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We Need More Dakka : RM 3-4 Barça; A (Tactical) Battle of Firepower

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So Kevin already summed up the majestic affair from yesterday quite nicely so you can read it here (if you haven’t already). This here will be a sort-of breakdown of the general tactics and other such things.

It went something like this:

1. Barcelona came to the Santiago Bernabeu in a decisive game.

2. Barcelona won at the Santiago Bernabeu.

3. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Okay, okay. It was a tad more complex than that, I’ll give you that. Maybe it was a more like:

1. Ancelotti comes with a game plan that plays to his team’s strengths and the other’s weaknesses.

2. Martino comes with a game plan that plays to his team’s strength and the other’s weaknesses.

3. Neither really adjust to each other.

4. Quality of players proves to be the difference.

The last point is often debatable. The old football adage is when teams win it’s down to players; when teams lose it’s down to the coach. On the whole, that’s sadly true. But in the case of this specific game it was really down to the individual brilliance of the players and their ability to overcome system deficiencies through sheer force of will.

They came against a faster, stronger, taller team that was tailor made for their downfall and essentially said, nope. We’re winning this one no matter what. It’s a team of champions and the ability to compete at the highest level and come out on top is nothing short of extraordinary.

But enough of that. Let’s get down to game. :D

Overloading the right flank: Di Maria runs rampant

Ancelotti’s game plan was this: use Di Maria’s pace to flood Barca’s right flank – that’s traditionally been the most offensive-minded and thus the most vulnerable – and take advantage Mascherano’s short stature. Xavi lacks the speed to keep up with him, and mostly likely doesn’t want to get dragged too wide, and with Alves defending Cristiano Ronaldo (supported by Mascherano) he was left to run amok mostly through his dribbling and crosses. The idea to play an extra midfielder on the left (who was initially supposed to help track Di Maria in the first place) ended up playing into RM’s hands.

Tata largely didn’t have a response. Once it was clear Di Maria would be supplying crosses, it would have made more sense to switch Pique and Mascherano,  the former’s height an obvious asset in defending crosses. But perhaps Tata didn’t want Pique against CR – whose pace is often a problem for a slower Pique and  was often marked by Puyol (when fit)as a result, which was why Mascherano was suited up against him in the first place – and felt he was better suited to match up against Benzema. Perhaps he just had faith his players would take advantage in other areas and left it alone. Either way, it was a risky decision and almost cost Barça the game.

Let’s take see an example here:

RM 2-1 Barcelona; Lilliput Under Siege

It starts with Di Maria receiving the ball in space.

Di Maria crosses the ball

Di Maria crosses the ball. CR and Benzema make their runs.

Who’s marking him? Good question. In theory it should be Xavi, but with Di Maria that wide that goes to Alves. Meanwhile CR temporarily switches to the left and makes a run so Pique tracks him. That leaves Mascherano with Benzema, who is behind him, to defend the incoming cross. We know the result.

(courtesy of Twitter)

You could argue Pique just stopped, and many have, but it’s not actually Pique’s job to defend that. He’s marking CR and he can’t simply leave him to deal with it. It’s on Mascherano’s side (i.e. the ball side defender) and it’s on him to defend it. That said, RM know Masche is not the tallest so they purposefully go for crosses on the right side. It would be ridiculous to bash Masche for being short. If he could grow a couple of inches, he would. But it is a weakness, the exploitation of which became the basis of RM’s game plan.

Ancelotti leaves spaces between the lines uncontested: Arrivederci Xabi, from Messi with Love

But football is a chess match and while Barça did concede the right flank to Madrid, Barca were given acres of space on the left flank as well as between the lines;  areas where Barca process the two best players in which to take advantage: Messi and Iniesta.

Bale tracks Fabregas, leaving Iniesta open.

Bale tracks Fabregas, leaving Iniesta open.

Way open.

Waaaay open.

Coming in to match, RM expected to blitz Barcelona and it showed it the way they set up their team: none of the double pivots we were used to seeing nor any CBs moving to the midfield to deal with Messi.

And that’s the thing. This was the first game we’ve seen in a while where Madrid didn’t really do anything to stifle Messi (outside the usual). Ramos, Pepe, and Alonso were the usual culprits in trying to defend him but there was none of the narrow play that was commonplace in other Clasicos. I could almost hear Ancelotti thinking, “Leaving spaces for Messi to play in? Eh. We’ll just score 6 billion goals. Ain’t no thang.”

Underestimate Lionel Messi, will you? We’ll see how that goes for you.

