UEFA Champions League Final Review

Memorial Day Weekend started off with a bang this weekend with a great game in London. The New Wembley was packed with 90,000 fans and was truly a fun sight to see this weekend as the two best teams in Europe faced off. Barcelona showed exactly why they are possible one of the all-time best teams.

Barcelona proved again why they are the best team in the world. Barcelona’s possession dominance made Manchester United’s day a nightmare. Early on Man United looked like they could possibly take advantage of early nervousness from Barcelona but after holding off some early chances from Rooney and Hernandez it seemed like the game was there for the taking for Barcelona. Barcelona was able to take their 3rd UEFA Champions League title in the last 6 years and with that sealed their place in history.

Three Keys To the Game:

1. Messi once again showed he was the best player in the world. Messi was a handful all day. If he wasn’t on the ball he dragged Vidic, the best Manchester defender, away from the play. One of these occasions occurred on the first goal when Pedro was able to break away from Patrice Evra who was dragged towards an open Messi at the top of the box. Pedro then received a fantastic pass from Xavi and simply placed it in the back of the net. Messi also showed his brilliance on the ball. He swerved and slalomed his way through defenders and always kept the defense on their heels. He finally found the net in 54′ minute to finally take the lead back for Barcelona.

2. Javier Hernandez was nonexistent. The 22 year old Mexican looked out of place throughout the second half and late in the first half. He came out with a lot of fervor but didn’t seem to bring an impact on the game. Mascherano’s inclusion in the back line seemed to slow down Hernandez’s effectiveness by not allowing his speed to get behind Barcelona’s back line. Perhaps Berbatov’s inclusion in the lineup may have helped but missing Hernandez seemed to eliminate a large part of Manchester United’s attack.

3. 70% possession was just too much for Manchester United. Once again Barcelona’s control of the tempo and control of the ball made the game almost stagnant for Manchester United offensively. Iniesta, Xavi, and Messi’s triangle in the center of their offense seemed balanced, structured, and was always a threat from anywhere on the pitch. This trio in the center has been the focal point of this team and is the main reason why they are considered one of the best teams of all-time. At points in the game it felt as though Manchester United went 10 minutes without touching the ball. Perhaps the inclusion of a powerful player in the center of midfield could have slowed down the trio such as Paul Scholes. Either way this team showed dominance in the midfield and out in the flanks and because of that dominated the game throughout.



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