One of the specialities of the Willesden Herald (established 1884, Medaille d'Or Antwerp 1911, Pontification) is in the area of Predictive News. Our motto is "Tomorrow's News Yesterday". It is from this great tradition that we bring you the following world exclusive Minute by Minute report of the Champions League Final between Manchester United and Barcelona.
Man U: Van Der Sar, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, O'Shea, Scholes, Carrick, Anderson, Rooney, Ronaldo, Berbatov
Barca: Valdes, Pique, Puyol, Toure, Sylvinio, Busquets , Iniesta, Xavi, Henry, Eto'o, Messi
1 Min: Rooney starts the ball rolling back to Carrick who flips it out Scholes who tries an audacious cross field Hollywood pass to a surging Ronaldo. Toure and Puyol deal comfortably. Throw in United. Comes to nothing.
3 Min: Manchester are really playing high up the pitch trying hard to pin Barca back by attacking Sylvinio and Toure on the wings. First over to Anderson then to Ronaldo, then Scholes, then to Berbatov in the middle, lazy work there…loses the ball to Iniesta.
6 Min: Some shaky play here by Barca and again Man U press forward. Ronaldo lets loose the first shot of the match stinging the fingers of Valdes from about 25 yards out – turned around the post. Corner to United. Dealt with, but I’m sure we’ll see more of that tonight being that Barca’s defense is short and suspect of quality.
7 Min: Is Messi on the pitch?
8 Min: Oh yes, there he is. Nice one two with Xavi. Messi with a nice diagonal pass to Eto’o. Vidic clears hastily. Perhaps Eto’o will try to emulate Torres tonight and give Vidic nightmares. Certainly looks like he was trying to twist and turn Vidic all ways to Sunday there.
10 Min: Throw in to Barca as Scholes lost control of the ball. Sylvinio to Xavi to Iniesta. Carrick harries and wins the ball and quickly to Anderson. Anderson lays off to Rooney plucks out Berbatov. Berbatov chest controls and back heels through the defense! OH PICK THAT OUT! Ronaldo steams past former teammate Pique sends the ball crashing into the far corner. No stopping that one! 1 – 0 United!
13 Min: Yellow card on Puyol for a reckless challenge on Rooney. Rooney gets up with his face 3 shades away from nuclear. Get that boy under control Sir Alex.
17 Min: Nothing much happening now. United seem to have cooled and Barca are stroking the ball around with out much intent.
19 Min: Anderson fires wide. Does Barca know where the goal is?
23 Min: First sign of Henry. I heard he was playing tonight. Streaks down the left, taken down clumsily by Evra. Iniesta takes the free kick. Puyol with a header, turned around the bar by Van Der Sar. First real sign of life by Barca.
24 Min: Nothing happens with the corner.
28 Min: Ronaldo breaks clear and Scholes picks him out with a brilliant lobbed pass. One on one with the keeper and he pulls up a Drogba and kicks the ball right into Valdes’s legs! Anywhere else and it is 2 – 0.
30 Min: Busquets given a yellow for a poor challenge on Rooney. Rooney gets a yellow for losing his rag! Fortunately for everyone Terry is at home in London and not here to start a riot. Calmer heads prevail and the match resumes.
33 Min: Eto’o and Henry play a little one two and Eto’o zips past a decidedly flat footed Vidic. Ferdinand is there to clear! Wow, that was close.
37 Min: Xavi passes the ball. It goes back to Xavi. He passes it again. And back again. Oh look, Xavi…passes the ball…did you say these guys scored goals?
40 Min: Berbatov wakes from his slumber to actually take the ball off of Busquets and quickly plays it to Carrick. Over to Anderson and then to Ronaldo. Step over and shimmy oh how pretty…but he lost the ball…
43 Min: Rooney and Puyol in a tangle. Oh, not good for either one as they are both sitting on Yellow cards….Ref breaks it up…just a stern talking to each. Free Kick to United. Ronaldo takes it…and it beats the keeper and the post. Still 1 – 0.
