BBC Sport football

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Champions League: Barcelona v Manchester United

  1. 1300 BST: Commentary  

    At the magnificent amphitheatre that is Wembley, the home of football, the two greatest teams of their generation will do battle to win the Champions League: the most precious prize on offer in the domestic game. Two years ago it was the Spanish matadors that reigned supreme in Rome, but today, the English lions have revenge in their sights and desire in their hearts. Only one of them can emerge victorious, to be worshipped forever by their adoring public; for the losers, devastation lies in wait.

  2. 1305 Commentary  

    A very, very warm welcome to a resplendent Wembley Stadium, which looks absolutely beautiful. At 1945 BST Spanish champions Barcelona face Premier League winners Manchester United in the final of the Champions League. It might just be the most eagerly anticipated club football match of all time.

  3. 1311 Commentary  

    Yes, Saturday 28 May 2011 has finally arrived. It's the most talked-about Champions League final of all, so why not have your say too? I'm Jonathan Stevenson\u00a0and I'm at Wembley right now waiting for you to get in touch: get the texts coming in to 81111 and send me a tweet to @Stevo_football. Jokes, predictions, dream updates, latest on the state of your nerves - I want it all.

  4. 1315 Commentary Schedule of events:  

    Here's a rough plan for today, just so you know. I'm going to be bringing you all the build-up ahead of the 1945 BST kick-off at Wembley between Barcelona and Manchester United. Meanwhile, my colleague Sam Lyon will look after the League Two play-off final between Stevenage and Torquay at 1500 BST and then, at a convenient time, he will take over from me and do live coverage of the Champions League final. Good.

  5. SMS  

    From Ben, High Wycombe: "The most anticipated match of all time? Unfortunately, it's a mismatch and Barca will stroll it. For me, it's the equivelant of Liverpool vs. Maidenhead Utd. Big game, of course, but most anticipated of all time? Try most predictable."

  6. Twitter  

    From\u00a0gislip: "On the train to Wembley, these are the days you live for, nerves, excitement, hope, come on United!!"

  7. SMS  

    From Anon on 81111: "Oh Ben from High Wycombe - pipe down would you? Clearly a Liverpool supporter. Bitter much? Show some respect for Manchester United."

  8. 1331 Commentary  

    Yes, I waited outside Wembley for an hour today because the doors weren't open. Yes, I'm a loser. I did grab a chat with some fans, though. The Barca ones were more confident of winning, but that's not surprising. Imagine being a Spanish-loving Barca fan over the past four years. Crikey. Met a United supporter without a ticket. Willing to pay \u00a3500. Don't fancy his chances.

  9. 1333 Commentary  

    Breaking news: the goals are being erected at Wembley. More breaking news: no, I'm not going to be doing this all day. Ish.

  10. Twitter  

    From NickyGervais: "The days us United boys live for. The game will have it all, and in Fergie we trust. Bringing it home for Sir Matt x"

  11. Commentary Key battle: Gerard Pique v Wayne Rooney  

    Friends turned foes, Pique and Rooney know each other well from the former's time at Old Trafford. Since returning to Barca, Pique has matured into one of the world's premier defenders, with his unflappable manner and ability to step out of defence and start attacks vital. Rooney has hit top form at just the right time and his constant harrying and superb off-the-ball-movement will give Pique a real headache.
    Infostrada Stat: Pique and Carles Puyol have lost only two of the 58 official games they have started together at centre-back for Barca.

  12. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty  

    On Twitter: "Safely inside an eerily silent Wembley but you can already feel the sense of occasion inside and outside the stadium."

  13. 1346 Commentary  

    Earlier on in the week, it was being assumed Javier Hernandez would start for Manchester United alongside Wayne Rooney up front. Word on the street today, and it is only the word on the street, is that Darren Fletcher is going to start in a five-man midfield, with the Mexican striker on the bench. Clearly, it's speculation. But people, it's 1346 BST and the game doesn't start until 1945. It's all we've got!

  14. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "So will Javier Hernandez start for Manchester United tonight or will Darren Fletcher get the late call? I spoke to BBC Sport's Alan Hansen on the subject of Wayne Rooney, and also whether Hernandez would make the line-up. This was his verdict."

  15. SMS  

    From Tay on 81111: "This has been the longest week ever & today is going so slow! I was lucky enough to see (& touch!) the CL trophy & absolutely gutted about not being able to go. Never remember being this excited/nervous before! Come on United!"

