(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Manchester United comes into the UEFA Champions League final looking to become the first team in the modern era to win in back to back years. Barcelona wants to put an end to a second English team’s season after taking care of Chelsea on the away goal aggregate.
Manchester United can use the win to show their dominance of the futbol world. Barcelona wants to show the world they are the best out of the Spanish division and the best in the world and become the first Spanish team to win the UEFA Championship. Either way history will be made in Rome in this final.
In the first eight to nine minutes Manchester United dominated the action trying to get a goal early. The Red Devils got several chances from Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, and others who got shots on goal but none came close to finding the back of the net.
Barcelona found the back of the net in the 10th minute on a drive up the Red Devil's defense and Samuel Eto’o slid the ball just under the Manchester United goal tender Edwin Van Der Sar for the early 1-0 lead.
The Barca then takes control of the match. The Barca’s perfect passing on the pitch and control the mid-field so that the Red Devils never got back into the first half and Barcelona shut down the Man United great striking offense. Sir Alex Ferguson had to go in at the half and try to wake up his team. Barcelona’s coach Josep Guardiola just wanted his team to play the same way in the second half.
It is Barca who got what they wanted in the second half by controlling the match. Manchester United looked lost and just not ready to play. Ronaldo couldn't get into the game and the Red Devils' mid-fielders couldn't get their strikers and great goal scorers the ball with any regularity. Barcelona put the game away in the 70th minute after a beautiful cross by Xavi to Lionel Messi who headed the ball with tons of power.
The goal gave Barcelona a 2-0 lead and made it a formality until the game is called as Manchester United gave up and the Barca waited for the Clock to run out. As it does they celebrated their title as champions of the UEFA Champions League.
The goal by Messi is his first against an English Club this year in the Champions League. Barcelona was the better team on the field tonight as Manchester United looked lost and not into the game. The loss is the first in nearly two years for Manchester United who had not lost in 25 matches.
Barcelona gave the Red Devils a guard of honour as they collect their second place medals. One of the best parts of the match was watching the great officiating by Massimo Busacca. As referee he let both teams play and did not slow down the match.