45 Min: Barca need to do get some life in them. Do something.
45 Min + 3: And that is the first half. Man U looking sharp and pushing the game to Barca. A few moments of brightness for the Catalan side but where is Messi?
46 Min: Eto’o starts the ball rolling
48 Min: Penalty! Messi using what looked a string tied to the ball dribbles around a helpless and hapless O’Shea and nutmegs! Yes nutmegs Vidic in the box who retaliates by shoving the miniature Argentine to the ground!
49 Min: 1 – 1. Eto’o fires the ball right, VDS went left. Nothing to it and we are all level.
51 Min: That goal seem to take the wind out of Man U and put it all in for Barca. Ping ping the ball is just all over the place. Everybody getting a touch.
53 Min: GOAL! Messi whips the ball in and could you believe it, Thierry Henry with a HEADER! What is this world coming to? 2 – 1 Barca!
56 Min: SAF is going ballistic on the sideline! It looked like Puyol stomped on Berbatov’s foot just before the striker let loose a shot and nothing to it says the Ref.
58 Min: Rooney is running around like a mad animal.
59 Min: Tevez comes on for Berbatov who is limping. SAF is still raging at the 4th Official.
61 Min: Rooney chases the ball around, picks it off of Henry, who in turns clips Rooney. Yellow for Henry who suggests Rooney is a diver! Rooney is outraged and has gone apocalyptic in color!
65 Min: Tevez, Carrick, Scholes, back to Tevez, over to Rooney, whose shot cannons off the cross bar and his cleared by Pique. Great stuff here. Real hectic.
68 Min: Messi gets the ball in midfield and embarrases Scholes. Rooney oh my WHAT ARE YOU DOING! Chases Messi down and tackles from behind. Oh my Yellow Card and that is 2 Yellow and you are off! RED CARD FOR ROONEY! SAF has gone absolutely apesh*t on the sideline. Ferdinand is up in the Ref’s face. Maybe it was a little weak but Rooney has been a lose cannon all game. This can’t be good for United
70 Min: Giggs on for Scholes. Hleb on for Busquets.
72 Min: Barca are not sitting back they are pushing forward. Man U are trying to move forward as well. Back to back stuff here but no clear chances.
75 Min: SAF goes with his last substitution and brings on Macheada for Anderson. He can’t be serious can he? The old man is wily and a bit crazy. We will see if Macheada is a modern day Solskjaer.
78 Min: Henry comes off to some cheers from the Barca fans. Krkic comes on for him. Well well well, you put on your youngster and I’ll put on mine says Pep.
81 Min: United are starting to get desperate now. Giggs showing he still has some legs runs the ball down the middle and flicks it out to Ronaldo who delivers a good cross to the center but Valdes punches it out…barely…and back in it goes…oh scary stuff here…Toure clears! Why hasn’t United been doing this the whole game?
84 Min: Yellow card on Carrick for a late tackle on Xavi. Free Kick. Pulled out wide…Messi…Xavi…Iniesta…Messi…Eto’o…Iniesta with a shot but he doesn’t take it…back to Xavi…Carrick gets the ball and pushes it up to Tevez who flies down field and over to Macheada who loses the ball ungracefully. Poor sap. Looks like he fell over his own boots there.
88 Min: Not much in it now.
89 Min: Could it really be that Henry scored the winner? In a big match? In a final? Against Manchester United? What will those Arsenal fans think of it?
90 Min: Man U reduced to flinging the ball forward and hoping for something to happen. Rooney must be sick to his stomach.
90 + 2 Min: Ronaldo blasts a shot just wide!
90 +4 Min: Messi on the other end tries to chip VDS and nearly pulls it off but the old man just gets a finger to it. That would have been insult to injury.
90+5 Min: Tweet tweet tweet! That is it. Barca run out the winners!
Good final and decent result. Truth be told Manchester seemed to be the better but Barca proved to have the goods and took their chances with great aplomb. Congrats to Pep and the boys!
Reporter: J. Tyler Blue (Write This)