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UEFA Champions League
28 May 2011
• Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: V. Kassai
• Attendance: 87695
As Barcelona celebrate with the trophy, here is Wayne Veysey again from Wembley: “Thank you Messi, thank you Xavi. You guys can come again. A wonderful display in a memorable final on a magical evening. Adventure, flair and respect in equal measure. United were not bad by any means, at times they were very good, but Barca would have decimated any opposition tonight. Hail arguably the greatest club side ever and hail the amazing Messi, whose place in the pantheon of greats is now secure.”
BARCELONA ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE FOR THE FOURTH TIME. It was a deserved victory for the Catalan side, who have been mesmerising all night. Their front three all scored and their midfield generals, Xavi and Iniesta, pulled the strings behind them
90' + 2'
90' + 1'
Ben Hayward in Barcelona: "Huge cheers: Barca fans here very happy to see their captain Puyol come on. The question now is: will he lift the trophy? Xavi, who started as captain, surely deserves it as well. Maybe they'll lift the trophy together..."
United, to their credit, continue to press, but the incredible tempo this match has been played under has died down a bit. Slightly ironic cheers from the United supporters as they win a free-kick, but they have lost their voice a bit, which is understandable after the onslaught they have faced. Iniesta then tries to lob Van der Sar from distance, but unsuccessfully as the keeper can catch the ball
Puyol hugs Alves as he comes off and there is a loud roar from the Barcelona faithful
As club captain Puyol is ready to come on, here is more from Barney Cullum at Wembley: "Everything Barcelona have attempted tonight has been executed with precision, from the pass for Pedro's opening goal, through to the direction of Messi's run to make an angle for his shot for Barca's second, through to the arc Villa shaped for the goal of the night. An exquisite performance."
Yellow Card Víctor Valdés
A lot of noise is made by the Barcelona fans as the thirs goalscorer, Villa, is substituted. The atmosphere has died down a bit since that quick brace in the middle of the half
Much better from United now, as Rooney sprays the ball out to Nani, who cut inside from the right but his low shot goes wide of the near post. Rooney was disappointed not to have been played back in by the Portuguese after the initial pass
Valdes comes for Giggs' clipped ball into the area, but Hernandez gets there first. However, his attempt to lob the ball over the goalkeeper is saved, fortunately for the Spaniard who was completely out of position
For the first time since the beginning of the match United start to put pressure on the Barcelona goal, but they have not created any openings. The main threat has come from Rooney, who like the Barcelona front three, has scored tonight, although the second and third goals had an element of bad United defending about them
Yellow Card Antonio Valencia
Penalty shout from Giggs as his dink past the defending Villa brushes his arm, but he was two yards from the ball and his arm was by his side
Carrick, who had had a good game up until the third Barcelona goal, is replaced by Paul Scholes on what could be his last ever appearance for United
Nearly another one! Messi's pass to Xavi, who has somehow found space between a number of United defenders, leaves the midfielder through on goal, but his touch is heavy and the ball bounces off him and him to safety
Almost an immediate response from the English champions, but Rooney curls the ball on to the top netting from around 20 yards
Goal David Villa
Fabio Da Silva
UNBELIEVABLE! IT'S ANOTHER GOAL! Messi weaves his way from the right into the box, but after he is tackled, Carrick tries to give the ball to Nani who had just come on instead of clearing it. The ball bounces off Nani to Pedro, who tees up Villa just inside the area to curl the ball into the top left-hand corner. The Barcelona players celebrate again and there's a wide smile on Pep Guardiola's face
It's relentless form the Spanish giants and this time it's Iniesta stinging the hands of Van der Sar from distance. Nani is ready to come on
As the Barcelona fans make Wembley sound like the Nou Camp, Xavi takes another shot from 25 yards, again under no pressure from anyone in white. Van der Sar dives to his left and saves for a corner, although the ball was going wide
IT'S TIKI-TAKA TIME! After some trademark give and goes, Xavi chips a delicate pass for Alves, who rolls the ball back to the magical Messi. Unfortunately for him, he cannot get enough contact on the ball as he tries a flick with his back leg
The game is still remarkably open for a final. Iniesta passes to Messi on the edge of the area and he rolls his marker, Rio Ferdinand, but his left foot shot is straight at Van der Sar
Yellow Card Michael Carrick
Better from United, but Giggs is unable to around Alves as he looks to deliver a cross. Carrick is then penalised for a foul on Iniesta similar to that of Alves and is also booked
Yellow Card Daniel Alves
From Ben Hayward in Barcelona: "An explosion of joy and a release of tension: the fans' reaction here mirrored Messi's celebration. "Now let's finish it off," says a fan next to me. And they look like they will."
