Champions League Final – How It’s Gonna Go Down
Thanks for joining me at the Champions League final. As the final is being held in West London, I’m told the opening ceremony will reflect the culture of the locality. I’m expecting bankers snorting coke before paying for some aggressive sex with hookers.
UEFA have reacted angrily to Jose Mourinho’s suggestion that Barcelona receive preferential treatment due to their association with UNICEF, but have also announced that tonight, all Barca goals will count for double – ‘just because they’re such awesome guys’ explains Michel Platini. It promises to be an emotional day for Man United fans. With Edwin van der Sar retiring, Paul Scholes possibly retiring and Dimitar Berbatov confirming he’s staying at Old Trafford, there could be a lot of tears from United fans by the time the day is out. Owen Hargreaves has been told he has a future at the club – he’s to be broken down and used as spare parts.
It’s very much as you’d expect from Man Utd. The only mild surprise comes in midfield where Nani, Carrick, Unnamed Premier League Player and Antonio Valencia are given the job of disrupting the Barcelona machine.
Pep Guardiola has gone for a tried and trusted formula – the designer stubble and overcoat double.
1 min: And the game gets underway. Manchester United are in their white strip whilst Barcelona play in their familiar air of smug superiority.
2 mins: There’s already a subdued atmosphere around Wembley as the UEFA’s controversial ticketing policy comes home to roost. Due to the extortionately high prices, only the 15 richest people in the world can afford tickets. It still doesn’t take long for a chorus of “Posh Spice Takes It Up The Arse” to get going. Who let Berlusconi in?
4 mins; There’s been a lot of pressure from Man Utd in the opening stages. Alex Ferguson clearly believes attack is the best form of defence. It’s not though because once I was in court for not paying a parking ticket and the judge asked me who would be defending me. I told him ‘mind your own f*cking business, you f*cking paedophile’ and I got a month in prison. Taught me a few things about the legal system.
8 mins: A nice piece of work from Antonio Valencia creates a good chance for Rooney which he fires narrowly wide – of Harrow. It’s a remarkable turnaround for Valencia since he had to be stretchered off with a fractured and dislocated ankle on that dark night against Rangers back in September. It was an even darker night for anyone who watched the remainder of the game.
15 mins: GOAL! Man Utd make it 1-0. I didn’t see who scored it, but Michael Owen is the one wheeling away in celebration claiming it. Which is strange, because he’s on the bench. He really will take credit for anything that boy.
17 mins: That goal has stirred up a bit of atmosphere the part of the crowd partial to Man Utd are taunting the Barcelona supporting side with a posh chant:
You are no longer vocalising your delight using tonality and rhythm,
You are no longer vocalising your delight using tonality and rhythm,
You are no longer vocalising your delight using tonality and rhythm anymore.
19 mins: It’s not been a good start for Barcelona. They’re having to do a lot of defending and they’ve not even had enough of the ball to pretend they’re the better side because they’re the ones trying to play the football.
27 mins: There’s a break in play as a protester storms the pitch. It’s Jose Mourinho and he says he has categorical proof that Barcelona were involved in the assassination of JFK, Watergate and the competition-rigging on Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. He’s ushered away with reassurances that Ryan Giggs’ recently unemployed legal team will look into it.
31 mins: After celebrating United’s Premier League title victory by shaving 19 into his chest hair, Wayne Rooney is now communicating messages to his team-mates via the medium of spindly body hair. I haven’t seen something that scraggly and unattractive since I accidentally downloaded Sarah-Jessica Parker’s sex tape. Could have sworn it said Peter Parker. Rumour has it that Rooney has shaved the number 4 into his pubic hair in preparation for a win. COME ON BARCELONA!!!!!
35 mins: Sergio Busguets has been picked up on camera saying something very upsetting to Antonio Valencia. Our in-house lip reader tells me he’s reciting passages from Ashley Cole’s autobiography. He’s a nasty piece of work the Barcelona midfielder.
37 mins: It’s so far so good for United as they look for their 4th European Cup. Wembley was the scene of one of the most famous triumphs when they beat a fabled Benfica side back in 1968. It’s a shame that the likes of Busby, Best and the club’s sense of self-respect aren’t around to witness this.
42 mins: Of course Wembley also holds fond memories for Barcelona. One of the best sides in their history won their first European Cup here in 1992. Incidentally, that’s also the last time David Villa’s soul patch was last in fashion.
HALF TIME: It’s half-time and Man Utd have subdued the two greatest threats to their chances of winning this game – Lionel Messi’s attacking and Rio Ferdinand’s defending.
