Top News Stories – Champions League Final Build up
All Football fans will be well aware that today the biggest game of the football season will take place today at Wembley. Manchester United and Barcelona two of the biggest teams in world football come head to head for their second Champions League final in three years. So whilst we anticipate the final lets take a look at how the two teams managed to find themselves in the final and firstly lets look at the favourites, Lionel Messi’s boys Barcelona.
Barcelona were handed a fairly straight forward draw having to face Copenhagen of Denmark, Rubin Kazan of Russia & Panathinaikos of Greece. Barcelona handled the group pretty much as expected going undefeated winning 4 games and drawing 2 and topping the group to take top spot. The big news story of their group stage qualification was perhaps their 1-1 draw against Rubin Kazan.
In the round of 16 Barcelona were handed a potentially difficult tie against English Premier League team Arsenal and after losing the first leg at the Emirates 2-1 many believed that Barcelona could be on there way out of the competition. However the return leg was a different story with a classy performance by Lionel Messi giving them a 3-1 win at the Nou Camp giving them the 4-3 Aggregate victory.
The Quarter final draw gave them a much easier draw facing Shaktar Donetsk of Ukraine and the gulf in class was proven in the first leg when Barcelona stormed to a 5-1 win at the Nou Camp and then in the second Leg at the Donbass Arena a solitary Lionel Messi goal wrapped up a one nil win and the 6-1 Aggregate victory.
The Semi Final pitted them against fierce rivals Real Madrid with many expecting a great footballing display but in reality the game could only really be described as a farce. The game at the Bernabeu was marred by ugly half time scenes which saw Barcelona’s substitute Keeper sent off for his part in a brawl as the teams left the pitch for half time. The games shining light however was Lionel Messi who’s 2 goals in the last 15 minutes gave Barcelona vital away goals. The second leg was a tightly contested affair with a 1-1 draw being enough for Barcelona to claim a 3-1 Aggregate victory and their place in the Final at Wembley.
So we’ve seen how the favourites Barcelona got to the final but lets take a look at how under dogs Manchester United made headline news by getting to the Champions league Final.
The Group draw as with Barcelona was again fairly kind to Manchester United with them being drawn alongside Spanish team Valencia, Scottish Champions Rangers & Turkish Side Bursaspor. United won 4 games and drew 2 with their highlight performance being a battling 0-1 win against Valencia courtesy of an 85th minute goal from Javier Hernandez at the Estadio Mestalla.
The round of 16 handed Manchester United a potentially tricky tie against Marseille and after the goalless draw away at the Stade Velodrome left the game to be decided at Old Trafford. Where 2 goals from Javier Hernandez gave them the 2-1 win on the night and the same win on aggregate.
The Quarter final brought together an All Premier League tie with Chelsea being Manchester United’s Opponents and one goal from Wayne Rooney was enough to give United an away goal advantage after the first leg. The second leg took place at Old Trafford and a confident Manchester United saw off the Chelsea challenge and a 2 – 1 win on the night with Manchester United goals from Hernandez and Ji Sung Park and the consolation goal for Chelsea was scored by Drogba.
The 3-1 aggregate win over Chelsea set up a Semi Final Against German team Schalke 04 a team that pundits expected Manchester United to dominate and which they did with a 6-1 aggregate win. The win could have been by a much larger margin had it not been for a World Class Goal Keeping performance from German goalie Manuel Neuer who kept out numerous goal scoring opportunities.
So that gets you to where we sit today and there season long battle to reach the Champions League Final. There are two things that you can be sure of with tonights final Lionel Messi will be crowned the competitions top goal scorer with 11 goals and the second is that it should be a classic.
Well thats all i hope you enjoy the game wherever you choose to watch it and make sure the check back for some more Real Sporting News