DAVID BECKHAM NOW????????????

      Albo - 2011-05-31 17:48 America !?!

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