In fact, let’s see that in action:

RM 0-1 Barcelona; Undone by Positional Play and Genius Passing

This goal came off a lovely 20+ pass move. (Just as an aside: when people wonder why Barca ‘pass the ball around’ so much it’s for reasons like below. They move things around so players are out of position, markers don’t know who to mark, and spaces open up.) I’ll start towards the end of the sequence with Pique stepping up from defense to play a pass into Xavi.

Pique passes to Xavi.

Pique passes to Xavi.

There are 4 things I want you to focus on and remember when Xavi receives the ball:

Xavi's got the ball.

Xavi’s got the ball.

Which I’ll highlight in next four screenshots.

(1) Ramos moves up to track Neymar.

Tis Ramos y Neymar. Check out that nifty arrow. Aww yeah.

Tis Ramos y Neymar. Check out that nifty arrow. Aww yeah.

(2) Messi makes a run across. Pepe tracks him.

Pepe stalks Messi.

Pepe stalks Messi.

(3) Marcelo keep an eye on Fabregas (underlined in red) supported by CR (underlined in yellow) who is also mindful of Alves (underlined in blue).

How do you like them primary colours? Eh? Eh?

How do you like them primary colours? Eh? Eh?

(4) Bale marks Iniesta.

Iniesta 'marked' by Bale

Alright. Now that that’s set up, in this next screenshot:

Just watch this magnificent trainwreck unfold.

Just watch this magnificent trainwreck unfold.

You’ll see Cristiano has committed to Fabregas so Alves prepares to make a run. Xavi sees the space between Carvajal and Pepe open up and starts a run as well. Carvajal, seeing this, moves to close down the space. Meanwhile Bale points to the space he’s supposed to defend.

What happens next:

¡Corred, cabrones, corred!

¡Corred, cabrones, corred!

Xavi continues to make his run. Newcomer Modric tracks him. Fabregas passes the ball to Messi with Alonso, Pepe, Ramos all in and around him. Meanwhile on the left Marcelo has to keep his position with Alves free in space. Iniesta makes his run. Bale stands ineffectual.

The madness (which clearly has a method only Barca understands) continues. The result is the RM defense collapse around Messi. We’ve seen this one before. Messi does what he does best and plays in Iniesta with a perfectly timed pass.

A familiar image....

A familiar image….

Iniestazo occurs.

...with a familiar result. You better be afraid, Ramos.

…with a familiar result.

(via Twitter)

RM 2-2 Barcelona: And Messi shall pass Ramos. Again.

So much to say but I’ll just leave it in video form (courtesy of HeilRj):

(Gets body checked by Ramos, still scores.)

Making Sense of Cesc

I spent some time keeping an eye on our #4 trying to understand what exactly he was doing most of the game. The consensus seems to be he was playing a free role, like he tends to do in these games, which I agree with. He was there for basically two reasons; to wit: for his skill in the counterattack and to be (essentially) an extra player in the zone he happened to be in and the zone largely depended on where the ball was.

(1) Cesc in offense: plays a beautiful ball from deep for Messi.

That's Neymar on the ground btw. Got poleaxed by Pepe lol

That’s Neymar on the ground btw. Got poleaxed by Pepe who runs from the scene of the crime lol

(2) Cesc intercepts a pass from Modric and plays a great ball for Neymar in a quick counter attack.

Cesc to Neymar

Cesc in defense: right place at the right time to receive Di Maria’s pass. (hehe)

Cesc Di Maria

no more screenshots after this

Cesc wasn’t actually marking a specific player. At times he was supporting Neymar and Messi (the only two forwards) up front, at others supporting Xavi and Iniesta (who often dropped back to add an outlet on the left side of midfield) as well as helping Busi help the defense. (A wise choice.) That has its pros and cons: if Cesc doesn’t really know who exactly he’s marking, the opposition has no idea either. But it also meant he wasn’t particularly dangerous offensively since he was just there as an extra man and he wasn’t decisive defensively since, again, he was just an extra body.

That’s not to say he wasn’t helpful (he dragged defenders away from our forwards quite well, as shown in the first goal) but it means that his impact was pretty minimal. Playing Alexis you would’ve had the same effort but with the bonus of having an offensive threat on the LW where there was so much space, particularly after the red card. (Then again with Andres scoring goals now….)

A free role work great for Liga sides where Cesc’s intelligent runs offsets his tendency to give away the ball, so it won’t be a glaring issue. But against top sides it’ll be more noticeable.

