Paul Scholes points out Alex Ferguson's big mistake in United's 3-1 Champions League loss to Barcelona in 2011 Champions League | Nigeria sports news, transfers & gossips
Champions League

Paul Scholes points out Alex Ferguson’s big mistake in United’s 3-1 Champions League loss to Barcelona in 2011

Back in 2011, Manchester United were involved in their third Champions League final in just four years, having only missed out in 2010.

In 2008, they actually won the trophy, beating bitter Premier League rivals Chelsea on penalties in Moscow. John Terry’s slip that night is still one of the game’s most iconic moments.

The following year, they were defeated in Rome 2-0 by Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning side, with Xavi and Andres Iniesta putting on a true masterclass in the Italian capital.

Two years later, they met the Blaugrana once again at Wembley and it was Guardiola’s side who emerged victorious.

Lionel Messi, Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa notched the goals in England’s home stadium, with Wayne Rooney actually equalising at one point in the 3-1 loss.

Everyone knows that Fergie’s side were totally dominated by one of the finest club sides ever seen.

The Scottish manager even admitted after the game that the better team had won and that he simply could not have done anything.

While that may be slightly true, one of his tactics may have aided Barca’s dominance.

Speaking back in 2015, Paul Scholes – who came on for Michael Carrick with 13 minutes to go in the final – revealed one of United’s tactics for the game implemented by Ferguson was not exactly ideal.

“In our second Champions League final against them in three years, we believed that this time, in our own country, we could overpower them and win on our own terms,” Scholes wrote in the Independent.

“We were proved wrong.

“By the time I came on for Michael Carrick with 13 minutes remaining the game was well and truly over. We had been outplayed.

“We had tried to take them on at their own game and they had broken us with that second goal from Lionel Messi not long after half-time.

“In 2008, we matched them all over the pitch and kept our levels of concentration high. I managed to score the goal that won the tie. It can be done, and Juve have the defenders who can focus for 90 minutes.”

Trying to overpower that Barca side? Big, big mistake.

Guardiola’s La Masia themed side loved the sight of any team attempting to take them head on and they would duly punish.


Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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