Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Kings of Europe

So the better team won. Congrats to FC Barcelona.

I was bitterly disappointed with the game last night. There are a few things that bugged me:

1. Manchester United dominated the opening 10 minutes, but could not find the net. Yet, FC Barcelona scored on their first shot at the goals after 10 minutes.

2. Perhaps the players were marked doggedly and could not find much space to move, but the players were looking tired and performed well below par. Perhaps, some of them could have benefited from playing the last league game against Hull City?

3. When Manchester United were one goal down, they were playing defensively; which would have been fine if they were protecting their own lead, and played behind the ball all the time. There was no urgency to attack.

4. Many passes were wayward and inaccurate.

5. The defensive line of Manchester United were shaky all the time. Gone were the days of rock-solid defence. The defence last night reminded me of the blip that Manchester United had when they were beaten back-to-back by Liverpool and Fulham. The two Barcelona goals were the results of defensive lapses; no body marked and challenged Messi for that headed goal.

Without taking away much of the hardwork put in by Manchester United in the 56-odd matches season, it was still a season to remember. Put as a favourite to win the league in December, then had a blip in March, giving hope to other teams to catch up, and then the final run-in that saw them lifting the English Premier League trophy for the record-equalling 18th time, Manchester United still proved that they are the dominant side in English football. With many youg players coming through and the more senior players providing guidance, the team could only get better. And get better it will. Here's for another title.

And, if I am asked to choose between a team that win the domestic league and lost in the Champions League final, and a team with a manager who is a sore and an ungraceful loser, I would still choose that the former.

And to those people who support the other teams and hurled abuse as Manchester United lost to Barcelona, please ask yourself where your team ended up at the final league table. It can't be above Manchester United, can they?

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