Neymar Negligible?

One of the talking points of the game was whether Neymar have enough of an impact to warrant his starting position in the game. I thought that while he didn’t have much power or accuracy in any of his shots, he was quite adept at getting behind the defense and Ramos was certainly concerned about him for most of the game, probably remembering how Neymar scored the opening goal and assisted the winning goal last time around, so it makes sense he solves that problem by getting sent off, eh….

So the verdict for me: not bad but not match fit, so his substitute should have came in earlier.

Don Andres Iniesta

I’ll be completely honest with you. I sat for a good ten minutes trying to write a short paragraph/eulogy in honour of him. I just couldn’t get anything down.  It didn’t seem like enough. I’m truly speechless.

Just a saying: an Iniesta that scores goals….

Xavi and Busquets

They didn’t get much notice in the post game but I thought they were fantastic when called upon. What semblance of control Barca had were largely down to these two. Xavi had more passes than most of the Madrid midfield combined and while some will dismiss that as common “sideways” passes, let me remind you what the lifeblood of the sport is. That is how you control a game.

Xavi had more passes (105) than Xabi Alonso, Modric and Di Maria put together (101). Maestro. [via Opta]

Piquenbauer and San Valdes

An excellent game from Pique who had to deal with RM taking advantage of our short squad. We expect our defenders to be able to handle Cristiano Ronaldo one-on-one (contrast that with Messi who we expect to be able to defeat 3-4 RM defenders). Just because CR or Di Maria get the better of them doesn’t mean they suddenly suck. It just means that the fact they had often had them under control  in the past should be praised.

On the same note, it was Valdes’ last game at the Bernabeu in Barça colours. I’m glad we could send him off if not with a clean sheet then with a thrilling victory.

A Bad Day for Arrogance

Madrid players were talking the other day to El Pais that they feared Iniesta or Eto’o more than Messi and that they would essentially destroy Barça.

(via @Emenderk)

The cycle continues. :D

(Although it could really use some help, stupid board)

Posted in Analysis, Barcelona, Classic Matches, Thoughts136 Comments

RETRO DIARY: May 20, 1992, as Barça were crowned Kings of Europe

Back when the Champion’s League was still called the European Cup, a thirteen-old boy sits in front of the tv to watch the final between Barcelona and Sampdoria. No, he did not yet own a Barça jersey at that time – having travelled to Indonesia the previous summer, a trip on which his mother had spent a good three years worth of savings, there is no money for such frivolities this year. Besides, his mother hates soccer and can’t stand people watching it, so she has resigned herself to the bedroom, making way for yours truly. Anyway, if the young Barça fan (though not yet a culé) would have written a match diary from his living room couch that evening, it might have turned out something like this:

01

Remember the names, bee-yotch! If we end up winning the first European Cup in the history of our club, these eleven warriors will be the ones who, maybe won’t have gotten the job done, but at least started it. The babes in the woods among you should at least recognize some of the names in the line-up. Zubizarreta is of course our technical director, Laudrup is currently coaching Swansea and doing quite well and Sacristán Eusebio is leading (or ruining, depending to whom you ask) our B team. There is also a certain Josep “Pep” Guardiola on the pitch – his name might ring a bell. Zubi’s predecessor, fellow Basque Txiki Beguiristain, is on the bench, as is Sergio’s dad, Carles Busquets. For some reason I can’t quite explain, Bakero is one of my favorite players of that team.

1a

Think of American love for football, baseball, basketballl combined and you still won’t get close to how passionate my country is about soccer. Holland counts 16 million people, of whom a staggering 1.5 million play at an amateur football club. Who knows how many are watching the final tonight. Of course, for those who had not yet turned on their television set, Johan Cruijff proves an extra incentive. Having left the club of his youth, Ajax, a few seasons ago after falling out with some of its board members, he is steadily turning around the fortunes of Barcelona, the club he had previously left the club he just left for. Tonight he can complete the circle by leading his team to the Holy Grail. Take a deep breath, and…

1b

Kick-off! Playing from right to left, in London’s legendary Wembley stadium, Barça is clad in orange. The Italians are wearing whites shirts and blue shorts.

02

The ball soon finds its way to our opponents’ goalkeeper, a man who goes by the somewhat silly name of Gianluca Pagliuca. Thoroughly removed from my memory is whether or not I actually liked keeper uniforms in the early nineties. Unfortunately I suspect that I did.

