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Manchester United vs. Barcelona: Running Commentary

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The game we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Manchester United vs. Barcelona. Winner goes to the Champions League final. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Manchester United plays host to Barcelona needing a win to clinch the Champions League final berth, or a 0-0 tie to force overtime in this home-and-home series. The match is set to begin at 2:45 p.m. on ESPN2.

I will be doing a live commentary on the match so feel free to follow the match here. Even if you’re watching the match yourself, if you happen to be online please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the match in the comments section below. I have a feeling today’s match will be far more exciting than the first leg between these teams.

Enjoy the match.

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FINAL- That’s all for me. Hope you enjoyed the match and the commentary. What a beautiful game. Share your post-game thoughts on the match in the comments section below.

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FINAL- MANCHESTER UNITED 1, Barcelona 0. And Manchester United gets the job done. After a shaky first leg, Man U gets the goal it needed and its defense stands tall. What a game.

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95th minute- Man U is holding on here as Barcelona sends 10 men at goal.

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93rd minute- You wonder how Silvestre will handle coming into a game this fast and intense.

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92nd minute- Evra is still being tended to, Silvestre will replace him and it’s looking like it will be closer to five or six minutes of stoppage time.

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90th minute- Patrice Evra is hurt. And THREE minutes of added time.

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88th minute- Eidur Gudjohnsen in for Yaya Toure. Barcelona throwing it all at Man U now.

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88th minute- Three minutes left and Man U is controlling things.

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83rd minute- Nice battle between Ronaldo and Zambrotta. Talk about a dramatic last few minutes.

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81st minute- Henry with a shot on goal but Van Der Sar saves it easily.

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78th minute- Henry with a close-range header saved by Van Der Sar.

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76th minute- Ryan Giggs comes in for Nani and Darren Fletcher comes in for Paul Scholes.

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73rd minute- Wow, Barcelona nearly picks out Xavi with a perfect pass but it doesn’t connect.

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71st minute- Bojan Krkic comes in for Samuel Eto’o. This kid is lightning.

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70th minute- Yaya Toure gets a yellow for a foul on Park. He’ll miss the final if Barcelona finds a way to equalize and advance.

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69th minute- Tevez has been pretty quiet today.

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66th minute- I wonder if Ferguson considers putting in Anderson soon.

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62nd minute- Michael Carrick with a yellow card for fouling Messi. Good call and necessary foul because Messi was running down the middle of the field unmarked.

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61st minute- Thierry Henry comes in for Iniesta. It will be very interesting to see how Henry impacts this game.

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60th minute- Nani with a great run at goal followed by a horrid shot about 20 rows into the stands.

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57th minute- Valdes stops a Tevez shot. Great save and a great give-and-go between Ronaldo and Tevez.

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56th minute- Messi with a dangerous run. I tell you, every time he runs at goal he looks scary, even if his last shot was weak.

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53rd minute- Whoa, Nani with a great chance but doesn’t put it away.

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52nd minute- Zambrota with a yellow card for a late challenge on Evra.

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52nd minute- Park Ji Sung is everywhere. He just doesn’t stop running.

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51st minute- This hasn’t been Gianluca Zambrotta’s best night. Man U corner misses everybody.

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49th minute- Man U needs to attack here because if they sit back Barcelona will find the equalizer.

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49th minute- I wonder when we’ll see Thierry Henry.

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48th minute- Barcelona corner kick

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47th minute- Barca with some early possession.

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46th minute- And we’re back.

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HALFTIME- Manchester United 1, Barcelona 0. What a game this has been. Crisp passing, sharp challenges, great soccer. It will be interesting to see what changes Frank Rijkaard makes to his squad.

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45th minute- Great stuff from both sides. End to end stuff.

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44th minute- Milito almost gets a header on goal but he mistimes his jump. He was wide open in the area.

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43rd minute- Barcelona free kick from about 35 yards out, toward the right end of the area.

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41st minute- Nani narrowly misses a header on a great cross from Park Ji Sung. I tell you who has played well so far is Park Ji Sung. he has been active and all of his passes sharp.

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39th minute- Van Der Sar caught a knee to the head from Wes Brown but he looks okay now.

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38th minute- Edwin Van Der Sar is hurt.

