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In Pictures: Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0

Published 27/05/2009

Stadium hostesses smile prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Stadium hostesses smile prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona fans cheer prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United fans is seen in the stands ahead of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
A Manchester United fan is seen in the stands before the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
The trophy is seen prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Gary Neville, top left, coach Alex Ferguson, Darren Fletcher, left, and Wes Brown walk on the pitch prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Anti-riot police officers walk amongst Barcelona and Manchester United fans trying to reach Rome's Olympic Stadium for a Champions league final soccer match, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
An anti-riot police officer stands by a tram packed with Barcelona fans heading to Rome's Olympic stadium for the Champions League final soccer match between Barcelona and Manchester United, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Barcelona supporters cheer prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United fans cheer prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
A view of the Olympic stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Manchester United soccer team poses prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona soccer team poses prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, left, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, center, and King Juan Carlos of Spain are seen prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Barcelona fans cheer prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
UEFA president Michel Platini, left, and Britain's Prince William are seen prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Artists perform prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona fans are seen prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, left, vies with Manchester United's John O'Shea during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Manchester United's Ryan Giggs , center, talks to Cristiano Ronaldo after Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o scored, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi is challenged by Manchester United's Michael Carrick , right, as Wayne Rooney looks on during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
A Barcelona supporter shows a scarf prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Ji-Sung Park, right, and Barcelona goalie Victor Valdes go for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, second from left, reacts after scoring during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, second from right, scores during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, right, scores during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, second from right, scores during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, left, reacts after scoring as his teammates Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi run behind him, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o is celebrated by teammates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, right, celebrates joined by his teammate Andres Iniesta after scoring during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, back to camera, celebrates with his teammate Lionel Messi after scoring, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, right, celebrates joined by his teammate Andres Iniesta after scoring during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o celebrates joined by his teammate Andres Iniesta after scoring during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Manchester United's Ji-Sung Park , lef,t and Barcelona's Sylvinho vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola gestures during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, center, is challenged by Manchester United's Michael Carrick, left, and Wayne Rooney during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, vies for the ball with Manchester United's Michael Carrick during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, left, and Manchester United's Patrice Evra fight for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, right, and Manchester United's Michael Carrick challenge for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, fires a shot during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, center, runs past Manchester United's Anderson, left, and Michael Carrick during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney gets the ball past Barcelona's Yaya Toure during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Carles Puyol, left, and Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, is tackled by Manchester United's John O'Shea during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi is caught between Manchester United's Michael Carrick, right, and Wayne Rooney during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola gestures during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, right, and Manchester United's John O'Shea go for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, center, is caught between Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, left, and Michael Carrick during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, left, and Barcelona's Carles Puyol jump for an header during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
FC Barcelona supporters react after watching FC Barcelona score against Manchester United during their Champions League final in Rome on a giant videowall in Barcelona's port, Spain, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/David Ramos)
Swiss referee Mario Busacca gestures as Barcelona's Andres Iniesta lies on the pitch during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, right, gets the ball past Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, center, faces Manchester United goalie Edwin van der Sar during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, faces Manchester United goalie Edwin van der Sar during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, and Barcelona's Yaya Toure go for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Ji-Sung Park goes for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi stops the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Michael Carrick , right, is tackled by Barcelona's Andres Iniesta during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Ji-Sung Park, center, tries to make his way through Barcelona defense during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, and Barcelona's Gerard Pique go for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores on a header his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand, left, kicks the ball past Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona fans cheer as they watch the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at a bar in central Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Barcelona fans cheer as they watch the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at a bar in central Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o, center, competes with Manchester United goalie Edwin van der Sar during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Manchester United's Ji-Sung Park, center, is chalenged by Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores on a header his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after scoring his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi kisses his shoe as he reacts after scoring his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi shows his shoe as he reacts after scoring his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi shows his shoe as he reacts after scoring his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after scoring his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, celebrates with his teammate Thierry Henry after scoring his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona fans cheer as they watch the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at a bar in central Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Manchester United fans react as they watch the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona on a giant screen set up in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Manchester United fans react as they watch the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona on a giant screen set up in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Manchester United fans react as they watch the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona on a giant screen set up in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Manchester United fans react as they watch the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona on a giant screen set up in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Manchester United fans react as they watch the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona on a giant screen set up in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, right, is tackled by Manchester United's John O'Shea during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi falls down during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Manchester United's Ji-Sung Park, left, misses a scoring chance during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Carles Puyol reaches for the ball as Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, looks on, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Ryan Giggs, right, and Barcelona's Sergio Busquets vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona fans cheer as they watch the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at a bar in central Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, left, talks to striker Samuel Eto'o during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, hugs his teammate Thierry Henry after scoring his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona coah Pep Guardiola hugs Samuel Eto'o at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United fans react in Sam Platt's public house in Manchester, England, as they watch a big screen during the Champions League final soccer match against Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Paul Thomas)
