May 30th, 2011
Weekend Results: Cups Runneth Over
Eric Abidal lifts the Champions League trophy for Barcelona. Image: AP Photo/Daylife.
This is it, people. The final results post before summer kicks in and a Kickette staffer’s thoughts turn to tanned torsos, embarrassing holiday snaps and drunken snoozling on the beach.
Revel in every glorious moment of it.
Champions League Final: Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United
Is this really what you wanted, Barca fans? Is it? Images: Getty Images/Daylife.
We love the fact that Barcelona fans have had so much to celebrate this season, and yet still managed to turn the streets of London into a place of joy and merriment for one Saturday night, instead of the grubby mire of fighting, shouting and falling down it usually is. Well, ok, there was that too, but our spies saw at least four people wearing Barca shirts and celebrating peacefully, which for us constitutes a decent enough opening paragraph, even if it is slightly disingenuous.
The key to Barca’s success over the last couple of years has been their togetherness; their understanding of each other’s game is, at times, preternatural, and with the best will in the world even Manchester United can’t touch a team that are constantly three passes ahead of them. And even if they could, they would still have to deal with Lionel Messi (left). Sigh.
That’s not to say that United had left their passion and determination in Manchester. Wayne Rooney’s equaliser came a mere five minutes after Pedro struck from Xavi’s cute ball, and for about thirty seconds it seemed there might be a game on. But the weight of Barca’s skill was always going to be too much to bear, and after the break Messi continued toying with the United defence until he decided the time was right, then smashing a ridiculous ball past a helpless Edwin van der Saar. David Villa made good on his threats after sixty-nine minutes, and Barcelona’s name was as good as etched on the trophy.
It’s the second time in three years that Manchester United have been so comprehensively dispatched by Pep Guardiola’s team and it will be interesting to see where Sir Alex goes from here. Is there a way of beating Barcelona? In the battles, certainly. But in the war that is a season or a Champions League campaign? Not so much.
Coppa Italia: Inter Milan 3-1 Palermo
The Coppa Italia. Yesterday. Image: AP Photo/Daylife.
Jose Mourinho left a hell of a legacy behind him when he trotted off to Real Madrid at the end of last season. He steered his team to a league cup win in Spain and Leonardo, who filled his not inconsiderable footwear at the helm of Inter Milan, did the same. We kind of get the feeling that Leonardo has more to celebrate this morning.
Palermo may have beaten AC Milan over two legs to get to this final, but given Inter’s experience, the game itself was arguably a formality. Samuel Eto’o scored once in each half for his side, and while Palermo almost masterminded a dream comeback with two minutes remaining via Ezequiel Munoz, Milito restored the two goal cushion in stoppage time to confirm the result. While this was great, we must take issue with the fact that we saw no-one take their clothes off. Like, seriously boys?
We’re certain that one or two of you may have watched either one or both of these games. Care to comment?