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UEFA Champions League Final: Where Manchester United Went Wrong

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28:  Barcelona players celebrate after victory in the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Darren BuckleyContributor IMay 28, 2011

First off, congratulations Barcelona.

Match analysis

 

---------------------------------------------Van Der Sar

Rafael---------------------Ferdinand---------------------Vidic--------------------------------Evra

-----------------------------------Park----------------------------Carrick

Valencia-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Nani

------------------------------------------------Rooney

----------------------------------------------Hernandez

 

As you can see, that is a pretty attacking formation. That is what United need against a team like Barcelona. Arsenal proved that sitting back doesn't work. However, Real Madrid proved you don't go full steam against Barca. That is why Carrick and Park, two midfielders perfectly capable of tracking back, are in my 11. Rooney would also have the option of drifting back if needed."

 

Instead, we had this:

------------------------------------------------Van Der Sar

Fabio----------------------------Ferdinand------------Vidic--------------------------Evra

Valenica---------------------Giggs-----------------------Carrick---------------------Park

---------------------------------------------------Rooney

-------------------------------------------------Hernandez

A team with no width. A player in Giggs who had no business being on the pitch. A winger in Valencia who provided no width. A non-winger in Park, who couldn't provide it. Concerning the defense, Fabio, was a left back out on the right an Evra's head was down the entire match. Up front, Hernandez' presence was known only by being offside. Only 4 players were truly good: Rooney, Carrick, Vidic and Van Der Sar.

Ferguson was uninspired and left his changes until the last 20 minutes. Once it was apparent that Giggs wasn't there mentally, he should have been off. Bringing on a midfielder for a defender is not a tactic to be employed against Barcelona.

If this is to be the standard of football played by Manchester United, they can forget about beating the Barcelonas of this world. We were asked to believe. We the fans did. The manager and players did not.

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