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola gestures during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Andres Iniesta jumps in celebration as Manchester United's Paul Scholes, top, looks on, at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, top left, reacts after scoring during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, top, and Samuel Eto'o celebrate at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry reacts at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after scoring during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, center, reacts after Barcelona's Lionel Messi scored, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after scoring his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts after scoring his side second goal, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Sergio Busquets, left, and Xavi Hernandez react as Manchester United's Paul Scholes looks on, at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after Lionel Messi scored, during the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, right, holds the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Manchester United's Ryan Giggs, left, coach Alex Ferguson, centre and Wayne Rooney react at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A Barcelona fan celebrates after his team defeated Manchester United 2-0 in a UEFA Champions League final soccer match, in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola hugs Lionel Messi at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, right, holds the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry holds the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Barcelona fans celebrate after their team defeated Manchester United 2-0 in a UEFA Champions League final soccer match, in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Barcelona fans celebrate after their team defeated Manchester United 2-0 in a UEFA Champions League final soccer match, in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Barcelona's Carles Puyol holds up the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
ADDS SCORE ** Barcelona fans cheer after their team defeated Manchester United 2-0 in a UEFA Champions League final soccer match, in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo takes off the medal at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona players reach for the trophy presented by Michel Platini, at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Carles Puyol holds up the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Carles Puyol holds up the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Carles Puyol holds up the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts as Barcelona players celebrate at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola hugs Lionel Messi as Manchester United's Wayne Rooney walks past at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, left, reacts at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0 (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Carles Puyol holds up the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Barcelona fans celebrate at the end of a UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Barcelona and Manchester United, in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Barcelona's Carles Puyol holds up the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is thrown in the air in celebration at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is thrown in the air in celebration at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona's Carles Puyol holds up the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona players celebrate next to the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona fans celebrate at the end of a UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Barcelona and Manchester United, in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Barcelona defeated United 2-0. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Manchester United fans wearing ancient Roman gladiator helmets react at the end of the Champions League soccer final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Barcelona defeated Manchester United 2-0. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Supporters of Manchester United's Park Ji-sung of South Korea, seen, wearing J.S. Park shirts, while they watching the live broadcast of the Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, at a cinema, Thursday, May 28, 2009, in Seoul, South Korea. Manchester United's South Korean winger Park Ji-sung was set to become the first Asian to play in a Champions League final on Wednesday when he was named in the starting lineup against Barcelona. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)
Manchester United's Park Ji-sung of South Korea seen on a huge screen while his supporters watch the live broadcast of the Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, at a cinema, Thursday, May 28, 2009, in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)
Barcelona players celebrate at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
A Manchester United fan reacts at the end of the Champions League soccer final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo shakes hands with King Juan Carlos of Spain, right, as Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero looks on, at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, right, and Lionel Messi hold the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry holds the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona players dive in celebration next to the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0 (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Barcelona fans celebrate inside the Trevi Fountain at the end of a UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Barcelona and Manchester United, in Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Barcelona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Fans gather at the Colosseum ahead of the Champions League Final between Manchester United and Barcelona on May 27, 2009 in Rome, Italy.
Barcelona and Manchester United supporters have their picture taken in front of Rome's ancient Colosseum, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A Barcelona supporter has his picture taken next to the Champions League trophy, displayed in central Rome, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, of Argentina, arrives at his team's hotel, in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona forward Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen, of Iceland, arrives his team's hotel, in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. At left a fan waves the flag of Cameroon. (AP Photo'/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Dani Alves, of Brazil, arrives at his hotel in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. Alves will not play in the final after he received a yellow card that activated a ban because of his past disciplinary record. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, of Argentina, arrives at his team's hotel, in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona forward Thierry Henry, of France, is cheered by fans as he arrives at his hotel in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona midfielder Xavier Hernandez arrives at his hotel in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Supporters wave a Cameroonian flag as Barcelona forward Samuel Eto'o, of Cameroon, waves to fans upon his arrival at his team's hotel, in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona and Manchester United fans crowd Rome's Spanish Steps, Wednesday, May 27, 2009, hours before the Champions League soccer final match scheduled at Rome's Olympic stadium. As up to 50,000 United and Barcelona supporters converged on Rome for the highly anticipated game Wednesday night, huge numbers of police patrolled the city. While many fans peacefully flooded the cobblestone streets of Rome, scattered episodes of violence were reported in and outside the Italian capital.(AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Manchester United fans show a banner on Rome's Spanish Steps, Wednesday, May 27, 2009, hours before the Champions League soccer final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, scheduled at Rome's Olympic stadium. As up to 50,000 United and Barcelona supporters converged on Rome for the highly anticipated game Wednesday night, huge numbers of police patrolled the city. While many fans peacefully flooded the cobblestone streets of Rome, scattered episodes of violence were reported in and outside the Italian capital. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Manchester United fans show a banner in downtown Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009, hours before the Champions League soccer final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, scheduled at Rome's Olympic stadium. As up to 50,000 United and Barcelona supporters converged on Rome for the highly anticipated game Wednesday night, huge numbers of police patrolled the city. While many fans peacefully flooded the cobblestone streets of Rome, scattered episodes of violence were reported in and outside the Italian capital.(AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Barcelona fans hold a banner reading "Yes we Cat" in front of Rome's Colosseum, Wednesday, May 27, 2009, hours before the Champions League soccer final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, scheduled at Rome's Olympic stadium. As up to 50,000 United and Barcelona supporters converged on Rome for the highly anticipated game Wednesday night, huge numbers of police patrolled the city. While many fans peacefully flooded the cobblestone streets of Rome, scattered episodes of violence were reported in and outside the Italian capital.(AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Manchester United fans hold a poster portraying Ryan Giggs at Rome's Spanish Steps, Wednesday, May 27, 2009, hours before the Champions League soccer final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, scheduled at Rome's Olympic stadium. As up to 50,000 United and Barcelona supporters converged on Rome for the highly anticipated game Wednesday night, huge numbers of police patrolled the city. While many fans peacefully flooded the cobblestone streets of Rome, scattered episodes of violence were reported in and outside the Italian capital. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Italian and British Police officers pose for photographers next to a statue of Julius Caesar in downtown Rome, Wednesday, May 27, 2009, hours before the Champions League soccer final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, scheduled at Rome's Olympic stadium. As up to 50,000 United and Barcelona supporters converged on Rome for the highly anticipated game Wednesday night, huge numbers of police patrolled the city. While many fans peacefully flooded the cobblestone streets of Rome, scattered episodes of violence were reported in and outside the Italian capital.(AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Champions league banners adorn Rome's Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
The Colosseum is reflected in the Champions League trophy on display in Rome, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Manchester United will play Barcelona in the final match of the Champions League at the Olympic stadium in Rome on May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester United and Barcelona soccer fans cheer next to the Colosseum in Rome, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Manchester United will play Barcelona in the final match of the Champions League at the Olympic stadium in Rome on May 27. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Children pose near the Champions League trophy in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A view of the Rome Olympic stadium ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester United and Barcelona soccer fans cheer next to the Colosseum in Rome, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Manchester United will play Barcelona in the final match of the Champions League at the Olympic stadium in Rome on May 27. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Portuguese soccer legend Eusebio watches the Champions League trophy on display in Rome, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Manchester United will play Barcelona in the final match of the Champions League at the Olympic stadium in Rome on May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Soccer fans snap pictures of the Champions League trophy in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009 with their placards. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Soccer fans sit with placards in downtown Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Soccer fans snap picture of the Champions League trophy in Rome,Tuesday, May 26, 2009 with their placards. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A soccer fan shows a scarf bearing Barcelona and Manchester United soccer team's colors in front of Rome's Colosseum and Constantine arch, partially seen at left, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Barcelona will play Manchester United in a Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Manchester United players warm up during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo approaches the bench during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen)
Manchester United players warm up during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson has a drink as Cristiano Ronaldo is seen in background,during a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen)
Manchester United players warm up during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Manchester United's coach Alex Ferguson, right, is flanked by Rio Ferdinand, center, and Cristiano Ronaldo during a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Stadium hostesses smile prior to the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome, Wednesday May 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, and Rio Ferdinand arrive for a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
From left, Manchester United's Federico Macheda, Anderson and Cristiano Ronaldo warm up during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo eyes the ball during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry, right and coach Pep Guardiola are seen during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney gestures as Anderson looks on during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Italian former referee and member of the UEFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina, center foreground with blue tie, seen as he arrives with unidentified men, on his arrival for a gala dinner, at Rome's city hall, Tuesday, May 26, 2009, on the eve of the Champions League soccer final match Manchester United and Barcelona, to be held at Rome's Olympic stadium on May 27. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Barcelona's Andres Iniesta stretches as Carles Puyol looks on, during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, top left, smiles as he joins some of his teammates during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen)
Manchester United's Anderson stops the ball during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
A view of the Rome Olympic stadium during a training session of Manchester United, ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, right, and his teammate Anderson are seen during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo looks on during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's coach Alex Ferguson looks on during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manchester United's Carlos Tevez reacts during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi approaches the bench during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's players gather during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Manchester United's Anderson, left, gestures as teammate Carlos Tevez looks on, during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
An image of former Manchester United coach Sir Matt Busby is seen on the stands ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen)
Barcelona goalie Victor Valdes is airborne during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry eyes the ball during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi is interviewed following a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Thierry Henry controls the ball during a training session ahead of Wednesday's Champions League final match between Manchester United and Barcelona, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Boots of Lionel Messi (Barcelona) are seen during the Barcelona training session prior to UEFA Champions League Final versus Manchester United at the Stadio Olimpico on May 26, 2009 in Rome, Italy.

