Monday, 1 June 2009

Reaction: The Champions League Final

Well, what more can be said of last Wednesday's game other than the better team on the night won?

Had United played to their usual standards, it may not have gone the way it did, but then again, had it not been for some great stops from van der Sar, it could have been a far more comprehensive victory for the Catalan side. Congratulations to Barca.

The worst thing in the aftermath of the match (besides the crushing disappointment felt by United fans) was the way the press - who had previously been touting United as world-beaters - attacked the team in a way usually reserved for the England side when they (inevitably) get knocked out of an international tournament at the quarter-final stages.

According to the tabloids, at precisely 19:56hrs, United had gone from the best team in the world to the worst - and in need of a major clear-out of players. This was in spite of them not noticing that United, despite their success, had not been playing particularly thrilling "United style" football for the the best part of two seasons (on a consistent basis, at least).

Never the less, had someone offered any United fan the chance to finish the season with another league title under our belts, after the first serious challenge from Liverpool for the best part of two decades, and another couple of trophies to boot, I'm sure - like me - they'd have bitten their arm off at the elbow.

Wednesday was simply a very disappointing finale to a very successful season.

As for the kit (in order to stay relatively on-topic), United turned out much as they did last time they faced Barcelona in a European final back in 1991 - in all white. The shirt itself was a slightly different version of the regular away kit from this season, with a different cut around the shoulders with the whole of the back of the shirt made of a fine mesh to provide extra venting and keep the players cool. It also had the details of the final embroidered in a rather odd maroon colour on the chest:

Manchester United 2009 Champions League Final kit

The (aforementioned) victorious 1991 European Cup Winners Cup Final team line up before kick off against Barcelona in Rotterdam:

1991 ECWC Final

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