  16. 1358 Commentary  

    Forgive me this afternoon if I mention - and link to - a lot of stuff I think you might quite like to read/watch/listen to. Both on the BBC website and on many other sites and platforms, there has been some wonderful pre-match coverage. I'm going to kick this off with a quite brilliant video on the Champions League in numbers. Hope you like it.

  17. BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Old Trafford
    Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Old Trafford  

    "This famous stadium in Manchester might be hosting the League Two play-off final between Torquay and Stevenage this afternoon but nobody seems to have told the people selling scarves, flags and other bits and pieces around the ground. Virtually all their produce is about the Champions League final at Wembley. Pubs in the city are expecting a bumper night as all the ticketless Manchester United fans head out to watch the match and there is an atmosphere of feverish expectation around the place."

  18. Commentary  

    Man Utd's Wayne Rooney on Twitter: "Thx for all good luck messages. Listening to The Beatles now just relaxing in hotel. Can't wait for game. We're ready."

  19. Twitter  

    From Co0kie0792:\u00a0"Final could be dictated by Rooney's performance. If on form, Barca will be put on backfoot. If not, Barca could have it easy."

  20. 1409 Commentary  

    They're now painting the white lines at Wembley. Is it wrong to get a kick out of such seemingly insignificant things? Sent Howard Nurse down to take a pic, anyway. Let's see what he brings back.

  21. 1413 Commentary  

    It's also raining. Not quite like Moscow in 2008, but there's certainly wet stuff falling out of the moody London sky. Talking of moods, how's yours? Get texting me on 81111 or send me a tweet @Stevo_football. Just over five-and-a-half hours until kick-off.

  22. Commentary Barcelona's Xavi:  

    "Manchester United are on a spectacular level; all the footballers are at an extraordinary level. They haven't only got talent - they work well in defence, they are compact, they have many variants in attack. They have many options."

  23. Commentary Manchester United's Patrice Evra:  

    "Barcelona are very good at keeping the ball but football is not about keeping the ball, it is about scoring goals. It is an opportunity to win the Champions League. Maybe for some it will be the first chance, for others it will be the last."

  24. SMS  

    BBC Radio Manchester's Steve Wyeth at Hyde Park: "This weekend would've been good for a mini-break in Barcelona judging by the number of Catalans around this part of London."

  25. 1424 Commentary Messi business:  

    Tell you what - that Lionel Messi attracts a fair bit of attention these days, doesn't he? Despite all the hype, the 23-year-old genius reckons he doesn't feel any pressure, though Man United defender Rio Ferdinand is adamant that Messi can be stopped. We wrote two pieces on Messi this week, one excellent piece from Vladimir Hernandez (no relation), who visited Messi's home town in Argentina and a far lazier one I did after talking to Messi's biographer, the Argentina coach and frankly banging on about how moderately decent I think the boy is.

  26. Commentary Key battle: Lionel Messi v Nemanja Vidic  

    Barca will want Messi to get one-on-one with Vidic as often as possible in the hope he can run the Serb, but Vidic is arguably the world's finest executioner of a tackle so Messi will have to be at the top of his game. These are two magnificent players in the form of their life and an intriguing contest awaits.
    Infostrada Stat: Vidic will become only the third Serb to play in this final three times, after Velibor Vasovic and Vladimir Jugovic.

  27. 1430 Commentary  

    You want a scene-setter for this evening's contest?\u00a0There is no finer setter of scenes than our chief football writer Phil McNulty, who has been embedded in all things Champions League all week long. "Wayne Rooney, who carries so much of United's aspirations as they try to win the trophy for the fourth time, looked so primed for action that he could he could barely drag himself away from Wembley's beautifully manicured turf," writes McNulty about Friday's training session.

  28. Twitter  

    From nickmoss21: "Utd fan at a wedding in Blackburn. I could have worked at Wembley, instead I'm about to sit down and toast the happy couple!"

  29. 1437 Commentary  

    Shall we do possible/probable teams? Ah, why not...
    Barca: Valdes; Alves, Abidal, Puyol, Pique; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Pedro, Messi.
    Man United: Van der Sar; Fabio, Evra, Vidic, Ferdinand, Carrick, Park, Giggs, Valencia, Fletcher/Hernandez, Rooney.

  30. SMS  

    From Jack and Jonny on the A1: "Me and my mate are on the long drive up for the League 1 play-off final tomorrow at Old Trafford. We're Peterborough fans and very much hoping for the Fergie double this weekend. Man United to win 2-1 and Peterborough to win by the same score. What a fantastic weekend."

