United's Tactics Were Wrong—And So Are the B/R Writers

Patrick Johnston@PJSoccerJunkieCorrespondent IMay 29, 2009

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 06:  Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola (L) and Chelsea Manager Guus Hiddink embrace during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on May 6, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Too many articles about United sitting in. Those who saw this watched a different game than me.  United did NOT sit in and that is why they lost! 

They tried to beat Barca at Barca's game and paid the price.  They were actually forced into it in the ninth minute; even if that were their strategy (which it wasn't).

Guus Hiddink had the tactics spot on and was a referee call or Drogba finish away from eliminating the current Champions of Europe and Sir Alex should have used those tactics.

Why he did not could be down to a number of reasons but there are two that I believe worthy of speculation.

The first would be that he truly believed the Red Devils were better at playing attacking, flowing football.  Using a boxing analogy, he could go toe to toe with the Catalonians and win.  Not the case. 

Hiddink's cagey and incisive counterattacks had proven to be the Catolonian's nemesis.

The second speculation is that Sir Alex did not change his tactics because he wanted to win without having to adjust and put an exclamation point to a near perfect season.  He did not give Barcelona the respect that Hiddink had.  The aphrodisiac of success fuels arrogance and can topple even the mightiest.

So I must go on record to all of you who say Man United lost because of their tactics, you are absolutely correct. 

But to say it was negative tells me that some of you were watching something else.  In the first nine minutes of the game there were six or seven United players in the attacking third. That is not a negative approach! 

Barca scored and United were rattled.  The Catalonians were able to settle in and play their game because United had to chase. 

One final point, does United go down 1-0 and sit in?  That seems to be what some are saying.  Give me a break!  United was the most lethal in the first 10 minutes, not the time a team sitting in would be most effective!

Just something to read for those who watched the game that I did.  Makes me believe in parallel universes...