Barcelona beats Man United 2-0 in final
ROME: Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 on Wednesday night to win the for the second time in four seasons, dominating behind goals from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi.
Eto'o put the Spanish champions ahead in the 10th minute at the Stadio Olimpico. The three-time African player of the year from Cameroon took a pass from Andres Iniesta, cut around defender Nemanja Vidic and beat . The goalkeeper got a touch on the right-footed shot but couldn't keep it from going in at the near post.
Messi, a 21-year-old star of Argentina's national team, easily won the glamour duel with reigning FIFA player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi scored on a header from about 6 yards in the 70th off a cross from , his ninth goal of the tournament and his first in 11 games against English opponents.
Messi, who had 38 of Barcelona's 153 goals this season, set off colorful celebrations at one end of the stadium, filled with 62,467 fans, and left English fans in silence as Manchester United's European unbeaten streak ended at 25 games.
In its first season under coach Pep Guardiola, a former Barcelona star who began as a ball boy at Camp Nou, the Catalan power won Europe's top club competition for the third time following victories in 1992 and 2006. It also swept Spain's La Liga and Copa del Rey.
"I've been waiting for so long to get this title," said Barcelona forward Thierry Henry, who played for the Arsenal team that lost to Barcelona in the 2006 final. "The last five minutes were the longest of my life."
Manchester United, which won the Premier League, English League Cup and Club World Cup, was trying to become the first team to win consecutive European titles since AC Milan in 1989-90. The Red Devils also won the tournament in 1968 and 1999.
United manager Alex Ferguson was trying to match the record of Liverpool's Bob Paisley, who coached three teams to European titles.
"We started the game brightly. We were confident and we could have been in front," Ferguson said. "We didn't play as well as we can, but they are a good team. We have to give them credit. Xavi and Iniesta can keep the ball all night. They made it very difficult."
United was thoroughly outplayed. South Korean winger Park Ji-sung became the first Asian to appear in a Champions League final and almost scored in the opening minute but his shot was deflected wide after Ronaldo's free kick was blocked by goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
In an effort to tie the score, Ferguson brought on Carlos Tevez for midfielder Anderson at the start of the second half, then added Berbatov for Park in the 66th. Ferguson's final move was to insert for in the 75th.
United defender, and Henry and Iniesta all started after overcoming injuries.