  31. 1443 Commentary Quiz time:  

    It's all going off. Quiz time in the press box at Wembley, and this is the question they're all trying to answer: There are nine players who played for two of Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal and also in Spain. Who are they? Answers on a tweet postcard to Phil McNulty.

  32. 1447 Commentary League Two Play-Off Final  

    Yes, there is an actual football match taking place this afternoon. It's the League Two play-off final between Stevenage and Torquay, and Sam Lyon is all over it like a rash.

  33. SMS  

    BBC Radio Manchester's Steve Wyeth at Hyde Park:\u00a0"Just interviewed a Mexican United fan complete with Chicharito shirt and Luchador mask. Thinks his countryman will be the hero tonight."

    If he scores tonight, Hernandez will become the second Mexican to bag in a Euro final after Real Madrid's Hugo Sanchez in the 1986 Uefa Cup.

  34. 1455 Commentary Euro Club Index:  

    Courtesy of Infostrada Sports, here are the chances of each team winning today's game. Not incidentally, Barcelona are ranked one in the ECI and Man United are number three, just behind Real Madrid:
    Barcelona 58.7% v Manchester United 41.3%
    To add to that, there is a 49% chance of Barca winning over 90 minutes and a 23% chance United can win before extra-time. There is a 23% likelihood of the game going into the final half an hour.

  35. Contributor BBC Sport's Howard Nurse  
  36. Commentary Key battle: Dani Alves v Park Ji-Sung  

    Park's energy is becoming quite legendary - where the South Korean gets his ability to run all day no-one knows (frog juice, really?!), but his constant pressing and chasing will unsettle Barca and, United hope, knock them out of their possession-based comfort zone. Dani Alves's marauding runs down the right are\u00a0one of Barca's biggest weapons, but Park will track him all the way.
    Infostrada Stat: Only one Asian player has ever scored in a European final - Cha Bum-Kun for Bayer Leverkusen in the 1988 Uefa Cup final.

  37. SMS  

    From Anon: "Nani is incredibly unlucky today, stunning season and he's not even considered for a starting berth. Valencia, I feel, will be the difference though. His raw pace will decimate the Barca defence."

  38. 1508 Commentary  

    Media types, security personnel and groundsmen are just about the only occupants of Wembley still, but the buzz about the place is increasing. Gates open at 1630 BST, so that's when it'll start to get properly lively. A safety officer just told his stewards in a briefing this is "the biggest event Wembley will host for a very long time".

  39. Twitter  

    From Alikalaha: "Aggression is the key. If United make it physical only then we have a chance. A defensive approach will only favour Barca."

  40. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Groundsmen marking the lines at Wembley, stewards gathered around the stadium getting their instructions, arclights flashing as television crews from around the world gather along the touchline. Wembley is slowly coming to life as the countdown continues to the Champions League Final."

  41. 1518 Commentary Manchester United say...  

    Patrice Evra reckons he was too confident two years ago when United lost 2-0 to Barca in Rome, while the soon-to-be-retired Edwin van der Sar is eyeing one last hurrah before hanging his gloves up. Captain Nemanja Vidic, meanwhile, has called for cool and calm ahead of the Wembley showdown and the veteran Paul Scholes has told his team-mates to attack Barcelona.

  42. 1522 Commentary  

    Infostrada Stats:
    - Barcelona will be playing in their 17th European final, breaking the record of 16 they share with Real Madrid.
    - Barca have won 10 and lost six.
    - Wembley was the venue for both teams' first European Cup win - Man United in 1968 and Barcelona in 1992.
    - Real Madrid (Paris and Glasgow), Liverpool (Rome) and AC MIlan (Athens) are the only teams to have won the trophy in the same city more than once.
    - This is the sixth repeat of a European Cup/Champions League final, after their meeting in 2009. Twice the repeats went the same way, but three times it was a different side celebrating.

  43. SMS  

    From Rob in Hull on 81111: "If Barca score first it could end up four or five-nil, United will be exposed too often if they have to chase the game. I fancy Ji-Sung Park to open the proceedings, though, and a 3-2 win for Man United."

  44. Contributor  

    Olly Foster on BBC World News: "I've never seen Wembley so busy so early. There are more than four hours to go until kick-off but Wembley Way is full with Barcelona fans - it looks more like Las Ramblas. The bands are playing and the fans are doing a lot of singing."

  45. 1530 Commentary  

    The sun briefly popped out at Wembley a minute ago, but it quickly scarpered and it's gone very gloomy all of a sudden. Four hours and 15 minutes until kick-off, so get involved: I'm waiting for your tweets @Stevo_football and you can send texts to 81111 as well.

