As like most finals it was a bit of a let down. It had been billed as ‘the’ final between two of the greatest sides (besides Liverpool). What actually happened was Manchester United couldn’t cope with a seriously amazing Barcelona and so it wasn’t quite as thrilling as it could have been.
United dominated at the start but a goal from Eto’o changed all of that. From then Messi, Iniesta and Xavi just took control, and United looked helpless to do anything. Their midfield seemed weak, with no presence from Giggs, Park or Anderson. Carrick was sending the occasional good pass, but was also responsible for some of the big errors in the half.
Half time leads to the introduction of Tevez which gave more space to Barcelona. Xavi and Iniesta had more space, and controlled more of the midfield. Messi, one of the smallest players on the pitch scored a wonderful header, mainly due to poor marking.
Manchester United began to lose the plot with some tough, and at times plain wrong challenges, by players such as Scholes and Ronaldo.
In the end they just weren’t good enough. But at least in the post-match interviews they had the grace to admit that, with both Ferguson and Ferdinand acknowledging they weren’t there, and needed to do more to match a wonderful Barcelona who gave a real lesson on possession football.