03

Hristo Stoichkov, one of the undisputed stars of our team, is never afraid to take on his man. Attilio Lombardo, who later may or may not have admitted to stuffing his shorts with approximately two thousand firecrackers in the minutes before the game, runs across the field to stop him…

04

…which doesn’t go down all that well with the temperamental forward, of whom Cruijff had the following to say: “Before Stoichkov came we had a team of very nice people, but you can’t just have a team of very nice people”. In his first season with the club, a Spanish referee found out all there is to know about Bulgarian niceties, when Hristo stomped on his foot. He was suspended for two months, but still scored fourteen goals.

05

Another integral part of the dream team was Ronald Koeman, whose forward surges and pinpoint passes made him about ten times as much Piquenbauer than Gerard. As it stands, he was already given the quite brilliant nicknames of “snowflake” and “tintin”. It’s a good thing Catalans don’t speak Dutch all that well, for they might have simply translated his last name into the unflattering “cowman”.

06

For all of Fifa’s boneheaded decisions, they do make good ones from time to time.

06a

Changing the rules so that a keeper cannot pick up a ball that is played back to him by a teammate has definitely been a good decision. If you think teams tactics are negative today, imagine defenders and keepers passing the ball back and forth a good 30-40 times per game. This final, however, is not one of those games, as both teams set out to play football.

07

After 10 minutes the score is still nil-nil. Barça are establishing their possession-based game which would define our style for decades to come. The players touch the ball one, maximum two times before passing to a teammate and mostly succeed in avoiding Sampdoria’s press.

08a

It is still early in the game, when Barça receives a free kick not far outside of the penalty area. Our renowned set piece specialist lines up. Known for his killer right foot, Koeman could strike the ball with a caressing finesse or with devastating power. It must be said that he often prefers the latter.

08b

In the man’s own words: “Sometimes I just like to shoot the ball into the wall as hard as possible, especially if I know that I will face them again – later on, they will know how to duck”.

08c

This time around, he by-passes the wall. His shot troubles Pagliuca, but not nearly enough. The whole of Sampdoria breathe a sigh of relief… For now.

09

In minute 17 Sampdoria lets off their first shot but luckily for us, Lombardo aims wide.

10

Stoichkov, who would prefer Lombardo to not shoot the ball at all, gives an all too predictable response: he sends the Italian rolling over the pitch. The referee, honor-bound by an era in football when men were still men and the area from the neck down was fair game to studs up challenges, does not pull out a yellow card.

11

However, Lombardo is not so easily deterred. When Barça fail to clear a corner it is Sampdoria’s number 7 who blasts the ball over.

12

On the other side of the pitch, who other than Hristo Stoichkov tests Pagliuca with an excellent header, an exam the Italian keeper passes with an equally excellent save.

14

And thus the finalists are still bound by a goalless tie at half time. The game has been neither great nor terrible – Barça looked to dominate from the beginning but Sampdoria created two slightly more dangerous chances. Lombardo and Stoichkov have been the main protagonists by far. The Italian star forwards Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini have been pretty quiet, as is (I imagine) the whole of Catalunya, filled with angst over what is to come over the next forty-five minutes. An all too quick look at our trophy cabinet would reveal that Barça has never quite lived up to its status of one of the world’s great clubs. Having been founded ninety-two years ago, we find ourselves in what it is only our third European Cup final, a final that, to make things worse, we have never actually won.

15

Unwilling to let history repeat itself, Barça start the second half determined to score the opener. Striker Julio Salinas wriggles himself free for a shot at goal, and the tone is set.

16

Modern day Catalan foklore has it that Guardiola told Xavi he would one day take over his position as the team’s midfield lynchpin. Upon seeing Iniesta, he added, “and he will retire the both of us”. However, it is this writer’s humble opinion that rather than emulating señores Pep or Xavi, the previous Barcelona player Don Andrés most resembles is Michael Laudrup. Freed from the shackles of playing in the Serie A, the great Dane truly flourished under Cruijff. As elusive as he was elegant, his dribbles and passes were truly a pleasure to the eye. Here he sets up buddy Hristo for yet another…

16b

… chance that goes begging. Barcelona is dominating the game in the beginning of the second half. Is it too early to start dreaming…?

17

Well, if you are you’re in for a rude awakening. Not happy with how things are going, the Italians start kicking us black and azurri. The yellow card stays neatly tucked in the referee’s pocket, and the free kick on the edge of the penalty area leads to nothing.

18

On the other side of the pitch, Sampdoria creates the biggest scoring chance of the match so far. The crowd have their fists raised in anticipation of the goal when Vialli shoots over from close range.