  46. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "If, as Uefa hopes, tonight's Champions League Final draws a television audience of around 400m it would be the biggest ever for a sporting event between two clubs, more than doubling the figure that watched last year's final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. These are the sort of viewing figures only matched by the World Cup Final and an Olympic opening ceremony."

  47. 1537 Commentary Expert analysis:  

    We've been asking people who really know about these things to tell us what's going to happen between Barcelona and Manchester United. We got into some tactical nitty-gritty with Nicky Butt and Lee Dixon, with interesting results. "If United can win the ball high up the pitch and win it early, they can then break," says Butt. Dixon adds: "If United can get past Barca's first phase of closing the ball down, they certainly have the players in wide areas who can hurt their two full-backs."

  48. Twitter  

    From\u00a0uncle_gorilla: "This might be the craziest bet of the day: have just put \u00a310 on Michael Carrick scoring the first goal. Crazy stuff."

    Carrick has scored three times in 51 Champions League games. Two of those were in the 7-1 hammering of Roma in 2007. Unlikely.

  49. 1544 Commentary  

    Here's some news just in:\u00a0Fifa president Sepp Blatter is skipping the\u00a0Champions League final to prepare for his\u00a0appearance at a bribery scandal hearing on Sunday, according to his\u00a0adviser Brian Alexander.

  50. SMS  

    From Chris in Bristol on 81111:\u00a0"Ji-Sung Park is a fantastic work-horse but people seem to forget about his attacking threat. He always seems to get a chance or two in big games as the 2009 final showed. Hopefully he'll take it this time."

  51. 1551 Commentary  

    Brilliantly, my two colleagues Phil McNulty and Howard Nurse have just had a chat with BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson about tonight's game. He reckons Javier Hernandez should NOT play. More to follow from Lawro.

  52. Twitter  

    From\u00a0_dh13: "Shotgun Blatter's ticket!"

    Standard shotgun rules. Well played.

  53. Contributor  

    BBC Sport's Howard Nurse and Phil McNulty: "Lawro talks to BBC Sport website. Reckons MUFC can beat Barca this time."

  54. 1600 Commentary  

    It's official - whichever club wins this game of football will make quite a bit of money out of it. I'm guessing you didn't know that? Anyway, Prof Simon Chadwick of the sport business unit at Coventry University (he's clever and awesome - though when I spoke to him once, he was clearly operating at a level or two above me) has done some research: \u00a3109m for the winners; \u00a363m for the losers. What recession?

  55. Commentary Key battle: Antonio Valencia v Eric Abidal  

    In very different ways, it would be a fairytale for either man to start at Wembley today - double so if they both play and come directly up against each other. In March, Abidal was diagnosed with a tumour on his liver and underwent emergency surgery. Two months later, he is ready and willing to try and curb the threat of Valencia, one of United's big attacking threats since the stunning return from a broken leg and dislocated ankle he suffered in September. Whatever happens today, they've both won their most important battle.
    Infostrada Stat: Valencia can become the first Ecuadorian to play in a Champions League final.

  56. 1607 Commentary Lineker and Motty:  

    Gary Lineker, who played for Barcelona between 1986 and 1989, reckons the Catalans are big favourites: "If Barcelona turn up they win," said Lineker. "Barca have got to have a bad day for United to realistically have a chance. Either that or United get lucky." Legendary BBC commentator John Motson, meanwhile, writes about his memories of Sir Alex Ferguson: "I've never encountered a more determined person in all of my time working in football."

  57. SMS  

    From Sean on 81111: "Gerard Pique's missus told me to put a tenner on him to score first and, let's face it, her tips don't lie..."

  58. Twitter  

    From mzlaidlaw: "I'm with Lawro, there's a, "touch of destiny" about Man Utd tonight. Fergie will have Guardiola's card marked: Messi or not."

  59. 1615 Commentary  

    Just took a quick peek outside Wembley, and it's absolutely heaving. Mrs Stevo just told me the Barca fans outnumbered United on her tube journey, which sounded lively to say the least. I can hear the buzz outside. Gates open in 15 minutes. Three-and-a-half hours until kick-off. Got my programme. No time to read it yet.

