Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United: Pedro, Messi and Villa clinch second Champions League crown in three years for Guardiola

Barcelona is the champion of Europe after producing a scintillating performance to defeat Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley Stadium this evening.

In what proved to be a one sided affair, Pedro gave the Catalan giants the advantage only for Wayne Rooney to cancel out his strike. In the second half, however, Lionel Messi and David Villa took center stage, adding their names to the scoresheet in an imperious win.

The first half commenced at a frenetic pace, with Manchester United enjoying the best of the early exchanges. However, Barca eventually found its rhythm, and the match settled into a pattern of the Spanish side enjoying possession while United attempted to keep it at bay.

David Villa enjoyed a pair of efforts, one of which whizzed past the upright, and the other was gathered by Edwin van der Sar. With such dominance being exhibited by Barca, a breakthrough was inevitable, and Pedro duly delivered on 27 minutes.

Xavi was allowed to stroll through the center of the pitch and reach the penalty area, where he flicked a pass into the path of the winger, who coolly slotted inside Van der Sar's near post for a thoroughly deserved advantage.

But against the run of play, United hit back, albeit in controversial fashion. Interplay between Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney led to the ball reaching Ryan Giggs, who appeared to be in an offside position before feeding Rooney in space in the area. The England international kept his head to curl the ball across Victor Valdes and into the corner.
At the end of what was a breathless 45 minutes, Barca looked to regain the advantage. Lionel Messi continued to drift deep and collect the ball, and came within inches of reaching Villa's near post cutback, but was unable to make definitive connection.

The second half witnessed a continuous flow of traffic towards the United goal. Dani Alves stung the legs of Van der Sar from inside the box before Messi's followup was cleared from under the crossbar. But the diminutive front-man was not to be denied.

On 54 minutes, a static United rearguard allowed him time and space to approach the area and rifle a shot that swerved past a cumbersome dive from Van der Sar and into the net, for his 12th goal in the Champions League this season, equaling Ruud van Nistelrooy's record total in the competition.

Barca maintained the momentum. Messi, Xavi and Iniesta all tested Van der Sar but the keeper stood up to their efforts. Still, the third seemed destined to arrive, and with 20 minutes remaining, United's fate was sealed.

Sergio Busquets rolled the ball to Villa on the edge of the area, and the Spaniard swerved his strike superbly into the top corner, before running to the fans behind the goal to celebrate.

From then on, Barca was content to see out the victory, to clinch the famous trophy for the fourth time in its history, and its second title in three seasons. 

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Posted by Dwi Anggono on Sunday, May 29, 2011. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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