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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Aubrey Huff

2010 Champions League Final Review

June 1st 2011 14:50
There was a lot of hype going into the game between two teams that were easily the best in soccer. I wrote a post during the middle of the season in which I said that Manchester United and Barcelona were the only two elite teams, and that Barcelona was the only unquestionably elite team. My prediction proved to be right because both of these teams met in the Champions League Finals. It wasn't much of a game though, as Barca outclassed their opponents at Wembley.

From the tenth minute onward, this game was owned by La Blaugrana. They completely overran United in the midfield. Pedro scored a goal that was beautifully set-up by Xavi, and Rooney equalized seven minutes later. People said it was a beautiful one-two with Rooney and Giggs, but the ball sort of dropped at Giggs' feet and it seemed like his reaction was, "Hey look, I have the ball." Rooney took the ensuing pass and made a beautiful shot. Barcelona won it 3-1, but it really could have easily been a 5-0 affair. This was dominance.

Match Ratings


GK Victor Valdes 6 Valdes was rarely troubled, but he was the better player in this game. He made a few nice clearances off his line which is common for him as he is an active goalie.

LB Eric Abidal 6.5 Defended his side of the field well until Nani came in. Why Nani didn't start is an absolute mystery to me.

CB Javier Mascherano 7.5 He was no weak-link and was the best defender on Barca today. He harried Chicharito.

CB Gerard Pique 6 Didn't have much to do in this game.

RB Dani Alves 6.5 Was afforded a ton of space on the wing thanks to Evra, but he should have done more with that space.

LM Andres Iniesta 8 When he and Xavi get going, Barcelona are unstoppable. This is exactly what happened to a completely outclassed Man United midfield. Iniesta's footwork, technique, and passing were impeccable as always.

CM Sergio Busquets 7 He is probably the most underrated player on Barca. Defensive midfielders, especially those on elite teams, almost never get the respect they deserve. He commanded the area between the midfield and defense well and was efficient.

RM Xavi 8.5 There is no better passer in soccer today. He is the Steve Nash of soccer, and this game just showed how great he is. Xavi, not Messi, was the Man of the Match because he set his teammates up perfectly. He'll only have on assist to his name, but there were five instances in which his teammates did not convert a great chance created by this maestro.

ST Pedro 6 Even though he scored a goal, it was a simple tap-in. He also missed two sitters that were put on a golden platter by Xavi. Pedro should have grabbed a brace for himself in this game.

ST Messi 7.5 There's no denying that Messi had a very good game today, but he wasn't the main reason why Barca won. Still, his footwork and solid goal were immense for his side. I still think he should have scored his 54th goal of the year on one of two chances provided by Xavi and Iniesta.

ST David Villa 7.5 I have always been critical about David Villa, but I do think he is one of the top three strikers in the game easy. He had the play of the game with his goal in the 70th.

Manchester United

GK Edwin van der Sar 5.5 He should have done much better with Messi's shot as he was completely caught out of position. There were a few times where he was lucky that Barcelona couldn't connect on a Xavi pass because his positioning failed him in this game.

LB Patrice Evra 5.5 I though the Frenchman had a poor game today and really didn't defend well at all. He gave Dani Alves far too much time and space on Barca's right flank.

CB Nemanja Vidic 7.5 Vidic is the best defender in the game, and his crunching tackles early on showed it. He faded as the game wore on and was partially at fault for Messi's goal. He still had a great game and was a leader at the back.

CB Rio Ferdinand 7 Ferdinand had a solid game, per usual, and was a rock at the back. He's another one of the best defensive players in the game.

RB Fabio 6 He was subbed off and had a very average game but did make one nice clearance early on. He was invisible in attack though.

LM Ryan Giggs 5.5 I thought Giggs turned in a less than par performance which is not what we have come to expect from the veteran.

CM Michael Carrick 6.5 He was his team's best passer on this day, and that alone earns him some merit. Although his team couldn't pass, he was the only person in the midfield that put forth a positive effort.

CM Ji-Sung Park 5 I though Park played a very poor game and was constantly beat out on the ball.

RM Antonio Valencia 4 The Ecuadorian is unquestionably a star, but he played like a benchwarmer on a relegated Premier League side in this game. Valencia was clueless, slow, had no touch on his passes, and resorted to committing silly challenges towards the end of the game.

ST Wayne Rooney 7.5 He was by far the best player on his team today and showed why he is the star on Man U. Rooney can properly lead a club, and imagine what he would have been capable of if he actually got decent service from his midfield. His goal was well-taken, and I think he could have bagged an 8 match rating and a brace had Nani played the whole game.

ST Javier Hernandez 4.5 Chicharito is one of my favorite players, but he was horrible today. He was hassled by Mascherano and was frustrated throughout the match. It is a game the young striker will need to forget, but it will definitely be impossible for him to. He just needs to learn from this game and improve later on.
Man of the Match
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2 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Rick Gillispie

June 1st 2011 15:09
I was really disappointed with United's Play. I had Barcelona winning but i thought it would a better match than it was.

Comment by nbageek

June 2nd 2011 04:11
Good post like the info not as well versed as I should be with champions league, nice work

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