United Were Given A Proper Punishment Against Barcelona
Following Manchester United’s 3-1 loss to Barcelona, Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that the club has never gotten a good old hiding like that before.
As 300 million people witnessed, Barcelona completely outplayed the Reds in yet another UEFA Champions League Final, but as they always say, “If you are going to lose, you might as well lose to the best and be gracious in defeat.”
So many times in football the better team does not always win, but at Wembley, in the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, the best team on the day won – and although it will be another harsh lesson learned for United – they did it with class.
Respect is something that the corrupt governing bodies of football are preaching for to happen, both United and Barcelona showed true appreciation for each other’s clubs. Losing, especially in the manner they did, the Reds showed a good-nature respect and did not allow the game to get ugly. On the opposite side of that spectrum, Barcelona did not rub in the fact that they were the far superior team either, which makes losing somewhat easier to swallow.
With that said, it was disheartening to see that another match at Wembley ended in horrific defeat. A very strong was put forward to face Barcelona and the confidence ahead of the match should have transfer through to the performance, but it fizzled out like an untied balloon.
Like what happened at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, United started the game off by pushing Barcelona on their back foot, but they were unable to muster a chance that would have set a different tone of the match. Nearly right on cue, the Spanish champions began to find their feet and started forcing the Reds to chase the ball as though they were an American youth league team.
It took Barcelona a bit longer to score the opening goal this time, but the precision of the passing was very pleasing to eye, but yet so frustrating to see from United standpoint. In frustrating fashion, there was very little resistance and pressure put on any of the Barcelona players involved in that attack, and, even though it will ultimately be a team loss, some of the blame should fall on certain players.
Everyone knows that Barcelona is very dangerous going forward, which makes the point that Pedro was unmarked for the opening all the harder to take. Patrice Evra should have been in the vicinity of where the Barca player was, but he was out of position throughout the match. Either pinch way too far in, or caught way too high up the field. Other players constantly had to cover for him, which led to Nemanja Vidic or Ji-Sung Park failing to focus on their own tasks.
Admirably, United hit back Barcelona this time and it was the only shot on target that United had. Wayne Rooney started the move and finished it with a brilliant curling effort, but, unfortunately, his strike partner seemed to be a bit overwhelmed the entire match.
Javier Hernandez has been a breath of fresh air this season, but he saved one of his worst performances in the United shirt for this match. In the team for his pace and well-timed runs, Chicharito was over anxious and was whistled for being in an offside position five times, which totally defeated Sir Alex’s straight forward game plan. There is no question that he will learn from his experience and his shoulders are broad enough now to take the criticism – just like Rooney did in 2009.
As a whole though, which this performance should be seen as, United offered little to nothing going forward, which can be confirmed by the fact that they only had one shot on target and could not manage a corner kick.
It should go without saying that there were not too many performances worth talking about, however, what can be said is Manchester United did try their best against Barcelona and even though they tasted defeat, the 2010/11 season can be seen as a major morale boost for the club.
Submitted by The United Religion
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