19a

The game is finally opening up. When Sampdoria botch a free kick, Laudrup receives the ball in midfield…

19b

… and releases Stoichkov with a defense splitting pass. The forward is now alone with the keeper…

19c

…who has no hopes of stopping the shot. Time nearly grinds to a halt, as half a second seemingly lasts forever… It’s going in, it’s going in, it…

19d

… bounces of off the post! Laudrup grabs his hair and exhales…

19e

…while the more passionate Bulgarian screams in disgust. Surely there will be more chances to come?

20a

This is turning into a truly spectacular game, an outright celebration of football. Both teams are looking to win this game and the hammer can drop at any given moment. Guardiola, twenty-year old lord and master of the Catalan midfield, looks up and find his passing routes blocked, while a midfielder is closing in on him…

20b

… he turns…

20c

… and turns, 360 degrees. The internet is still an unknown futuristic fantasy, a military experiment. Twenty years later youtube compilation videos will exist of Pep’s understudy Xavi Hernandez performing the same pirouette on bewildered opponents, while the man himself is on the sideline guiding F.C. Barcelona to their third and fourth Champion’s League medals. Today, on May 20, 1992, we simply applaud the brilliance of the move we just witnessed on the football pitch.

21

After sixty-six minutes, Cruijff decides to shake things up a bit. Julio Salinas makes way for Andoni Goikoetxea, one of Barça’s tricky Basque forwards.

22

Vialli breaks through for his second scoring opportunity of the game. Koeman, at times more comfortable creating chances than preventing them, is unable to stop him. Luckily for us, however, the forward aims straight at Zubizarreta. This should be a wake up call for our defense.

23a

But it’s not. Again, Sampdoria break through, and again it is Vialli who finds himself eye to eye with our goalkeeper. This time he tries to beat us with a delicate lob…

23b

… surely it is going in! Half of Catalunya cover their eyes with their hands as they can’t bear to watch. Fans of the club from Genoa wildly jump up and down…

24

Needlessly so. At the pace of an autumn leaf, Vialli’s lob drops ever so gently to the wrong side of the post. For the third time this game, Gianluca failed to put his team ahead. He would not receive a fourth opportunity.

25

Barcelona are rattled. Juan Bakero slows down the tempo with a hard foul on Cerezo and a tussle ensues. Of course Stoichkov is in the mix, too.

26

In the last fifteen minutes of the game, both Vierchovod and Goikoetxea try their luck at goal. Extra time is getting closer by the tick of the clock.

27a

A few minutes before time, Barcelona commit a foul in a dangerous position. The game will be decided by a free kick…

27b

… but Roberto Mancini won’t be the taker!

29

German referee Aron Schmidhuber blows the whistle after 90 minutes and pocket change. The second half has been truly spectacular. Both teams had their chances to win the game, but Gianluca Vialli in particular should prove more successful in kicking himself than in kicking the ball into the net.

30

Night has fallen in London when the teams prepare for extra time. Having lost the European Cup on penalties to Steaua Bucarest six years ago, we definitely want to decide the game in the next thirty minutes. Sampdoria win the coin toss…

31

… and off they go!

32

The first opportunity is for Stoichkov, but he is tightly defended and shoots well wide.

33

Then Manini capitalizes on some dodgy goalkeeper positioning from a corner. Well, he would have had he not headed the ball way over.

34

Both teams continue where they left it after an excellent second half. The winning goal can fall on either side of the pitch. Extra time it may be, but they are playing like there ain’t no tomorrow.

36

After a long spell of possession for Barcelona, left back Juan Carlos sets up José Marí Bakero, but Pagliuca saves…

37

… and one of the 25.000 culés who traveled to London exhales deeply. One out of four European Cup finals make it to extra time and right now, the tension is mounting, as any mistake made can be a fatal one.

38

Fifteen minutes to go, as the first half of the prongation period is finished. The neck-breaking pace of the last sixty minutes are long gone, as tired legs and a more cautious approach have slowed the game down.

39

Around the 120 minute mark, Invernicci fouls Eusebio about five yards outside the box.

40a

Vialli, on the bench after having been taken off some ten minutes earlier, can’t bear to watch. Surely he knows who is going to take the free kick.

40b

Ronald Koeman lines up. It is an indirect free kick, so Juan Bakero takes the first touch, which will allow the defenders an extra half-second to run towards the ball in order to try to block the shot.

