Some thoughts from tonight’s Champions League final:
This Barcelona side is a great one. They may have their flaws but their midfield in attack is so good it doesn’t matter. Congratulations on their treble.
The possession football of Messi, Xavi and especially Iniesta was a joy to watch. Both sides had weaknesses going into the game, Barcelona lacking their fullbacks, United their defensive midfielders (good ones at least). The difference in the match was Barcelona took advantage of United’s flaw whereas United failed to return the favour.
After a dominant opening ten minutes by Man Utd, Barcelona scored out of nowhere and proceeded to then control the rest of the match. In the semi final second leg, Fergie’s side had done the exact same thing to Arsenal.
Another final, another quiet Henry performance. His chance early in the second half was reminiscent of 2006 when he had an opportunity to wrap things up at 1-0. He missed now as he did then but this time the end result was different and he gets the one major trophy missing from his impressive CV.
Iniesta – excellent.
Ronaldo peaked with his free kick after two minutes.
Vidic, Rio and Van der Sar – not so much. Vidic was turned easily by Eto’o for the opener, while 6’3″ Rio was nowhere near 5’6″ Messi for the second. I thought Van der Sar could have done better with both to be honest.
Against a team so comfortable on the ball, will Fergie regret choosing old man Giggs over the hustling Tevez?
And should Rooney and Ronaldo have interchanged a bit more? You felt Ronaldo would be a more effective winger against Sylvinho, at least for some of the game.
In his first season as Barca manager (and only the second year in his whole managerial career) Pep Guardiola wins the lot. He joins select list (read five others) to have won the European Cup as player and manager. And to think this team can still improve.