Champions League Final: man-for-man marking

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The Independent Football

Manchester Utd

Edwin van der Sar Made a string of saves to keep United in the game but gambled and was caught off balance by Messi. 7/10

Fabio da Silva Inexperience showed and found it hard going against the movement of Pedro. Good attacking forays. 5

Rio Ferdinand Saw more of the ball than any United player but mentally stretched by holding the back four together.7

Nemanja Vidic Some outstanding tackles as United tried to keep Barça at bay but never quite sure how deep to follow Messi. 8

Patrice Evra A poor match, positionally all over the place. Fatally attracted inside by Messi for opening goal.4

Antonio Valencia Pressing forced United's goal but otherwise quiet, aside from his continual fouls which earned belated booking. 5

Ryan Giggs It's been a long week for the 37-year-old, and it showed. Shunted to the wing in second half. Linked well for goal. 5

Michael Carrick Not as poor as he was in Rome two years ago, but bypassed by both teams making only 30 passes.6

Park Ji-sung Failed to make the impression he usually does in the big matches, even after being moved inside.6

Wayne Rooney The one United player who can be pleased with his performance. Excellent goal, prodigious work rate. 8

Javier Hernandez Never in the game, can put this match down as one to learn from. Isolated and struggled to keep possession. 5


Nani (for Fabio, 69); Scholes (for Carrick, 76). Scholes passed well, but neither had much impact.


Victor Valdes Not much to do but looked very nervous in the early stages and could have handed United a goal. 7/10

Daniel Alves Slow start, grew into the game as Barcelona took control, but not as dangerous as he usually is. 7

Gerard Pique One early mix-up with Valdes aside, it was another commanding display from the one Ferguson had to let go.9

Javier Mascherano Out of position and supposed to be the weak link, but rarely looked it. One surging run early in second period. 8

Eric Abidal Solid, unspectacular and always in control of Valencia. Incredible comeback after undergoing a cancer operation in March. 8

Andres Iniesta Kept the carousel moving. Achieved an incredible pass completion rate of 92 per cent, from 107 attempts. 8

Sergio Busquets No histrionics, no niggling fouls, just a composed display of midfield anchoring, and the lay-off for Villa's goal. 9

Xavi United couldn't get close to him as he made 124 completed passes, thrice United's best (Ferdinand, 40). 9

David Villa Missed plenty of chances early on, but never shirked responsibility and was rewarded. Good movement too. 8

Lionel Messi Sublime performance which bewitched and bewildered United, capped by first goal in England. 10

Pedro Rodriguez The quiet one, but with a habit of scoring important goals. Movement as crucial as anything done on the ball. 8


Keita (for Villa 86), Puyol (for Alves, 88), Afellay (for Pedro, 90).

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

Excellent. Kept game flowing, did not allow any dissent. Barely noticed, which should be a referee's ambition. 9