Wednesday, 27 May 2009

CL Final: Barca take United's crown in Rome

Barcelona were crowned European champions for a third time as a vibrant display of pass and move, capped by goals in either half from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi, defeated holders Manchester United in Rome.

Barcelona 2-0 Manchester UtdUnited, bidding to become the first team to successfully defend the trophy in the UEFA Champions League era, began an open contest at breakneck speed as Cristiano Ronaldo threatened three times.

After ten minutes, however, Eto'o put the Spanish champions ahead and they never looked back at the Stadio Olimpico.

Xavi Hernandez struck a post early in the second period and, though the clinching second goal did not arrive until the 70th minute – via, unusually, the head of Messi – Josep Guardiola's side were worthy winners to complete an unprecedented Spanish treble having already lifted the Primera Liga and Copa del Rey titles this month.

The 38-year-old Guardiola becomes the sixth man to lift the European Cup as player and coach while Sir Alex Ferguson's side - Premier League, League Cup and FIFA World Club Cup winners this season - are the sixth club to lose the final as holders.

The Catalan giants' tiumph in the Italian capital, the second in four years, took Spain above both Italy and England in the number of European Cup wins.

The success was the 12th final won by representatives from La Primera Liga - Real Madrid holding the other nine, while Serie A and the Premier League occupy joint-second place on the list with 11 wins apiece.

Next years final takes place in the Spanish capital Madrid, while London will have its chance to host the showpiece final in 2011.

Source: UEFA

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