Man United fans take: Why Man Utd will beat Barca

6 05 2009

Man Utd v Barca

So there we have it. Aside from all the controversy of who should be in the Champions League Final, no one can deny that in Rome it’s going to Barcelona facing Manchester United.

Barcelona scored a super-late equaliser in the ultra-controversial CL Semi-Final at Stamford Bridge. They played okay, but in all honesty should have had at least one penalty awarded against them.

So it’s us and them; the two best footballing sides in Europe, and in all truth, the world. The leaders of the Liga against the leaders of the Premier League. A meeting between many of the the best players in the world and also, a repeat of last year’s Semi-Final.

I’m happy with how the Semi-Final went to be honest, many people would prefer to play Chelsea rather than Barca but I wouldn’t. Barca are good, but I am supremely confident leading up to the Final.

And here’s why. First of all, Pep Guardiola’s Barca side are a sight to behold in La Liga. They rip apart defences, control midfields and their attacking trio is perhaps the most impressive in world football. Their three main strikers have scored more than ninety goals between them in all competitions this season and will score more. But in truth, La liga is a far inferior league to the EPL. Now, many will disagree with me, I know that. La Liga has some good sides, i.e. Barca, Real, Sevilla, Villareal and Athletico. But not one of La Liga’s sides has a defence to match that of Man United,  Liverpool or Chelsea, that’s undeniable. Barca can rip through defences in La Liga but I’d wager quite a lot to say that they couldn’t do that to a lot of EPL teams.

Secondly, the EPL is a much more powerful and fast league than La Liga. Chelsea showed that both tonight and in last week’s game, as they hustled and harried Barca off the ball. Because of the physical demands of the EPL, players have to bigger, stronger and faster. La Liga games are played at a slower pace. Sure, it’s probably technically superior but you need to combine the two to succeed. You just need to look at the latter stage lineups of both the UEFA Cup and Champions league in recent years to see that there have been more English teams than Spanish teams.

Finally, a lot of it comes to closing down. In La Liga players are given loads of time on the ball. Messi, Henry and co. can spread the ball about with ease and little fear of being dispossessed by the opposition. Even near the other team’s penalty box they’re given lots of room, and time. Mainly because of the fear they strike in other teams because of their skill, but also because teams are afraid of taking them down. And this is probably the main reason I’m not afraid of us facing Barca; we won’t give them any time on the ball. Without time on the ball, Barca are still good, but they’re like a rattlesnake without the venom. Against Chelsea at the Bridge they passed and passed around the pitch, but often became desperate in the final thrid and resorted to loose through balls that led to nothing. In the end they scored from Dani Alves’ only good cross of the game, which was headed toward Eto’o by a defender, then passed from Etoó to Messi and Messi to Iniesta, the scorer.

Whereas Chelsea scored one but couldn’t get the second, I think that if we score first at the Stadio Olimpico early on then we have a massive chance of nullifying the Barca threat and winning. Barca don’t seem to like chasing games against English teams. They like playing in the knowledge that they have time to score. Without that knowledge, and with every player on the pitch within a number of yards of each of their players they begin to panic. We saw that tonight, and had it not been for poor refereeing they would have paid for what was, ultimately a lack of fluency and creativity.

Honestly, if we score first I think we have it, regardless of who’s playing for Barca. We’re sure to score, I honestly think that. And if we press them as well as Chelsea did but show more potency than Chelsea tonight, we should all be very happy. Bring on 27 May!

So, I know we’ve just found out our CL Final opponents. But I felt the need to voice my feelings on the issue. Do the same in the commets below, it’ll be interesting to hear what you guys think.

Wayne Farry




One response

7 05 2009

Let me first declare that I am an ardent fan of the “Beautiful Game”. I dont care which team executes it, I will support that team till the very end!! So it goes without saying that I will vouch for Barca this season, all the way through!!!!!

I am always of the view that this style of soccer “the beautiful type”, is not given its due credit, at least in the club level. Yes, the beautiful game has been winning on the biggest stage of’em all, ‘The FIFA World cup’. I thought Barca would change that and give the “Beautiful Game” its long over due credit at the club level. But, the way Barca played against Chelsea, I am not sure anymore!!! May be not this season. ManU appears too hot to handle right now and Barca appears too jaded to defeat an EPL team, let alone ManU.

It will be a more balanced match-up if Barca could field their ‘First’ team. But that is not gona happen, what with Alves and Abidal out already. But Henry and Puyol will be in. I hope Henry can rekindle his rivalry against ManU, Messi gets into his groove early and Eto is more effective!! Yaya Toure should play like he did today, Pique and Puyol should play their normal game and Ronaldo should have a bad day (I just dont know why I hate Ronaldo so much)!!! Now I know thats too much to ask for and thats why ManU are the favorites!!!

But Iniesta’s heroics have given the ‘Beautiful Game” one more shot at glory. May be Pep can out think Sir Alex (I wonder if I will live to see the end of Sir Alex’s era, its just not ending). But any day, I would rather watch the “Beautiful Game’ loose than an “English Game” win!!!!

PS: I just cant stop wondering at the similarities between CL and NCAA Football bowl games (Those who dont follow NCAA football, never mind). In the regular season, the more offensive teams (read Big 12 teams) are the teams to beat, but they bite the dust against more defensive teams (read SEC Teams) in Bowl games at the end of the season!!!!

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