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37th minute- Deco with another chance that doesn’t miss by much.

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34th minute- Deco comes close for Barcelona, which has regained its footing in this game.

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29th minute- Puyol just caught a headbutt to the face from teammate Diego Milito.

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28th minute- Wow, Man U is tearing Barcelona’s defense apart. A second goal seems certain.

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27th minute- Nani looks dangerous today. The Nani-Ronaldo wing combo is going to cause problems all day for Barcelona.

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25th minute- Van Der Sar with a brave move to jump on a loose ball in the box with an attacker running in on him.

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23rd minute- Another Man U corner kick.

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22nd minute- Puyol and Tevez collide again. There’s a UFC fight I would like to see.

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21st minute- Park Ji Sun misses by inches on a beautiful set-up from Ronaldo.

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20th minute- Here comes Messi. And he gets a shot off that forces a diving save from Van Der Sar.

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19th minute- Barcelona was definitely stunned by that goal and has yet to get back into this game.

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18th minute- Apologies for the slow updates. I had some technical difficulties. What a goal by Scholes. Man U still isn’t safe though. Barcelona is still just a goal away from being in control.

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14th minute- GOAL MANCHESTER UNITED. PAUL SCHOLES WITH A BlAST FROM 25 yards out!!! WOW

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5th minute- Barcelona definitely has Man U on its heels early on.

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3rd minute- The game is off to a fast start. Both teams flying around.

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PRE-GAME- Here is Man U’s lineup:

———–Tevez——Ronaldo—————

Park—-Carrick——Scholes——-Nani

Evra—–Brown—-Ferdinand—Hargreaves

—————Van Der Sar———————

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PRE-GAME- No Vidic and no Rooney for Man U today. That won’t help the home team.

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PRE-GAME– The teams are taking the field. The stadium is buzzing and the homefield will be in full force at Old Trafford.

PRE-GAME- Here is Barcelona’s lineup:

——————-Eto’o———————

——Iniesta——————-Messi——

Deco————-Toure————–Xavi

Abidal—–Milito—-Puyol—Zambrotta

—————Valdes———————

Comments

  1. It will get better for ManU when Fergie puts Anderson away from his current holding midfielder role an into his more natural role as an attacking midfielder or a forward.

    With C. Ronaldo, Anderson and Nani in the attack, talk about an exciting trio to watch.

    Reply
  2. As much as it pains me to say this, I agree with Eric. Giggs is past it. His game was always based on his amazing pace and skill on the ball, and he just isn’t fast enough anymore to be a regular impact player. I love him to death, and I hope be breaks the United appearance record, but it needs to come in the domestic cups and against weaker opposition.

    I still love you Giggsy!

    Reply
  3. I think Eto’s touches have just been abysmal. Barca should look more towards Henry and Messi in the final third (though ManU is really clamping down on Messi)

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  4. Nani and Ronaldo will be a ridiculous pair in 2 or 3 years if no one gets hurt. Man U is set up so well.

    I have to agree on Scholes, I was ready to pile on the comments, especially when he started the game with a near penalty. I think the key is you can’t really play him and Giggs at the same time at this level anymore, and certainly not for most of a match.

    Reply
  5. Agreed, Mitchell. Nani now is like Ronaldo from a few years ago. All flair, speed and trickery, no end product. Hopefully in a couple years, he’ll have the same taste for goal that Rony does…

    Reply
  6. This really should have been the final…what a pulsating match! Wide open, attacking football. I wouldn’t be suprised to see both teams score a boatload of goals in the last 20 minutes…

    It’s a guarantee that tomorrow’s match won’t be this good.

    Reply
  7. Man U have much more of the possession in this game than last week. That may not count for much, but I think when Barca push for a goal one of Man U’s counter attacks will work.

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  8. In addition to being wrong on Scholes, I’ve also been wrong about Park and Ronaldo, so I’ve got you beat there.

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  9. Mitchell coming in with the facts. Thanks man. Oh well, I was taking a wild guess anyway.

    This match will be better if Barca can find a goal off this CK.

    Reply
  10. I also called for Paul Scholes to be on the bench and for Anderson to get the start. Obviously, Sir Alex knows what he is doing, which is why he is there and I’m here. Scholes has been outstanding, beyond that great goal.

