Who could have predicted that! For a clearer picture of just what a humiliation it was for both United and the Premier league, check out the BBC’s match statistics.
Barca had 68% possession against United’s 32% !! The only time you expect to see possession stats like that is when a Premier league takes on a non-league team in the third round of the FA cup! No offence to non-league sides intended.
I’d love to say nice try United but, except for the Rooney goal, as the stats imply, with Nani and Anderson on the bench. Berbatov not even getting into kit and Evra, Vidic and Ferdinand not much closer to Messi when he scored, I’m not sure United tried their best (not that I think it would have affected much other than the possession stats if they had).
One interesting observation arising from the Canadian coverage I saw was that although Sir Alex’s touchline dressing-down of Rooney took place a minute and a half before half-time, well after Rooney’s 34th minute equalizing strike, Rogers Sportsnet slipped it into their game highlight reel immediately after Pedro’s opener so to anyone who missed the incident, it looked for all the world as if Rooney’s strike was due to some incredibly inspirational, even if critical, words from mercurial manager, Sir Alex; as opposed to the actual order of events which possibly explains United’s incredibly lacklustre second half performance since what player is likely to be inspired by the sight of their manager desperately bollocking their best performing player in front of 87,000 fans and probably, the largest global tv audience since the wedding.
Just think. Would Wills have been quite such a happy chappy and the wedding so globally well-received if Kate, right after that kiss, had been caught on camera wiping her face and spitting into a hanky saying, “Onions, Will! Yeugh!”? I too think not.
Then again, United were being outclassed well before Sir Alex began moaning so, perhaps, without it, they might have peformed even worse.
Sir Alex’ has been a fantastic career without compare in British football but now, having taken United to a record 19 championships, maybe this time it really is time to call it a day and take a chance on someone younger, like Giggs or Scholes, just like Barcelona did a few years ago with Pep Guardiola.