Man Utd outplayed, outclassed by rampant Barcelona
Manchester United have surrendered the Champions League trophy to Barcelona after a producing a flat, lifeless performance in tonight's 2-0 defeat.
United barely tested Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes over the 90 minutes as the Catalans dominated possession and the tempo of the game.
Samuel Eto'o prodded home a 10th minute opener to give Barcelona a deserved half-time lead.
He stepped inside Nemanja Vidic, then held off Michael Carrick to score and as the Red Devils struggled to contain their opponents' slick passing, it could easily have been more.
Lionel Messi's looping headed killed the Red Devils off after the interval, with Sir Alex Ferguson's men unable to find a reply despite ending the game with four forwards on the field.
Messi wins duel vs. Ronaldo in CL final
Lionel Messi didn't use his usual scoring method - a deft touch from his quick feet - to settle the debate over whether he or Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to be called the world's best player.
Messi's 70th-minute header helped lead Barcelona to a 2-0 Champions League final win over Manchester United on Wednesday, a victory that puts Barcelona in exclusive company as only the fifth European club to win three major trophies in a season, and the first Spanish team to do so.
The 21-year-old Argentina forward guided Xavi Hernandez's cross home to display that he doesn't always need a soft touch to score.
As Messi celebrated his competition-best ninth goal - and 38th in total this season - Ronaldo could only look upward after failing to track back and cover Xavi, who moved alone into space to provide the cross.
All eyes had been on the Ronaldo vs. Messi matchup in this final after the Portugal winger edged Messi for both the FIFA world player of the year and Golden Ball award last season by winning three trophies to Messi's zero.
A historic season for Barcelona is likely to be enough to see Messi dethrone King Cristiano.
Messi was instrumental in much of Barcelona's play, just as he was in securing the Spanish league title with a record points haul and a 25th Copa del Rey trophy.
Ronaldo started better but, as Barcelona took control of the match, the 24-year-old Portugal international - known for gallant strides and the stepover dribbles - exemplified his loud personality with a number of frustrating fouls, including a booking in the 78th minute.
Although United didn't defends its European trophy, Ronaldo has still the Premier League, League Cup and Club World Cup triumphs to enjoy this season.
There is another statistic where Messi now has an edge over Ronaldo - he scored his first goal against English opposition, while Ronaldo remains without a goal against Spanish teams.
Source: African Soccer Union