Boos ringing out from the Catalans as Valencia fouls Messi then Iniesta. Alves then fouls Evra on half-way as United look to break and becomes the first player to be booked, much to the disgust of his club's supporters
That Messi goal has silenced the United fans for the minute and they come forward again,Barcelona. Fabio misjudges a bouncing ball allowing Xavi to run forward, but he cannot find anyone in the area
Goal Lionel Messi
Assist Andrés Iniesta Luján
GOAL! MESSI! After Van der Sar has to save well from Alves, Iniesta then slips a pass to Messi who is given far too much time to slam a shot from just outside the area into the near post with his magical left foot. He runs to the Barcelona fans by the corner flag, kicking everything he can see in his wake in pure ecstacy
Barcelona start the second half like they ended the first. Xavi and Iniesta have already had shots from around 25 yards blocked and Evra has had to head clear with Pique lurking. The Catalan supporters have been in great voice, but the United supporters respond after Rooney rounds Pique, before being tackled by Mascherano
World Soccer Ed Gavin Hamilton: "United don't deserve it but they turned it on, like they can, when they needed to. All the time you know that Barcelona can cut through any team in three passes though.' Pretty much sums up the attitude in the media tribune. Most still expecting Barca to come out on top."
After a 15 minute breather we are ready to go again, with Barcelona kicking off. The crowd has had a chance to get their breath back after making a great deal of noise in the opening 45 minutes
Ben Hayward in Barcelona: "Barca fans here can't quite believe they are not ahead. "We should be leading - I would feel much better now if we were," says one nearby fan. Which pretty much sums it up. They still think they'll win, though. "We're totally dominating," says another. "It's just a matter of time."
Here is some more from our correspondents at Wembley on what they have made of the first-half. Wayne Veysey at Wembley: "Generous applause at half-time following a sensational opening period that completely lived up to the hype. That passing carousel that Ferguson spoke about two years ago? United are well and truly on it as Barca dominated with their stunning appreciate of time and space delivered at breathtaking speed. They have carved out half-chances galore but United are throwing themselves into their defensive duties, maintaining their early aggression and looking to hit the Catalans on the break. Rooney's equaliser was an absolute peach and executed so unerringly that he had begun to wheel away in celebration before the ball had even hit the net. Barca should be ahead but they are not. It was always going to be this way, wasn't it?" Barney Cullum at Wembley: "The stadium goes from raucous to silence and back again every few seconds: incredibly tense for both sets of fans. They sometimes seem to be forgetting to draw breath, let alone sing."
It's half-time at Wembley after a breathless 45 minutes which has seen the best players from both sides come to the fore. It was the English side who started the strongest, but Barcelona came back into the game and started to dominate. Pedro's opener was wiped out by Rooney's equaliser and both teams have looked dangerous when coming forward
Messi is again given too much time on the ball. This time he plays the ball inside Evra to Villa, whose cross along the ground just goes past the outstretched boot of the Argentinian diving in
Messi is given plenty of time to run at the United defence, but his through ball to Pedro is slightly ahead of the winger. The Spaniards win a free-kick 35 yards from goal after Valencia fouls Messi. Iniesta passes to Busquets who tries a first time pass to Pedro which nearly sets him free again but is again just overhit. A definite training ground routine there
More from our correspondents. Barney Cullum at Wembley: "Unstoppable strike from Rooney, who was off and celebrating before the ball had even struck the net." Ben Hayward in Barcelona: "Barca fans were thinking it was going to be easy. Now it isn't. Plenty of people here questioning whether it was offside or not. And the atmosphere is more subdued now: the nervous tension has returned."
The game is being played at a phenomenal tempo. This time it is Iniesta shooting form distance but it is straight at Van der Sar. On the equalising goal, credit should be given to Michael Carrick, who played a one-two under pressure with Rooney to initially set the striker on his way
Barcelona respond by coming forward, but Xavi slipps when shooting and the ball goes harmless wide
Goal Wayne Rooney
Assist Ryan Giggs
Goal! It's all square at Wembley and it's Rooney. The striker runs at the Barcelona defence before playing a one-two with Giggs in the box then slotting the ball into the far corner. There is a question mark whether Giggs was onside or not
Barcelona keep pressing until Alves slices the ball wide on the right-wing. It's uncertain whether he was realistically trying to shoot or just mis-hit a cross
From Ben Hayward in Barcelona: "Wild screams of "Barca, Barca" and "Pedro" here. Three years ago he was playing in the Third Division. It has been a meteoric rise for the Tenerife-born forward. And there's plenty of singing here now."
