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Sunday, May 22, 2011

UEFA Champion League Final: Fc Barcelona Vs Man United Preview

Spanish champions FC Barcelona take on English champions Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday 28 May 2011.

After a slow start in this season’s English Premiership, Manchester United rallied towards the end to clinch the title with one game to go. Their cup form though has been lacking, suffering defeats at the hands of lowly West Ham United in the League Cup and local rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup.

FC Barcelona won the Spanish league but with just two games to spare. Yet they too suffered a cup disappointment after fierce rivals Real Madrid beat them 1-0 in the Copa del Rey final.

FC Barcelona’s Route to the Final

FC Barcelona won their group with four wins, two draws and no defeats, scoring 14 goals in the process and only conceding three. Barcelona faced London club Arsenal in the Round of 16 and suffered an early set-back losing the away leg 2-1 after being a goal in front. But they put that behind them at Camp Nou, winning 3-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate. Barcelona had an easier time in the quarter-finals, winning the home leg against Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1 and then adding another goal for good measure in the away leg.

The semi-finals brought Barcelona face-to-face with rivals Real Madrid, and a 2-0 away win meant that the 1-1 draw at Camp Nou was enough to take them to the final.

Manchester United’s Route to the Final

Manchester United topped their group easily, also notching up four wins and two draws and suffering no defeats; in fact they only conceded one goal when they drew 1-1 with Valencia.

Manchester United started the Round of 16 with a nervous goalless draw away at Marseilles. But two goals from the young Mexican Javier Hernández helped them to a 2-1 win at Old Trafford. The quarter-finals saw Manchester United up against English rivals Chelsea, whom they saw off with a 1-0 win away and a 2-1 win at home.

Manchester United did most of the hard work in the semi-final in the first leg, winning 2-0 away at Schalke. They then took the risk of fielding a weakened side for the home leg to rest players for an important Premiership game, but the second string did the business winning 4-1.

Previously for FC Barcelona vs Manchester United

The two teams met in the 2009 Champions League Final, and on that occasion it was the Catalonians who came out on top with goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi giving Barcelona a 2-0 win.

The two teams have met a total of 10 times, and they are level on victories with three apiece, the other four games being drawn.

Click here to watch the UEFA Champion League Final 2009 Highlight

By: Steve Rogerson (www.suite101.com)
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