Manchester United vs. Barcelona: Running Commentary


The game we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Manchester United vs. Barcelona. Winner goes to the Champions League final. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Manchester United plays host to Barcelona needing a win to clinch the Champions League final berth, or a 0-0 tie to force overtime in this home-and-home series. The match is set to begin at 2:45 p.m. on ESPN2.

I will be doing a live commentary on the match so feel free to follow the match here. Even if you’re watching the match yourself, if you happen to be online please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the match in the comments section below. I have a feeling today’s match will be far more exciting than the first leg between these teams.

Enjoy the match.


FINAL- That’s all for me. Hope you enjoyed the match and the commentary. What a beautiful game. Share your post-game thoughts on the match in the comments section below.


FINAL- MANCHESTER UNITED 1, Barcelona 0. And Manchester United gets the job done. After a shaky first leg, Man U gets the goal it needed and its defense stands tall. What a game.


95th minute- Man U is holding on here as Barcelona sends 10 men at goal.


93rd minute- You wonder how Silvestre will handle coming into a game this fast and intense.


92nd minute- Evra is still being tended to, Silvestre will replace him and it’s looking like it will be closer to five or six minutes of stoppage time.


90th minute- Patrice Evra is hurt. And THREE minutes of added time.


88th minute- Eidur Gudjohnsen in for Yaya Toure. Barcelona throwing it all at Man U now.


88th minute- Three minutes left and Man U is controlling things.


83rd minute- Nice battle between Ronaldo and Zambrotta. Talk about a dramatic last few minutes.


81st minute- Henry with a shot on goal but Van Der Sar saves it easily.


78th minute- Henry with a close-range header saved by Van Der Sar.


76th minute- Ryan Giggs comes in for Nani and Darren Fletcher comes in for Paul Scholes.


73rd minute- Wow, Barcelona nearly picks out Xavi with a perfect pass but it doesn’t connect.


71st minute- Bojan Krkic comes in for Samuel Eto’o. This kid is lightning.


70th minute- Yaya Toure gets a yellow for a foul on Park. He’ll miss the final if Barcelona finds a way to equalize and advance.


69th minute- Tevez has been pretty quiet today.


66th minute- I wonder if Ferguson considers putting in Anderson soon.


62nd minute- Michael Carrick with a yellow card for fouling Messi. Good call and necessary foul because Messi was running down the middle of the field unmarked.


61st minute- Thierry Henry comes in for Iniesta. It will be very interesting to see how Henry impacts this game.


60th minute- Nani with a great run at goal followed by a horrid shot about 20 rows into the stands.


57th minute- Valdes stops a Tevez shot. Great save and a great give-and-go between Ronaldo and Tevez.


56th minute- Messi with a dangerous run. I tell you, every time he runs at goal he looks scary, even if his last shot was weak.


53rd minute- Whoa, Nani with a great chance but doesn’t put it away.


52nd minute- Zambrota with a yellow card for a late challenge on Evra.


52nd minute- Park Ji Sung is everywhere. He just doesn’t stop running.


51st minute- This hasn’t been Gianluca Zambrotta’s best night. Man U corner misses everybody.


49th minute- Man U needs to attack here because if they sit back Barcelona will find the equalizer.


49th minute- I wonder when we’ll see Thierry Henry.


48th minute- Barcelona corner kick


47th minute- Barca with some early possession.


46th minute- And we’re back.


HALFTIME- Manchester United 1, Barcelona 0. What a game this has been. Crisp passing, sharp challenges, great soccer. It will be interesting to see what changes Frank Rijkaard makes to his squad.


45th minute- Great stuff from both sides. End to end stuff.


44th minute- Milito almost gets a header on goal but he mistimes his jump. He was wide open in the area.


43rd minute- Barcelona free kick from about 35 yards out, toward the right end of the area.


41st minute- Nani narrowly misses a header on a great cross from Park Ji Sung. I tell you who has played well so far is Park Ji Sung. he has been active and all of his passes sharp.


39th minute- Van Der Sar caught a knee to the head from Wes Brown but he looks okay now.


38th minute- Edwin Van Der Sar is hurt.


37th minute- Deco with another chance that doesn’t miss by much.


