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 UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United

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Panthers
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PostSubject: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sat May 28, 2011 3:28 am


European glory beckons at Wembley on Saturday as the champions of Spain and England collide in one of the most eagerly-awaited finals in history.

Barcelona and Manchester United could already lay claim to being the two finest sides on the continent before this season, having each made it through to the final twice in the past five years.

They have confirmed their standing at the top of the game this term after dominating their respective domestic competitions, whilst progressing to this stage of the UEFA Champions League with little difficulty.

Barcelona cruised through a group also containing FC Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos, before overturning a first-leg deficit to knock out Arsenal in the last 16.

An emphatic victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in the quarter-finals was followed by an eagerly-awaited tie against rivals Real Madrid, when Lionel Messi's brilliance shone out in an otherwise fiery and controversial affair.

Manchester United came out ahead of Valencia, Rangers and Bursaspor in their group and were rewarded with a clash against Marseille in the next round.

Having beaten the Frenchmen and then held off the challenge of Chelsea in the quarter-finals, United hammered Schalke to take their place in this weekend's showpiece.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men also clinched the Premier League title in impressive fashion, while Barcelona collected a staggering 96 points in winning the Primera Liga.

But even though both sides have had successful seasons, it is the outcome of Saturday's final in London that will determine how fondly the 2010/11 campaign is remembered by each set of supporters.

Team News:

United will nevertheless be aware of the importance of frustrating a Barca side that invariably dominates possession, and the last line of defence will be provided by goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, playing in his final match before retirement at the age of 40.

The veteran Dutchman will be shielded by a back four comprising Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, captain Nemanja Vidic and one of the Brazilian twins, perhaps Fabio.

Ferguson has a lot of options in midfield but is expected to go with Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung, although Nani, Anderson and Darren Fletcher will also hope to feature.

Hernandez is set to cap a terrific debut season with a place in the forward line beside Rooney, as United look to exploit the one possible weakness in Barca's line-up, their defence.

Like United, Barca have all their key players fit after resting the majority of their main men in the final two rounds of domestic matches.

Eric Abidal has been in action, though, after returning from two months out following surgery on a liver tumour.

The French left-back is now in contention to play at Wembley alongside fellow defenders Dani Alves, Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, although versatile Argentine Javier Mascherano is another alternative if Guardiola decides he does not want to risk Abidal and Puyol - who has also had a spell out recently.

Sergio Busquets will play the holding role in midfield that allows Xavi and Iniesta freedom to express themselves, while Messi will be supported in attack by David Villa and Pedro.
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I'm tipping Man Utd to win 3-2 in a classic and in the process get revenge for the 2009 defeat they suffered in the Final. Barcelona seem to have a couple of injury concerns (in defence) compared to Man U, where as it's the opposite for the Red Devils.. they pretty much have a full squad to choose from which is remarkable for this time of the year.

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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sat May 28, 2011 4:00 am

The match I have been waiting for. 2 of the best European teams up against each other on the biggest European stage, The Champions League Final. Both teams coming into this match with their own league wins and will be hoping to add another holy grail to their mantle.

Manutd will want to farewell goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar on a winning note. Playing at Wembley will be a big home advantage and also playing in front of the United legends such as Sir Bobby Charlton. Chicharito and Rooney will be the key of our team. Them both have gelled so well up front and will hopefully combine to put the ball in the back of the Barca net. Chicharito no doubt has be the best buy for us for the season or even the whole EPL. He has scored the important goals whether to win a game or to savior a draw, he has been the one to do that. Rooney - Most of us United fans thought he might leave during the season after a issue with Sir Alex, but that is long gone and he has been a rock up front for us. We will always remember his goal against ManCity where he scored by an overhead kick to the top corner. If we win, this will cap of a great season for the Manchester area. First ManCity winning the FA cup and Manutd winning the EPL and maybe the UCL.
I predict a 2-1 win with Chicharito and VDS to score off a penalty haha, and Villa for Barca. My starting XI:
-----VDS-----
--Fabio--Rio--Vidic--Evra--
--Valencia--Giggs--Carrick--Park--
---Chicharito---Rooney---

GO MANUTD!! BRING THE TROPHY HOME!!!
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sat May 28, 2011 4:07 am

nani ?
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sat May 28, 2011 5:26 am

This is going to hopefully be a cracking match.

