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Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 22:27 UK

Waddle's view on Barca-Man Utd

Chris Waddle
By Chris Waddle
BBC Radio 5 Live summariser

I think Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be happy enough with his side's 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp, particularly after such a poor performance.

Barcelona dominated at home and made life very difficult for United.

They really should have won due to the possession they had and, overall, United will come away absolutely delighted that they managed to keep a clean sheet after that lacklustre display.

Apart from the early missed penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo and a couple of surges forward by United, Barcelona controlled the game - yet they failed to take their chances.

Lionel Messi holds off a challenge by Paul Scholes
Lionel Messi (left) was the star performer at the Camp Nou

There is no doubt Ronaldo is a real talent but he does not dominate games against all kinds of opposition in the way that Lionel Messi does.

He is still learning the game, but he needs to start producing consistently on these big occasions.

United always catch the eye when they are playing at a high tempo, but their approach was far too slow and therefore easy to play against.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi was the best player on the park by miles, before he was substituted, while Ronaldo found it hard to make the desired impact. Ronaldo was on the big stage but he was very isolated as United struggled to get forward.

United had time to play but their use of the ball was terrible throughout the game.

United, surprisingly, didn't have anything in attack, but it will be a different story at Old Trafford

Chris Waddle

Overall, there was only one team in it, and even the critical Catalan crowd appreciated the fact that Barcelona were playing good football.

It was a night to forget for both Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, both of whom were totally off the pace, particularly Rooney on the right.

United's best performers were Edwin van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown, who all did well to hold the team together with the rest giving away possession far too cheaply.

Messi was able to display his skills because of how Eric Abidal and Gianluca Zambrotta dug in, letting him go forward to link the play.


Some of Barcelona's one and two touch football was brilliant to watch and only they will know how they didn't make the most of their opportunities.

I believe that as a league, technically, La Liga is far superior to the Premier League.

Barcelona played some wonderful football - and this is supposed to be a team in crisis?

United, surprisingly, didn't have anything in attack, but it will be a different story at Old Trafford and perhaps they will be able to take advantage of Barca's disappointing away European record.

United must now fancy themselves at home in the second leg, but Sir Alex Ferguson must get his tactics absolutely spot on for the return.

However, Barcelona will have every reason to believe they can still make the Champions League final by scoring at Old Trafford.

Chris Waddle was speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live

see also
Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd
23 Apr 08 |  Europe
Champions League photos
23 Apr 08 |  Europe
Player Rater
19 Dec 06 |  Live Text
Alan Hansen's column
21 Apr 08 |  Europe
Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
22 Apr 08 |  Europe

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