34th minute- Deco comes close for Barcelona, which has regained its footing in this game.


29th minute- Puyol just caught a headbutt to the face from teammate Diego Milito.


28th minute- Wow, Man U is tearing Barcelona’s defense apart. A second goal seems certain.


27th minute- Nani looks dangerous today. The Nani-Ronaldo wing combo is going to cause problems all day for Barcelona.


25th minute- Van Der Sar with a brave move to jump on a loose ball in the box with an attacker running in on him.


23rd minute- Another Man U corner kick.


22nd minute- Puyol and Tevez collide again. There’s a UFC fight I would like to see.


21st minute- Park Ji Sun misses by inches on a beautiful set-up from Ronaldo.


20th minute- Here comes Messi. And he gets a shot off that forces a diving save from Van Der Sar.


19th minute- Barcelona was definitely stunned by that goal and has yet to get back into this game.


18th minute- Apologies for the slow updates. I had some technical difficulties. What a goal by Scholes. Man U still isn’t safe though. Barcelona is still just a goal away from being in control.




5th minute- Barcelona definitely has Man U on its heels early on.


3rd minute- The game is off to a fast start. Both teams flying around.


PRE-GAME- Here is Man U’s lineup:




—————Van Der Sar———————


PRE-GAME- No Vidic and no Rooney for Man U today. That won’t help the home team.


PRE-GAME– The teams are taking the field. The stadium is buzzing and the homefield will be in full force at Old Trafford.

PRE-GAME- Here is Barcelona’s lineup:






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68 Responses to Manchester United vs. Barcelona: Running Commentary

  1. Dominghosa says:

    Ah, back from a not-much-of-a-vacation in chilly Minnesoooota. And just in time too. Barca, even with all the drama surrounding the club and its season in La Liga, is one win away from the Champions League Final. And I believe it will get there. Even at Old Trafford. Can’t wait.

    Too bad I have to work so much a day after a few days off. I hate how that works.

  2. NateinSF says:

    puyol is key. look for ronaldo to self-destruct

  3. ManicMessiah says:

    No Vidic and Rooney for Man United, big problem. Still, if Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world, then now is the time to prove it (which I think he will).

    As for their lineup, I don’t like Park getting the start, and would rather see Anderson instead of Scholes.

    Not for any real reason, but I wish Barca would’ve started Henry for the match.

    2-1 to United for me, with Ronaldo netting the winner.

  4. mikemc says:

    rooney & henery out…

  5. Dominghosa says:

    I guess that just makes me delusional after spending a weekend in more food than my stomach has room for and 30-degree weather. Doesn’t Minnesota know its almost May!??!

  6. Dominghosa says:

    Messi will show that, when healthy, he is the best player in the world.

    C. Ronaldo has yet to show that he’s a big player who makes big plays in big games.

  7. TheDreamTeam says:

    C’mon Barca! This might be one of the best matches all year. Unfortunately I think it is going to be 0-0 and come down to penalty kicks. :(

  8. ManicMessiah says:

    Paul Scholes does his best to return the penalty favor to Barcelona, and barely fails in doing so. Personally, I thought it was in the box.

  9. Sean says:

    This game is wide open early on

  10. eric says:

    Messy start, high energy but pretty chaotic. Need more Messi than messy. Barca look much more likely to make something happen. Something goal-like, even.

  11. Dominghosa says:

    Bad giveaway by Barca. Scholes with a rocket of a shot. Goal. Damn.

  12. ManicMessiah says:


    Wow, great shot into the upper right corner. 1-0 United against the run of play.

  13. Dominghosa says:

    That’s what has gone on all season for the Blaugrana. They dominate possession. But aren’t as focused at the back and playing balls out from there.

  14. Joe_in_ND says:

    What a goal! Amazing strike from the ginger prince!

  15. mitchell says:



  16. ManicMessiah says:

    Park just missed a chance to put United up 2-0.

  17. Chase says:

    That goal has completely changed the complextion of the game, terrible stuff from Zambrotta, Puyol is getting exposed, this game could get pretty interesting if Barca find an equalizer…

  18. Dominghosa says:

    Deco. Oh so close. Nice sequence by Barca. Three players with one-touch passing just at the top of the box. Deco with a one-timer. Inches wide.

