Barcelona’s players celebrate with the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final (AFP Photo / Lluis Gene)
Barcelona grabbed the well-deserved UEFA Champions League title, outplaying Manchester United 3-1 in the final at Wembley Stadium in London.
United had a quite a strong start in the decider, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s men keeping favorites Barcelona on their half.
The Catalans needed over 10 minutes to adjust to the game, but when they did, they started creating chances and eventually took the lead.
Pedro Rodríguez beat keeper Edwin van der Sar in the near corner after Xavi Hernández cut Man U’s defense in half with one of his famous passes in the 27th minute, 1-0.
It all looked like it was going according to Barca’s plan when the Red Devils, who were playing in white on the night, equalized like a bolt from the blue.
Josep Guardiola’s charges lost the ball after a throw in in the 34th minute and Wayne Rooney blasted past netminder Viktor Valdes after a great layoff from Ryan Giggs, 1-1.
Barcelona regained the lead soon after the restart, in the 54th minute. United’s players gave space to world’s best footballer, Lionel Messi, on the edge of the box, and the Argentine fired immediately, with van der Sar unable to see the kick as two defenders covered the ball, 2-1.
And it was David Villa who completely killed of the intrigue, scoring a beautiful curved ball in the 69th minute, 3-1.
Barcelona fully deserved their triumph as they controlled the ball 63 percent of the time, and didn’t allow their rivals to win a single corner.
It’s the fourth time the Catalans have lifted the UEFA Champions League title since the tournament was established in 1992.
Their previous success also came against Manchester United. They beat the Englishman 2-0 in Rome in the 2009 final.