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27.05.2010 10:35

A year since Rome

Marc Guillén

This Thursday marks the first anniversary of FC Barcelona’s third Champions League when Barca beat Manchester United 2-0 in Rome.

On 27th May 2009 Barca secured the Champions League in Rome and put the perfect finishing touch to a superb season in which Barca became the first club from the Spanish league to achieve the treble of League, Cup and Champions League.

Barca control

WEB_12.jpgThe opening ten minutes of the match were dominated by the Premier League team but then Iniesta found Eto’o who scored the first goal with Barca’s first attempt. From that moment on, Barca controlled the match with their special brand of quick moving possession football.

At halftime, Ferguson replaced a midfielder (Anderson) with a striker (Tevez) and Barca’s control of midfield became even stronger. Finally, Xavi slotted a pinpoint pass to Messi for the Argentine striker to head in to make it 2-0.

Selection difficulties

ZUERAS_FC.BARCELONA_-_MANCHESTER_UNITED_FINAL_CHAMPIONS_TROFEO_27-05-09_102.JPGThe victory against the reigning European champions was even sweeter given the problems Guardiola had in composing his starting defensive line-up. Both regular fullbacks, Alves and Abidal, were suspended while central defenders Márquez and Milito were both injured.
In addition to these defensive problems, Iniesta and Henry both had to play despite not being 100% match fit. They were unable to take a full part in training right up until the day of the match itself and both hobbled off the pitch at the end of the match. Andrés Iniesta admitted that Club doctors had recommended that he shouldn’t shoot in order not to aggravate his injury, as eventually happened.

A perfect year

The Rome final rounded off a perfect season, with Barca becoming the first La Liga club to win the treble – all in Guardiola’s first season as team manager.
A year since Rome
We owe you one!
This season, Barca just failed to reach the final for a second consecutive year after being narrowly defeated on aggregate by Inter Milan in the semis. However, such is the ambition shown by this group of players that Guardiola, speaking at the celebrations for the league title 2009/10, told the fans: “We had a date in the Bernabeu and we couldn’t make it. We owe you one! And these players don’t fail”.

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