Barcelona have to go in as red-hot favorites as they've been the best side in Europe this season. Manchester United definitely deserve their place in the Final as well. Been fantastic all season and for all the comments about this not being a "great" Manchester United team, well a win over Barcelona will certainly erase all those comments.

Do think Barcelona will get the job done but will be supporting Man. United.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sat May 28, 2011 8:41 am

jtm91 wrote:
nani ?
A United fan would be able to confirm this, but I'm pretty sure Valencia is first choice on the right and Fergie tends to go with Park in the bigger games.

Apparently United have been training in a 3-4-3 formation a fair bit this week, apparently it will be their go-to formation should they fall a goal back.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sat May 28, 2011 12:28 pm

Should be a great game. C'mon Barca! I reckon Barca 3-2 AET.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 1:56 am

Barca win 3-1.

Messi destroyed United.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 10:10 am

Unbelievable performance from Barcelona this morning. There was just no stopping them. They just have far too much class not only for Manchester United, but every other team in Europe. Lionel Messi, what a player. 53 goals in 54 matches this season and 12 in the UEFA Champions League which equals the record set by Ruud Van Nistelrooy, just amazing. I also thought the players letting Eric Abidal raise the trophy oozed class, great act.

I thought David Basheer asked an interesting question this morning as well post-game saying to Kalac what does Barcelona need to do to retain the trophy. His answer of nothing was spot on. They really don't need to do anything to win it again next season. They have just about the perfect side/squad and it's going to be up to Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Bayern Munich to spend big and buy the quality necessary to beat Barcelona. The only two teams that have shown they can compete with Barcelona over the last 2-3 seasons have been Inter and Real Madrid and the common fact that these two teams shared is that both were/are managed by Jose Mourinho.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 10:16 am

Sparky_Hughes wrote:
I also thought the players letting Eric Abidal raise the trophy oozed class, great act.
Which is rare for Barca players.

Sparky_Hughes wrote:
The only two teams that have shown they can compete with Barcelona over the last 2-3 seasons have been Inter and Real Madrid and the common fact that these two teams shared is that both were/are managed by Jose Mourinho.
Confused

Did you forget about Arsenal leading the tie before we went down to 10 men? I'm pretty sure us beating them 2-1 at home and being tied at 1-1 at the Nou Camp while it was 11 vs 11 shows we can compete with them. Also coming back from 2-0 down to tie the first leg 2-2 last season, admittedly we got belted in the second leg due to a ridiculous game from Messi and having half of our first team out.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 11:17 am

philly wrote:
Confused

Did you forget about Arsenal leading the tie before we went down to 10 men? I'm pretty sure us beating them 2-1 at home and being tied at 1-1 at the Nou Camp while it was 11 vs 11 shows we can compete with them. Also coming back from 2-0 down to tie the first leg 2-2 last season, admittedly we got belted in the second leg due to a ridiculous game from Messi and having half of our first team out.

What was it, zero shots on goal in that 2nd Leg? You're nowhere near the level of Barcelona and your shambolic end to the season summed up where you're at.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 12:22 pm

What a team, I think it's fair to say they're the best we've seen in our generation thus far. The way Barcelona came out in the second half and completely dominated for a good 20 minute period was just brilliant to watch... I know we say it so often but Messi is all class, as this morning once again proved. Villa's goal was superb... would love to see him in the Prem League one day. Credit to VDS, if it wasn't for him the score could have been quite ugly for United. All in all it wasn't as if Man Utd had a shocking night, Barcelona were an evident class above. Credit to both clubs on a great season.

Sparky_Hughes wrote:
I also thought the players letting Eric Abidal raise the trophy oozed class, great act.
Yep, fantastic act from the Barca players. Thumbleft

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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 12:43 pm

Sparky_Hughes wrote:
philly wrote:
Confused

Did you forget about Arsenal leading the tie before we went down to 10 men? I'm pretty sure us beating them 2-1 at home and being tied at 1-1 at the Nou Camp while it was 11 vs 11 shows we can compete with them. Also coming back from 2-0 down to tie the first leg 2-2 last season, admittedly we got belted in the second leg due to a ridiculous game from Messi and having half of our first team out.
What was it, zero shots on goal in that 2nd Leg?
But were ahead in the tie.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 12:48 pm

philly wrote:
But were ahead in the tie.

And you still got killed in the end.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 12:52 pm

Sparky_Hughes wrote:
philly wrote:
But were ahead in the tie.