40c

Wall? There is no wall… As Koeman is about to unleash hell towards the opposite goal, Pagliuca moves towards the left, anticipating a curler…

40d

… and is completely unable to stop the missile that Snowflake has just launched at him. 1-0 Barcelona!!!!

40e

Scorer of countless free kicks, Koeman is brought to tears by the one he just put in the back of the net…

cruijff goal

…While Cruijff rushes off of the bench in order to instruct his team. “I knew that if my players did not lose their heads, we would hang on to our lead”, he commented after the game.

42

Hanging on to our heads is not something even remotely on culés minds, though…

43

Nor is drawing back into our own half in order to defend the lead on the mind of the team.

43b

And while Sampdoria anxiously tries to make the most of the few remaining minutes…

47

…Barça is content to let time run its course.

48

The game ain’t over til the man in a ridiculous black uniform blows his whistle. And when he does, we have finally done it. Futbol Club Barcelona has secured their first ever European Cup and the players run the pitch in celebration.

50

Visca Barça!!!!!

Posted in Barcelona, Classic Matches, Review244 Comments

The goal that spawned 1000 cules

I’m just going to leave this here…

Posted in Champions League, Classic Matches17 Comments

Match From The Past: 2009 CL Final, Barcelona vs Manchester United (May 27, 2009)

Oh ma goodness,” you must be thinking. Has Kari pulled a fast one and secretly uploaded the 2009 CL final for your viewing pleasure? Oh, no. You overestimate me, my good reader. I’m far too lazy to do that much work.

I’ve only provided links (since I cannot embed) to that final, in English (from Sky Sports) and in fantastic quality. You may all thank Siralicdaman for graciously uploading not only the full game, but HT “analysis” and post-match celebrations.

No, I’m not pulling your leg, or giving you fake links that will lead to viruses, or anything crappy like that. It’s the real deal. You don’t have to download it; it’s right there for you to watch.

The Purpose Of  Watching This If You Are A Cule:

It’s always good to refresh your memory. Sometimes, in all the hyperbole that comes with football, how a team actually performed in a match is vastly over/underrated. We’ve heard of the’ passing carousel’. We’ve heard of great performances from our players, Xaviniesta’s performance, in particular, garnered a lot of attention. We can finally revist the game and look at it two years later. How are we different tactically? Were Man Utd really better than us in the first half like Pep is trying to get us to believe? How beastly was The Yaya? Can you find Xavi calling Thong Boy a….Okay, my questions are getting a little off topic, but you get the point. It’s a good comparison.

If you’re a new cule and haven’t watched that match everyone is talking about gosh I want to see it, now is your chance.

Barca Starting XL:

Formation: 4-3-3

Valdes

Puyol – Pique – The Yaya – Sylvinho

Xavi – Busi – Iniesta

Messi – Eto’o  - Henry

The Purpose Of WatchingThis If You Are A Manchurian:

I’m not saying this to take the p*ss, or whatever British expression (I’d say euphemism, but you and I both know that’s not true) is used for mocking another team. Watching the game again gives you a refresher as well, and a good way to compare the Man Utd then and the Man Utd now. Useful for figuring out what tactics to use and, according to our interviewee Corey from the previous post, Fergie knows how to beat us using a lineup similar to the one he used in this final (minus Thong Boy and Tevez of course). Also sets the mood, no? :D

Man Utd Starting XL:

Formation: 4-3-3

Van der Sar

Evra – Vidic – Ferdinand – O’Shea

Anderson – Carrick – Giggs

Park – Thong Boy – Rooney

Okay, I won’t bore you any longer. Getting the good stuff  (I’m sure 99% of you didn’t read the blabber above anyway):

Pre-Match Build Up

http://www.soccerclips.net/videos/pre-match-build-up-barcelona-v-man-utd-sky-sports

First Half

http://www.soccerclips.net/en/videos/full-1st-half-barcelona-v-man-utd-sky-sport

Half-time Analysis (take it with a boat load of salt, Manchurians and cules, it’s Sky Sports after all):

http://www.soccerclips.net/videos/ht-analysis-barcelona-v-man-utd-sky-sports

Second Half

http://www.soccerclips.net/en/videos/full-2nd-half-barcelona-v-man-utd-sky-sports

Celebrations + FT Analysis:

http://www.soccerclips.net/videos/celebrations-ft-analysis-barcelona-v-man-utd-sky-sports

There is no doubt both managers will be playing this match again, for whatever reason, and now you can too! Enjoy!

Posted in Classic Matches, Videos75 Comments

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