    Reply
  11. Very exciting first half, both teams could’ve had two or three…

    And I would agree with the above, that Nike commercial was amazing. I think I died and went to heaven when Ruud van Nistelrooij helped me up 🙂

    Reply
  12. That Nike commercial, which I just watched again after rewinding my DVR (ha!), could be the most talked about thing coming out of this match.

    Amazing stuff.

    I wonder if it actually focuses on a particular player?

    It’s a player who gets scouted by Wenger after a lower league match, gets signed by Arsenal and plays for the Dutch in an international match.

    Hmmm….

    van Persie?

    Reply
  13. Is anyone else freaked out a bit by this season’s CL Heineken commercials? Who wants to watch a game with a bunch of silent beer zombies??? Their silence gives me the creeps.

    Reply
  14. As for C. Ronaldo? Not much from the “best player in the world.”

    He is when stakes aren’t high.

    WOW. I think we all just saw the best soccer commercial of all time. And that’s saying a lot.

    Nike really pushes soccer commercials to another level. Everyone should see that.

    Awesome.

    Reply
  15. Barca needs a creative finisher in there! Eto’o is being stuck to like wax by both Ferdinand and Brown, leaving Deco to take limited shots from the outside, and Messi to hopefully beat 3 or 4 players. When does Henry finally figure??

    Reply
  16. I agree eric. I was really starting to enjoy the influence he has been asserting on the midfield lately. I think it shows something about his versatility that he can seamlessly be added to the back line, but I would rather watch him distribute from the center.

    Reply
  17. Halftime. And just like its La Liga season, Barcelona just can’t find that extra “oomph” for that all-important goal. And its defense has played horribly when it’s being pushed in the defending third.

    One thing is for sure, this team is going to look very different next season regardless of how this year ends.

    Messi does look dangerous. ManU has stripped him a couple of times, but Messi’s work rate, vision and ball skills have given ManU trouble.

    Look for Bojan to come in 10 minutes after half.

    Reply
  18. I’m really not impressed with the ‘Hargraves at RB’ experiment, doesn’t add much there and he’s missed in the midfield. It’s too bad because he was really just starting to put his stamp on the midfield.

    Reply
  19. Deco. Oh so close. Nice sequence by Barca. Three players with one-touch passing just at the top of the box. Deco with a one-timer. Inches wide.

    Reply
  20. That goal has completely changed the complextion of the game, terrible stuff from Zambrotta, Puyol is getting exposed, this game could get pretty interesting if Barca find an equalizer…

    Reply
  21. That’s what has gone on all season for the Blaugrana. They dominate possession. But aren’t as focused at the back and playing balls out from there.

    Reply
  22. Messy start, high energy but pretty chaotic. Need more Messi than messy. Barca look much more likely to make something happen. Something goal-like, even.

    Reply
  23. Paul Scholes does his best to return the penalty favor to Barcelona, and barely fails in doing so. Personally, I thought it was in the box.

    Reply
  24. C’mon Barca! This might be one of the best matches all year. Unfortunately I think it is going to be 0-0 and come down to penalty kicks. 🙁

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  25. Messi will show that, when healthy, he is the best player in the world.

    C. Ronaldo has yet to show that he’s a big player who makes big plays in big games.

    Reply
  26. I guess that just makes me delusional after spending a weekend in more food than my stomach has room for and 30-degree weather. Doesn’t Minnesota know its almost May!??!

    Reply
  27. No Vidic and Rooney for Man United, big problem. Still, if Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world, then now is the time to prove it (which I think he will).

    As for their lineup, I don’t like Park getting the start, and would rather see Anderson instead of Scholes.

    Not for any real reason, but I wish Barca would’ve started Henry for the match.

    2-1 to United for me, with Ronaldo netting the winner.

    Reply
  28. Ah, back from a not-much-of-a-vacation in chilly Minnesoooota. And just in time too. Barca, even with all the drama surrounding the club and its season in La Liga, is one win away from the Champions League Final. And I believe it will get there. Even at Old Trafford. Can’t wait.

    Too bad I have to work so much a day after a few days off. I hate how that works.

    Reply

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