And you still got killed in the end.
When we went down to 10 men.

And speaking of getting killed, what about Inter losing 7-3 on aggregate to Schalke Laughing definately showing they are close to the level of Barca.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 1:21 pm

philly wrote:
When we went down to 10 men.

And speaking of getting killed, what about Inter losing 7-3 on aggregate to Schalke Laughing definately showing they are close to the level of Barca.

You were still dominated though. That goal you "scored" was a total fluke. I now and at the time thought the yellow card to Van Persie was a joke but that doesn't take away from the fact that Barcelona was totally dominant against you. If you think the squad you currently have is good enough to win the EPL and Champions League then the only person you're kidding is yourself. Arsenal are miles off.

As for us, yes we did get beaten by Schalke and it was an absolute embarrassment. I said that at the time and it's still one of the worst losses I've witnessed being an Inter fan. Still though, we won the competition last season and beat Barcelona along the way. Heck, we're the only team that's knocked out Barcelona in the last three seasons. Still though, I know that we've got plenty of room for improvement. I'm not ignorant. The loss to Schalke and even the thumping AC Milan handed us in the Milan Derby three days prior to the Schalke loss, it was more Leonardo being out managed rather than the players not being good enough. The players showed they were good enough the season prior winning the treble. Something Arsenal could only dream of.
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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 1:36 pm

Sparky_Hughes wrote:
philly wrote:
When we went down to 10 men.

And speaking of getting killed, what about Inter losing 7-3 on aggregate to Schalke Laughing definately showing they are close to the level of Barca.

You were still dominated though. That goal you "scored" was a total fluke. I now and at the time thought the yellow card to Van Persie was a joke but that doesn't take away from the fact that Barcelona was totally dominant against you. If you think the squad you currently have is good enough to win the EPL and Champions League then the only person you're kidding is yourself. Arsenal are miles off.

As for us, yes we did get beaten by Schalke and it was an absolute embarrassment. I said that at the time and it's still one of the worst losses I've witnessed being an Inter fan. Still though, we won the competition last season and beat Barcelona along the way. Heck, we're the only team that's knocked out Barcelona in the last three seasons. Still though, I know that we've got plenty of room for improvement. I'm not ignorant. The loss to Schalke and even the thumping AC Milan handed us in the Milan Derby three days prior to the Schalke loss, it was more Leonardo being out managed rather than the players not being good enough. The players showed they were good enough the season prior winning the treble. Something Arsenal could only dream of.

Yeah but keeping in mind the age of the squad give them a few years.. I mean they have what 3-4 players over 30 compared to Inter with around 12-15, that's a major difference in age there. Inter may have improvement in them compared to this year but they're only going to have a short time frame to utilise that in.. Correct me if i'm wrong but a few players over the next few years will be gone and a squad rebuilding will generally see a drop in results. You'd want to hope Inter can manage to win something in the next few years for your sake.

As for the game Crying or Very sad , i'll have a few comments abit later, totally outclassed.

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PostSubject: Re: UCL Final - Barcelona v Manchester United    Sun May 29, 2011 2:06 pm

Beckham wrote:
Yeah but keeping in mind the age of the squad give them a few years.. I mean they have what 3-4 players over 30 compared to Inter with around 12-15, that's a major difference in age there. Inter may have improvement in them compared to this year but they're only going to have a short time frame to utilise that in.. Correct me if i'm wrong but a few players over the next few years will be gone and a squad rebuilding will generally see a drop in results. You'd want to hope Inter can manage to win something in the next few years for your sake.

As for the game Crying or Very sad , i'll have a few comments abit later, totally outclassed.

We've been hearing for years now about Arsenal and their young squad and how it's only going to get better. Fact of the matter is they haven't won anything for years now and that doesn't look like ending anytime soon.

Absolutely we have an old squad. 14 players 30 or older but we've got the best youth team in Italy and have been blooding some quality youngsters of late including a few in the first team squad so I think we'll definitely be OK. Plus with Moratti, money is never a problem.

EDIT: Commiserations on the loss man. Would definitely be hard to take, especially losing to them twice in three years now in the Final. Still, better to lose to them knowing their the best than pretty much any other team. And your record not just in Europe but domestically as well over the last 5-6 years is nothing short of brilliant. Second only to Barcelona in that time.
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