Manchester United discovered what it is like to lose a European Cup final as brilliant Barcelona ruled Rome.

If there is any consolation in failure to become the first side to retain the trophy in the Champions League era, it is that they lost to a side as fluent and brilliant to watch as they are.

Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi scored the goals either side of half-time but to single those two out for special praise would be unfair on their team-mates, and particularly Xavi, who was simply awesome.

For once Cristiano Ronaldo could provide no magic of his own, instead getting increasingly frustrated as defeat loomed.

It was a shame really. Although having done so much damage to others down the years, he does now know how it feels.

Twenty four hours earlier, Sir Alex Ferguson had spoken of reaching into the far corners of his brain for an inspiring word or two prior to kick-off.

As half-time approached, that same grey matter might have preferred a word or two about Barcelona's performance.

Sublime would have been one. Bewitching, mesmerising would do equally as well. For a football man like Ferguson it would have been a joy to watch if his side were not the ones trying to stop it.

The kind of football that allowed the Catalans to hit six goals past Real Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium last month was not in evidence for the first eight minutes or so as United held sway.

However, once it began to emerge, Ferguson's side had precious few answers.

The shape of the contest might have been so different had Park Ji-sung been able to snaffle the rebound after Victor Valdes had failed to hold a stinging Ronaldo free-kick.

Instead, former United man Gerard Pique shot across to block what proved to be his old club's best opportunity of that opening period.

Like his team, Ronaldo was clearly in the ascendancy in his personal duel with Messi.

How rapidly things changed. In the twinkling of an eye Andres Iniesta, one of the brightest starts in the Barcelona firmament, slipped a pass to Eto'o.

The Cameroon striker cut inside Nemanja Vidic, then held off Michael Carrick as he prodded the ball goalward with enough strength to take it past Edwin van der Sar.

Suddenly the strategy of containment and hitting at pace on the counter-attack suggested by the inclusion of Park and the exclusion of Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov did not look such a good idea.

Ferguson's team shot across the pitch, able to do little more than firefight as Messi, Iniesta and Xavi lit bonfires all around.

Had a Messi flick found Eto'o in the area, it would have probably brought Barcelona's second. Rio Ferdinand's agility saved his team.

Xavi curled a free-kick just wide, Vidic pumped the ball away after Van der Sar had failed to hold a cross shot, the slick passing wearing United down all the while.

The arrival of Tevez at half-time had to come, and with it a more overtly offensive approach.

Yet in taking such bold action, Ferguson knew he was playing right into Barcelona's hands.

Xavi picked out Thierry Henry with a brilliant pass. The former Arsenal star cut inside Ferdinand with ease but could not find the finish, a similar mistake to the one that proved so costly for Arsenal in Paris three years ago.

When Xavi saw his free-kick come thumping back off a post, memories of 1999 and the mauling United nearly took at the hands of Bayern Munich sprang to mind.

Yet this was different. Ferguson's team were poor until the unforgettable ending. This time they were simply ripped apart by the only team on the planet who can match them.

The introduction of Berbatov midway through the second half was effectively Ferguson throwing his book of tactics out of the window and not worry about the consequences if it all went wrong.

Sadly it did. Quite quickly as Xavi's curling cross dropped perfectly for Messi, who guided his header over Van der Sar.

Ronaldo's world player of the year crown was slipping and Valdes managed to get in the way of a close-range effort that would have given United some hope, as would the volley from Berbatov that followed.

Berbatov had another chance too, although by then Carles Puyol had seen two efforts saved by Van der Sar.

In truth, the Dutchman was his side's best player, which just about says it all.

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