  19. Dominghosa says:

    Van De Saar’s hurting. A change in goal for ManU can change this match.

  20. ManicMessiah says:

    That’s the 2nd time Wes Brown has run at his keeper.

  21. eric says:

    I’m really not impressed with the ‘Hargraves at RB’ experiment, doesn’t add much there and he’s missed in the midfield. It’s too bad because he was really just starting to put his stamp on the midfield.

  22. Dominghosa says:

    Halftime. And just like its La Liga season, Barcelona just can’t find that extra “oomph” for that all-important goal. And its defense has played horribly when it’s being pushed in the defending third.

    One thing is for sure, this team is going to look very different next season regardless of how this year ends.

    Messi does look dangerous. ManU has stripped him a couple of times, but Messi’s work rate, vision and ball skills have given ManU trouble.

    Look for Bojan to come in 10 minutes after half.

  23. mitchell says:

    The new Nike commercial is amazing.

  24. starks says:

    I agree eric. I was really starting to enjoy the influence he has been asserting on the midfield lately. I think it shows something about his versatility that he can seamlessly be added to the back line, but I would rather watch him distribute from the center.

  25. Aguinaga says:

    Barca needs a creative finisher in there! Eto’o is being stuck to like wax by both Ferdinand and Brown, leaving Deco to take limited shots from the outside, and Messi to hopefully beat 3 or 4 players. When does Henry finally figure??

  26. Dominghosa says:

    As for C. Ronaldo? Not much from the “best player in the world.”

    He is when stakes aren’t high.

    WOW. I think we all just saw the best soccer commercial of all time. And that’s saying a lot.

    Nike really pushes soccer commercials to another level. Everyone should see that.


  27. eric says:

    Is anyone else freaked out a bit by this season’s CL Heineken commercials? Who wants to watch a game with a bunch of silent beer zombies??? Their silence gives me the creeps.

  28. Louis says:

    wow what a commercial, i might actually go out and play soccer now…..prolly not

  29. Dominghosa says:

    That Nike commercial, which I just watched again after rewinding my DVR (ha!), could be the most talked about thing coming out of this match.

    Amazing stuff.

    I wonder if it actually focuses on a particular player?

    It’s a player who gets scouted by Wenger after a lower league match, gets signed by Arsenal and plays for the Dutch in an international match.


    van Persie?

  30. puffyjrkfan says:

    Very exciting first half, both teams could’ve had two or three…

    And I would agree with the above, that Nike commercial was amazing. I think I died and went to heaven when Ruud van Nistelrooij helped me up :)

  31. puffyjrkfan says:

    I also called for Paul Scholes to be on the bench and for Anderson to get the start. Obviously, Sir Alex knows what he is doing, which is why he is there and I’m here. Scholes has been outstanding, beyond that great goal.

  32. Seisco says:

    Anyone know what happened to Tevez’s neck? What’s with the scars?

  33. puffyjrkfan says:

    About time for Zambrotta to get a card…he’s committed at LEAST 3 late challenges so far.

  34. mitchell says:

    Van Persie wears Adidas.

    Tevez had a kitchen accident when he was a kid and was scalded with hot water.

  35. mitchell says:

    The Nike commercial is meant to be YOU… if you were Dutch.

  36. Dominghosa says:

    Mitchell coming in with the facts. Thanks man. Oh well, I was taking a wild guess anyway.

    This match will be better if Barca can find a goal off this CK.

  37. ManicMessiah says:

    In addition to being wrong on Scholes, I’ve also been wrong about Park and Ronaldo, so I’ve got you beat there.

  38. Dominghosa says:

    Henry back in familiar grounds. But not in a familiar offense.

  39. mitchell says:

    Man U have much more of the possession in this game than last week. That may not count for much, but I think when Barca push for a goal one of Man U’s counter attacks will work.

  40. mitchell says:

    Does Nani remind anyone else of Ronaldo in his first year at Man U?

  41. puffyjrkfan says:

    This really should have been the final…what a pulsating match! Wide open, attacking football. I wouldn’t be suprised to see both teams score a boatload of goals in the last 20 minutes…

    It’s a guarantee that tomorrow’s match won’t be this good.

