Manchester United: Pathetic In Rome

Vincent MuambiContributor IMay 27, 2009

ROME - MAY 27:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United and his team mates react after the UEFA Champions League Final match between Barcelona and Manchester United at the Stadio Olimpico on May 27, 2009 in Rome, Italy. Barcelona won 2-0.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

The picture above says it all: Barcelona were more than just Champions tonight—they simply are the best team in all of Europe.


Manchester started out perfectly in the first 10 minutes of the match. Ronaldo came close to scoring the first goal on a couple of different chances.

Then the match turned upside down when Samuel Eto'o scored what would prove to be the decisive winner—the result of a simple error on the part of the United defender, Vidic.

From that very moment on, the breath of air was completely socked out of Red Devils, who couldn't win back the possession that they enjoyed in the first 10 minutes. 

Ronaldo, as usual in one of his many disappointing performances was both broody and non-committal. At certain points of the game, his body language and his demeanor simply told the whole story of the match.

Barcelona were superb in their display on the field. They controlled the ball and passed it around with perfection.

United players couldn't come up with an answer or a different game plan to counter Barca's play.

The flare, speed, grit, and determination that Manchester are known for was simply non existent. Dull passes, over-aggressive crosses, bad fouls, and of course a negative attitude were all that Manchester could muster this evening.

Ryan Giggs, a stalwart on the Manchester United side, was simply invincible.

Rooney himself had another disappointing match thanks in part to the brilliant defensive efforts of Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol.

Manchester's midfield clearly missed the grit and determined Darren Fletcher. At times during the match, Fletcher's absence clearly showed.

However, the real losers of the whole European spectacle were the fans themselves. Those from around the world who chose to take the time from whatever activities they were engaged so they could watch what they hoped would be a European classic.

Instead, the poor fans both in Rome and abroad were treated to a totally one-sided, dull, fruitless encounter.

The disappointment should be squarely aimed at a United side that failed to live up to it's billing...big time.

Sir Alex Ferguson surely would have to be the most disappointed man of the night—not because he lost against a team led by a coach is 29 years younger—but because Ferguson had high hopes of adding the Champions League trophy to an already impressive season display.

Questions about whether or not Ronaldo and Tevez will leave United are surely going to heat up within the next upcoming weeks.

However, for tonight's sake, all that hot fuzz pales in comparison to what we football fans were exposed to: The most disappointing European final performance ever displayed by an English squad.

And of all teams, it had to be Manchester United.

God Have Mercy.



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