Goal! Barcelona score the goal they had been threatening for the last ten minutes. Xavi has acres of room in the United half and he bides his time before slipping in Pedro who has in the right-hand side of the area. The winger waits for Van der Sar to dive across goal, before hitting it into the opposite corner
From chief correspondent, Wayne Veysey, at Wembley: "Barcelona are looking ominous know. The conductor's baton is safely in Xavi's hand and the Spanish champions are making their rhythmic music. Gaps are beginning to appear in the United midfield and Ferdinand and Vidic have both been forced to make fabulous last-ditch challenges. It looks like counter-attack football for United from here on in."
It's a role-reversal from the start of the match, as Barcelona pressure forces a United mistake, but Ferdinand tackles Messi as he tries to work a shooting opportunity just inside the area. Hernandez at the other end puts the ball into the box with two players waiting but it is cleared
A brilliant sliding tackle from Nemanja Vidic has probably kept his side level. Iniesta runs at the United defence and his pass sets Messi through on goal, but the Serbian gets across before he has any time to shoot
Xavi finds Villa on the right-hand edge of the area, but his shot across Van der Sar is scuffed and the Dutch goalkeeper can save
A trademark run from Messi, who weaves in between four United players, but his pass to Pedro is cut out. Villa then works an opening after a spell of possession but his shot on the 'D' is wide
From our Spanish correspondent, Ben Hayward, in Barcelona: "Barca fans finding their voices here after a slow start. "Barca are starting to play as they usually do," says the commentator on TV3. Ominous for Manchester United."
First chance for the Catalans and it's a good one for Pedro. Park just forces the ball away from Alves who is running into the penalty area, but the ball is spread wide to Xavi, whose cross is met on the volley by Pedro running into the area, but he puts his shot wide of the near post
Messi is finding it difficult to find time on the ball, with Park especially following him. Some better possession from Barcelona, but they have not offered much of a threat so far
Our man at Wembley tonight is Wayne Veysey, who has this to report: "United have raced out of the starting blocks here and are looking to release Hernandez as quickly as possible behind the centre-backs. Barcelona have not played at a really competitive level for three weeks - and it shows. They are lacking sharpness."
A slide-rull pass from Giggs to Hernandez is just intercepted by Pique who plays a back-pass to his goalkeeper without realising that Valdes had come out. Fortunately for Barcelona, the ball cannons off Valdes and to safety. Messi then slips a pass through to Villa cutting in from the left but Ferdinand made a good sliding tackle which resulted in a corner
Edwin Van der Sar has hit a number of long balls already. The first one was flicked on by Rooney to Hernandez and another one nearly plays the England striker through on goal, but a diving Valdes just gets there first to palm the ball away
It has been one way traffic so far. Hernandez closes down Valdes and forces him to kick the ball out for a throw-in, then Park makes another great tackle, this time on Messi. The Mexican has been caught offside twice in dangerous positions
Barcelona are having no time on the ball and Busquets is tackled by Hernandez on the edge of his own area, but fortunately for him nothing comes of it
An early indicator of what United will try to do tonight. Park robs Dani Alves on the ball and the ball is worked wide to Rooney who crosses straight to Victor Valdes. A lively opening minute by the Red Devils
A warm exchange between the managers before United kick us off
There is a great atmosphere inside Wembley and we are just about ready to get underway
The teams are in the tunnel and waiting to come out. Barcelona are tonight led out by Xavi with Puyol being on the bench.
Wembley holds great memories for both sides, with both winning their first European Cup at the ground, albeit before it was knocked down. The Busby Babes triumphed in 1968 and Barcelona won the trophy in 1992 courtesy of a Ronald Koeman free-kick in extra time. The two teams last met two years ago in Rome where goals from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi gave Barcelona a 2-0 lead. United will be hoping to take inspiration from their incredible comeback win over Bayern Munich in 1999, which was played at Barcelona's Nou Camp
Sir Alex Ferguson decides to stick with Javier Hernandez up front and play a 4-4-2 formation with Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs in the centre. The biggest surpise comes from the Catalan side who play Javier Mascherano at centre-back in place of Carles Puyol, with Eric Abidal, who was suspended the last time the sides met, at left-back having recovered from surgery on his liver
Barcelona: Valdes, Dani Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Abidal, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Villa, Messi, Pedro. Subs: Oier, Puyol, Bojan, Keita, Afellay, Adriano Correia, Thiago
Here are tonight's teams starting with Manchester United: Van der Sar, Fabio Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park, Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Anderson, Smalling, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher
Hello and welcome to Goal.com UK's live coverage of the Uefa Champions League final between the champions of England, Manchester United, and the Champions of Spain, Barcelona.
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