  42. ManicMessiah says:

    I can’t believe there haven’t been more goals scored in this game.

  43. puffyjrkfan says:

    Agreed, Mitchell. Nani now is like Ronaldo from a few years ago. All flair, speed and trickery, no end product. Hopefully in a couple years, he’ll have the same taste for goal that Rony does…

  44. eric says:

    Nani and Ronaldo will be a ridiculous pair in 2 or 3 years if no one gets hurt. Man U is set up so well.

    I have to agree on Scholes, I was ready to pile on the comments, especially when he started the game with a near penalty. I think the key is you can’t really play him and Giggs at the same time at this level anymore, and certainly not for most of a match.

  45. Dominghosa says:

    off-topic but interesting what Ruud G. has to say about the amateur-ish side of the Galaxy and MLS.

    link to

  46. Sean says:

    I think Eto’s touches have just been abysmal. Barca should look more towards Henry and Messi in the final third (though ManU is really clamping down on Messi)

  47. puffyjrkfan says:

    As much as it pains me to say this, I agree with Eric. Giggs is past it. His game was always based on his amazing pace and skill on the ball, and he just isn’t fast enough anymore to be a regular impact player. I love him to death, and I hope be breaks the United appearance record, but it needs to come in the domestic cups and against weaker opposition.

    I still love you Giggsy!

  48. Dominghosa says:

    It will get better for ManU when Fergie puts Anderson away from his current holding midfielder role an into his more natural role as an attacking midfielder or a forward.

    With C. Ronaldo, Anderson and Nani in the attack, talk about an exciting trio to watch.

  49. ManicMessiah says:

    Giggs and Fletcher on for Nani and Scholes.

  50. ManicMessiah says:

    Henry with a header right into van der Sar.

  51. ManicMessiah says:

    The rare time in the match where I thought Ronaldo might score, but he shoots it comfortably wide.

  52. kawa says:

    Barca is not playing like a team a goal down in the champions league

  53. puffyjrkfan says:

    Speaking of being past it, what has happened to Thierry Henry? I don’t see a lot of La Liga, but by all accounts he is rubbish these days. He used to put the fear of god into me when he played for Arsenal…

  54. Dante says:

    Van der Sar has to be the man of the match here.

  55. EricJ says:

    Tevez has made a fan out of me.

  56. ericj says:

    “His sulking thing.” priceless

  57. Dominghosa says:

    Barca’s season changed when Ronaldinho’s health and form dipped.

    Oh what this series and season would have been like if Ronnie reverted to his form from 2003-2005.

  58. eric says:

    Giggs at Man U now = Guillermo Barros Schelotto at Boca the year before he came to MLS.

  59. puffyjrkfan says:

    Thank you Wes Brown!

  60. ManicMessiah says:

    Silvestre coming on for evra.

  61. Dominghosa says:

    It’s over. English teams rule the CL. Excuse me while I puke.


  62. ManicMessiah says:

    The final whistle blows, and Man United is playing for the champions league title. The game was exciting, and it really makes me not want to watch the Chelsea Liverpool match tomorrow.

  63. eric says:

    God that was a dull end. I actually got caught up reading something around the 89th before realizing the game was still on. But Barca never looked like they would score, not really.

    Hopefully Man U can get healthy for the final, get Rooney back up top, Ronaldo on the wing, Hargraves in the middle and not at RB. Good thing Scholes put in a good game, since he’s going to play anyways.

  64. Homey Boehme says:

    @Dominghosa – Thanks for the link to the Gullit comments. He is totally right, it is a joke.

  65. NY Manc says:

    We’re going to Moscow!!!!!!!!!

  66. Chosun says:

    Glad to see Park Ji Sung making an impact. Gotta big-up my Korean bredren. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see most of the game (ducked into a bar in the last 5 min), but it sounds like it was pretty exciting.

  67. sean says:

    Barca looked powerless in the final third. How can a team with so much attacking talent be so poor? I somewhat question to decision to take off Iniesta because it seems like he had the ability to deliver in some better passes in the final part of the pitch.

  68. brentmcd says:

    Tevez plays like a coked-up bulldog. His relentless pressure up top forced Barca to play at an uncomfortable pace and often eventually led to turnovers. Impressive