United given taste of Barcelona’s humble Paella

Barcelona’s artistry and invention was too good for Manchester United and the Catalan club will surely go down as one of the greats.

For ten minutes Manchester United came out on top but even that was because they played the Barca way. For the rest of the game, the Catalan club’s artistry, guile and invention was too much.

It’s definitely too early to say that English clubs’ dominance has come to the end, far from it but United’s perceived advantage of strength, energy and dynamism not once overawed Barcelona. And once Eto’o settled their nerves, Barcelona were at their hypnotic and mesmerising best. Xavi was the metronome of the side, constructing and orchestrating their best attacks while Iniesta made it seem like giving the ball away was a sin.

Poor Micheal Carrick looked to be the only one with that bit of class to inspire something but even he attempted too many Hollywood passes to gift possession back to Barcelona. At one time, the England midfielder had the three of Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta around him and not another United midfielder in sight.

Manchester United started the better, playing at a high tempo but Sir Alex seemed to preoccupied by Barcelona’s strengths. Ronaldo had the opponent defenders running scared and fired a couple of warning signs which went agonisingly wide. Their best chance came from his wickedly deviating free-kick which Valdes could only fumble and Pique made a last ditch block on Park. Rooney’s talents were surely wasted wide while Ronaldo’s were surely wasted in the centre; Ferguson deployed his front three high up akin to Barcelona to stop them passing the ball out but the early goal threw that tactic in the bin.

The other sub story, Messi versus Ronaldo was won by the little Argentinian. The ball was stuck to his feet all day long and he like Ronaldo played as the most high up forward, although Messi was given licence to roam.

Ironically, Chelsea came closest to stopping the inevitable from happening, Barca winning the trophy (Shakhtar did beat them but in a dead rubber game) with the best anti-football ever played. However not without trying, Barcelona’s possession game was too good for United and drove them close to insanity. Manchester United may be English Champions and Champions of the World but Barcelona are European Champions and also the people’s champion.


9 thoughts on “United given taste of Barcelona’s humble Paella

  1. do you think arsenal should/are capable of adopting the 4-3-3 formation a la barca effectively, and if so how?

    1. It’s an interesting point. Against Chelsea Wenger tried it, by making the forwards pressure high up the pitch but it left huge gaps at the back. Song was the holding midfielder but he is not good enough positionally and passing wise to play that role.

      It requires great discipline and organisation when you don’t have the ball but that means we have to have the ball for long periods aswell.
      Arsenal can do it but we should stick to our passing and movement game in a 4-4-1-1.

  2. When,in sheer desperation, Whiner Ferguson sent on the Sly Thug Scholes @ 74 minutes he lasted 6 minutes before his yellow. I thought this was a record until I checked the past season……it’s a regular ploy!!!

  3. For Arsenal to play like Barca, you need MUCH MUCH more than just the right formation, that’s incredibly minor. A lot of deluded gooners are likening us to Barca, which is truly unbelievable.

    We don’t play anything like Barca because our passing game isn’t nearly as precise and we rely too much on the counter-attack. Barca don’t just pass the ball short. It’s what Barca do OFF THE BALL that matter so much to their style of play and our players are just not taught how to play like they do OFF THE BALL.

    At Barca, once players pass the ball they move into space in a manner that’s understood instinctively by teammates and designed to force the defense to lose shape and open up space for scoring opportunities.

    You can’t just order players to play that way-it really is a state of mind and a philosophy of playing that must be developed early much like the way the brain of great jazz musicians function when they play, because they have played and thought that way for many years.

    The PL has never been the best league or even the second or third, rather, it’s the most hyped-up league due to its financial superiority. One of its major problems, beside being much too physical, is that the game is played at a furious pace that makes creativity and precision harder to achieve.

    It’s that precision that limits Arsenal’s ability to imitate the greatness of Barcelona.

    1. Marcus,

      I’d buy your crap if it wasn’t for the 2007-2008 season. We were really good playing off the ball, and we weren’t really a counter attacking team. How we played this season, had alot to do with losing Hleb and Rosicky. And no, Flamini leaving made less of a difference. For large chunks of the season, we had a completely new midfield, yes, not a single player playing that had played the season before. The way Barca played, had alot to do with the fact their players had a good season, playing together. Our’s didn’t. Your pseudo intellectual posts, are really showing you up. We’ll have a good pre-season this summers, and players would really get to gel together, and get into rhythem. The pretty football more than anything depends on knowing your team mates game. And that will be instilled within our camp, when they play together, without too much disruptions from injuries.

  4. Marcus:

    So the PL isnt the greatest league, despite 3 of 4 semi-final teams in the CL being English. Despite the fact that an English team has been in the final every year for the past 5 or so years.

    Arsenal dont rely on the counterattack at all. We are just as intricate in passing as Barcelona, although this has been limited by the loss of Hleb and Flamini. I agree that you cant become Barcelona by adopting their formation but Arsenal are very similiar. You say that it is a philosphy in the club that has been built for years. Yet Barcelona have only won stuff this year under the guidance of a new coach. Arsenal are very similar to Barca and are only maybe 1 player and a nice injury run (for once) away from storming Europe.

  5. I think @ arsenal that we work on passing and movement which is good however i feel we need to start working on turning on under pressure with the ball and improving our ball manipulation because that is what really seperated Barca from Man Ure. Denilson, Song, Walcott, Sagna, Ramsey and Ade would benefit alot.

    Even arsene wenger believes Ramsey can still improve his technique.



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