Barca - Champions of Europe

ROME (AFP) – Barcelona stunned holders Manchester United to win their third Champions League crown with a 2-0 victory here on Wednesday.

Goals from star forwards Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi gave the Catalans a deserved victory and denied United from becoming the first team to retain the title since the European Cup became the Champions League in 1993.

You'd have to say, the best team won. Barcelona passed the ball better and created more chances.

In fact, on the night, United were very disappointing. They created very little apart from a few half chances very early on. In the first half I thought they were particularly poor, giving the ball away and going too direct.

In the build up to this game the press built up a Ronaldo/Messi debate. After tonight, I'm not sure how much more evidence is needed to confirm that Messi is the best player in the world. Iniesta also shone.

There was also a lot of talk about Barcelona's possible weak defence. But they were stronger than United in just about every area of the pitch tonight.

One of the most disappointing things for me was to see Rooney out wide and not in his best central position. I also think Tevez should have started ahead of Park with a Rooney/Tevez partnership up front.

A disappointing but very fair result.

The game gave the Spaniards a unique treble having already won their domestic league and cup and meant they repeated a feat United achieved in 1999, which Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson had then claimed would never be matched.

It crowned a marvellous debut season for his Barcelona counterpart Pep Guardiola, who at 38 becomes the youngest coach to take European club football's greatest prize.


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