Barça put in a sublime performance to take their fourth European Cup by beating Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley tonight
1-0 Pedro (min 27)
1-1 Rooney (min 34)
2-1 Messi (min 53)
3-1 Villa (min 69)
Barça again lifted the European Cup at Wembley after a great performance whish saw the Club claim their fourth European Cup. The team repeated the success of 1992, when the Club took its first European Cup and with goals from the great trio of Messi, Villa and Pedro, they brushed aside the challenge of a competitive Manchester United to win 3-1.
The first half saw Barça dominate much more than the scoreline might suggest, with Rooney pegging back Pedro's opener very much against the run of play. Even so, the first 10 minutes of the game recalled the 2006 final, with United coming out of the blocks the stronger, which Barça answered with some solid defending and a gradual development of their trademark possession football. Valdes showed his worth early on with a punch out when Rooney closed in on a Van der Saar clearance.
After Valdes' intervention, Barça really began to turn on the style as Xavi, Iniesta and Messi began to combine and there was nothing that Ferguson's much vaunted tactics could do to stop the trio as they began to put Villa and Pedro into dangerous positions.
The chances were coming thick and thin now, with Messi tiptoeing through the sluggish United defence, Villa trying his luck from the edge of the box and finally, Pedro opening the scoring with a well struck shot after receiving a killer pass from Xavi – the Spanish forward's fifth goal in the Champions League this campaign.
Equaliser spurs Barça on
Despite the Barça domination though, a quick move between Giggs and Rooney saw the England centre forward hit home an equaliser on 34 minutes. That goal just seemed to push the Barça players to even greater control and they had a number of chances to take the lead again before the break, including a great set piece move that nearly undid the English defence.
Two great strikes
If the first half was dominated by Barça, then the second was an even more one sided affair as two great goals on 53 and 69 minutes gave Guardiola's team a well deserved 3-1 lead. Messi hit home a wonderful strike from outside the box to culminate a lovely team move for the second goal and Villa hit a beautiful curling shot home for the third. It wasn't just those moments of magic that were doing for United though, it was the almost total control that Barça were showing that was silencing the Manchester fans and leaving their team helpless to respond to Guardiola's men's domination.
Back to Wembley and back for a win!
Koeman's brilliant free kick gave Barça their first European Cup at Wembley in 1992, but it was the collective play of Guardiola's team that brought the trophy back this time. The win puts a fantastic end to the double winning season and it was achieved with the team's trademark domination based on their great understanding and control of possession. Make a space in the Museum –the fourth European Cup is on its way back home!