Manchester United for the first time in many years are going into a match as the underdogs this Champions League,very few people are giving them any chance of grabbing their fourth European title. Barcelona, possibly the best ever team to have played on this planet with their pass to death philosophy, have had a wonderful season with their tiki-taka style getting even better.
Many of my friends who hate Man Utd(almost all of them) are praying for a humilliation for the Red Devils,and i keep telling them rather arrogantly how United are going to thrash the Catalans. Of course there is this fear in the back of my head that if something goes wrong then it will be two months of unbearable torture from the people who support Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Madrid, City and even Plymouth Argyle.
So what is my dream Champions League final? How would the game at Wembley play out if i was the Supreme One, if I was God!
15 minutes before kickoff
Both the sets of players are warming up,with Barcelona practicing the short passing which they dont actually need to, and United simply shooting or waving to their fans.
Surprisingly Bebe has made the bench for the final, Sir Alex said that it was a tactical decision taken to exploit a weakness in the Barcelona backline,all the Barcelona backroom staff are urgently checking out Youtube and ZonalMarking to compile a dossier on Bebe for Pep, as he didn’t have Bebe scouted.
Back on the pitch, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi were trying out the triangles and Busquets and Alves were fine-tuning their play-acting skills. Pep then came on to the pitch and pointed out to Busquets that Nani on the other side has improved a lot on his body language as well whereas Alves and Busquets still use their facial expressions to convince the referee and they need to learn the skill as quickly as possible.
Barca start off as usual dominating possesion, Xavi orchestrating from the center and Carrick unable to cope with him. Just as Man United start to get their tempo going with Rooney dragging Puyol out of place, Xavi plays a delicate one two with Iniesta and then puts in a wonderful ball to Villa who is one on one with VDS. Villa hits it straight at the Dutchman, making the commentator proclaim “Even Berba would have scored that”. The same trend continues as Barca miss chance after chance and United look like lost school boys on the pitch. Ferguson has just asked Scholes and Fletcher to warm up. Puyol has Hernandez in his pocket,the little pea seems tiny before the monstrous Catalan, not even able to touch the ball.
Sergio Busquets then pulls off a brilliant dive which would make Michael Phelps proud, but unfortunately it was outside the penalty box and Barca just get a free kick which Xavi makes a mess of it. Barcelona get frustrated having had so many chances and not even one hitting the back of the net,even Messi gets booked for a challenge on Park who for the whole match followed him like the Hutch dog. The neutrals get bored and Michel Platini leaves for the toilet not returning until the second half. Ferguson asks Phelan to get back up batteries for his hair dryer. The camera spots John Terry in the stands along with Miss Imogen Thomas.The score remains 0-0 as the referee blows his whistle.
First half statistics
Man Utd Barcelona
Possesion 22% 78%
Shots On Goal 2 11
Shots On Target 0 3
Fouls 12 7
The teams come out of their tunnels for the second half, Carrick looks a bit dull it seems he faced the full force of the hair dryer. Colin Firth in the stands too seems a bit dull, because it seems he is not the best actor even at Wembley presently and people are wondering how did he get the Oscar. And then it came,the moment all United fans had nightmares about,Messi getting past one, two, three and four United players and poking the ball past VDS. A wonderful goal from the Argentinian sparks wild celebrations among the Barca fans and i get a barrage of texts,tweets with vulgar expletives.
As Ferguson looks at his watch at 65 mins,there is little time remaining. He brings on Scholes for Carrick and Nani for Valencia. Scholes starts out by a nasty tackle on Xavi and earns himself the usual yellow card.
Time is running out for United as they commit more and more men forward. Barcelona find gaps in the United defence and David Villa misses an excellent chance to double the lead. Then Wayne Rooney wins a corner off Pique and United prepare to take the corner. Ryan Giggs places the ball,and looks over to check his teammates and finds Paul Scholes lurking at the edge of the box. Giggs then sends a delighful ball to Scholes who hits an outstanding volley straight into the net with Valdes rooted to his spot. There is pandemonium among the United supporters,and Gary Neville runs on to the pitch and kisses Scholes.
Now we enter the time known as Fergie time,which strangely doesn’t end until United score. United make their final substitution and the most shocking one Fergie will ever make,Rooney off Bebe In. The supporters from Manchester are shell-shocked that the homeless man from Portugal has replaced the White Pele, their hero. But as always they chant “In Fergie We Trust”. Bebe himself doesn’t know what to make of this substitution and is perplexed.Barcelona havent still recovered from the Paul Scholes wonder goal but are still dominating possession.Only seconds remaining on the clock,“Can United Score? They Always Score” are the famous words of the commentator before Teddy Sheringham’s goal against Munich in the 1999 champions league final.Giggs puts a wonderful through ball to Hernandez who is one-on-one with Valdes, the whole stadium is standing up,the fans from Manchester are praying that “the little pea” should score,but Alas! Valdes pulls out a brilliant save and the ball rebounds off him. But the ball reaches Bebe,who first doesn’t know what to do, Nani makes a run outside, but Bebe decides otherwise.He wants to know for himself whether he is a Man United player or not,he needs to know whether he can make it at Carrington,he needs to know whether he is really worth 7 mill. And so he decides to try out an audacious lob over Victor Valdes. Valdes realises he has no chance of even touching the ball and his and his team’s only hope is that it sails over. But that lob was Cantona-esque and it would have made the French legend proud. The ball calmly sails into the goal and Gary Neville once again rushes out to the pitch but this time to kiss Bebe.