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“We’re all off to sunny Spain, to see Man United…” echoed Reds in bars across Barcelona on Wednesday. The sun shone, the Reds sang, the Nou Camp beckoned and Moscow awaited. There was optmism in the air as United took over the city, drank the port dry and looked forward to this pitentially classic encouter. We made our way to the stadium early to beat the mass arrival of the MU Travel trips that would make security a nightmare. Why the authorities was 4800 people to all arrive at the same time is a mystery but the mass convoy of coaches insured that was the way it had to be. We avoided this by taking the metro instead to get in before the crowd and made our way through the high level security without any problems.

After a ten minute climb we walked out at the highest point of the Nou Camp, high up in the third tier and feeling like we had almost a bird’s eye view of the pitch. The stadium may be old and slightly run down, but it is still an awesome and mesmorising football venue. The seats are close to the pitch, the stands are incredibly steep and the huge bowl effect creates an intense arena for the players. We chose a spot at the front of our section where we would be able to watch the game through black netting- hardly value for money at £63 a ticket.

What was less value, in the end, was the standard of football. United failed to show up and Ronaldo’s penalty miss summed up the evening. It was poor and it was a good thing Barcelona were short of attacking options in the final third as it may have otherwise been a very different scoreline. Scholes and Ferdinand were awesome, but the rest need to reflect on their performances on what is essentially the biggest stage. If they want to get to Moscow next Tuesday will have to be a much better showing. Everything is still to play for but the absence of an away goal does not help, and Barca will also have grown in confidence from this.

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1 Comment

  1. macintosh joe macintosh :: May 26th, 2008 1:00 pm

    man utd new sign players

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