47 mins: Sir Alex Ferguson’s plans to shackle Lionel Messi worked wonders in the first half. He’s left a selection of shampoos and hairbrushes on a dresser alongside the right touchline and the Argentine has spent much of the first half deciding on the best combination for his hair. Cunning stuff from the Scot.
53 mins: Probably realising that they’ve been taken in by Gary Lineker’s claim that Barcelona just needed to show up if they wanted to win, Barca put together their best move of the game. After putting together a previously unknown number of passes, Xavi plays in David Villa who tries to round Edwin van der Sar before realising he’s actually rounding the goalpost and has in fact gone out of play.
59 mins: Another superb tackle from Javier Mascherano breaks up a Man Utd attack. He has been typically terrier-like in his performance, but sadly he takes that analogy too far by sitting on the grass and dragging himself along by his arms. They’ll be throwing those shorts out after the game.
62 mins: Carrick really is having a stinker. I haven’t seen this many misplaced passes at Wembley since Bananarama spent two hours chatting up Elton John and Freddie Mercury at Live Aid.
68 mins: With the Barca coaching staff struggling to understand the instructions Ferguson has been giving his players, Kenny Dalglish has appeared on the Barca bench to interpret. Spiteful stuff from the Liverpool boss.
71 mins: It’s unclear if Dalglish’ presence has made a difference but suddenly the Barcelona players have gotten hold of this game and are doing to United what the a United player usually does to a former Big Brother contestant/prostitute/pensioner/publicity seeking bimbo. They don’t seem to enjoy being on this end of things.
74 mins: There’s a break in play as Edwin van der Sar needs a squirt of oil, so it’s time for some filler. Via his riveting tweets, I know Rio Ferdinand is a big fan of a genre of music known as ‘grime’. It’s called ‘grime’ because it’s both ‘garbage’ and it’s so bad it should be a ‘crime’.
77 mins: The game is about to restart when Alex Ferguson queries the mechanic’s bill for fixing van der Sar. Having initially been quoted one price, it now looks like it’s going to cost a hell of lot more. It’s like Carlos Tevez all over again.
78 mins: Darron Gibson is on for Carrick. Carles Puyol mistakes him for a pitch invader and duly rugby tackles him to the ground. There’s a bit of a curfuffle but the rest of the United players finally convince the Spaniard that he is actually a footballer. He looks doubtful.
82 mins Gibson gets his first touches of the ball. Carles Puyol is certain he’s been lied to and goes for him again. Yellow card for the Barca full-back.
86mins: In to the last five minutes and United have dropped right back.
90 mins: The fourth official holds up six minutes. Fergie is doing his nut on the sideline and if he taps his watch any harder he’s going to break it and then he’s really screwed.
92 mins: Goal 1-1: The big screen shows Shakira in the crowd, here to support her man Gerrard Pique. The crowd cheers and the sexy South American singer gives a wave. Rio Ferdinand stops to Tweet about it, allowing David Villa to get free and the Spaniard takes the pass from Messi and slots the ball under the on-rushing van der Saar. Well I say rushing but at his age it’s more of a shuffle. What a time to lose concentration!
94 mins: Goal 2-1: United are struggling to get out of defensive mode and it’s all Barcelona. Xavi picks the ball in his own half and instead of playing it short or going on a jinking run he just toe-bogs it aimlessly up the pitch. WTF? Posts Ferdinand on his Twitter account. Van der Sar presumes the whistle has gone and seems non-plussed as David Villa nips in and nudges the ball over the line. The goal stands though. Pep appears to be doing that scratch the side of your face with your middle finger thing in Fergie’s direction. A tactical master-stroke from the next United manager?
96mins. Goal 3-1: It’s all over now. Barca mark every United player except Gibson and the tactic is rewarded when Giggs has no other option but to give him the ball. One mis-hit pass later and the Spaniards are pushing for a third. The ball rolls to the feet of Xavi who opens his legs to allow it go through, turns, and leaves Ryan Giggs for dead. Messi drops shorts turns goes on a weaving run, similar to Owen in the ’98 world cup except he’s not getting any lucky bounces and there’s no Argentinean defenders falling down in front of him. And bang. Messi shoots and puts the ball hard, low and to Edwin van de Sar’s right. Clive Tyldesley will be saying “that balmy night in London” for the next ten years.
Final Whistle: After a thrilling comeback Barcelona lift their second Champions League trophy in three years and Rooney kept his shorts on. Everyone’s a winner. Except Man United. Because they lost.