  60. Contributor  

    Olly Foster on BBC World News with supporters:
    Man Ud fan:
    "Unfortunately I haven't been able to get a ticket but I would have travelled to the other side of the world just to savour the atmosphere. The Spanish fans have been fantastic. Although we'll be on the outside of the stadium, we'll watch it in a pub somewhere and it will still be great."
    Barca fan: "I left Barcelona at 1 in the morning and it is amazing to be here. We have fantastic players but Manchester also have a great team and I think it will be an even match."
    Olly Foster predo: "It will go to extra-time and then I think Barcelona will edge it."

  61. BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Old Trafford
    Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Old Trafford  

    "Not exactly much of a curtain raiser to Saturday's main event so far here at the home of Manchester United. Stevenage lead Torquay 1-0 at the break in the League Two play-off final - but John Mousinho's cracking strike would undoubtedly grace any final."

  62. Commentary Referee watch:  

    Infostrada Stat: Viktor Kassai is the youngest referee ever to officiate the Champions Cup/Champions League final. At 35 years and 260 days of age, he beats the record of 36 years and 21 days of Frenchman Michel Kitabdjian who was the referee in Bayern Munich's 1975 win against Leeds United (2-0).

  63. SMS  

    From Tom in Cambridge, on 81111: "Messi doesn't score many from outside the box - only three or four this season from memory. No easy task, but United's defence need to get avoid getting sucked into the midfield battle - keep the penalty area safe and Barca won't score - Fletcher, Park, Rooney and Giggs can deal with the midfield, just need Hernandez to find something on the break!"

  64. 1630 Commentary  

    Another excellent piece of writing to consume, this time in the shape of chief football writer Phil McNulty on what makes Sir Alex Ferguson special: "A character of contrasts, capable of considerable acts of kindness but also ruthless in protecting his and United's turf and reputation, the Scot has expertly navigated football's ever-changing landscape while maintaining an unprecedented level of success."

  65. 1632 Commentary The gates are open!  

    The La's 'There She Goes' is blaring out from the Wembley sound system and the gates are officially open. Fans are about to come flooding in and the party is going to properly get under way. Just over three hours until Barcelona v Manchester United in the Champions League final.

  66. Twitter  

    From\u00a0fossumsthedog: "Pique already has a World Cup winner's medal, a Champions League winner's medal and Shakira. Another win tonight would just be unfair."

  67. 1639 Commentary  

    You know, it only seems like a few days ago that I was sat inside Soccer City, as it used to be known, with BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher, getting ready for the World Cup final between Netherlands and Spain. Shakira and Nelson Mandela kicked us off that day, and Andres Iniesta's extra-time goal won it. My view of the Wembley pitch is almost exactly the same as I had in Johannesburg that day.

  68. 1642 Commentary  

    Anyway, I digress. Soon I'll be gone, and Sam Lyon will be in my text commentating place. If you'd like to get in touch before I hand over, here's how: by tweeting, either to me @Stevo_football or with the hashtag #BBCFootball, or by sending us a text to 81111.

  69. SMS  

    From Matt, Bolton, on text:\u00a0"Three Champions League finals in four years; four Premier League titles in five years; 19 titles altogether! As a Utd fan since the 80s this is the stuff of dreams. Whatever happens tonight, thank you Fergie!"

  70. 1648 Commentary Hansen and Lawro:  

    Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson know what it takes to win the Champions League, so we asked them for some pre-match thoughts and they didn't disappoint. "If United play an open game against Barcelona they could be annihilated. I believe Wayne Rooney will start up front on his own," said Hansen. Lawrenson added: "The sheer force of personality of centre-backs Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar will be crucial at Wembley."

  71. 1650 Commentary ON THIS DAY  

    From Infostrada: 28 May, 1980: Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest retain the Champions Cup by defeating Hamburg 1-0 in the final. Since then, only AC Milan (1989-1990) have won Europe\u2019s premier club competition in successive seasons.

  72. 1652 Commentary  

    Well, you didn't think I would finish without a single Forest mention, did you? Haha. Fans are slowly trickling into Wembley - they're obviously having too much fun outside to bother getting involved. There's a brilliant spirit between the sets of supporters from what I've seen, and long may that continue.

  73. Twitter  

    From millo4693: "We have to "believe" we can win tonight, because if we don't "believe" we can win, we won't win. 2-1 to us (Man United fan)."

  74. 1659 Commentary  

    The Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United gets under way at 1945 BST, so less than three hours to go now. I've not heard any team news whispers, but the big decisions seem to be Eric Abidal or Javier Mascherano for Barca and Darren Fletcher or Javier Hernandez for Man United.

  75. SMS  

    BBC Radio Manchester's Steve Wyeth: "Great atmosphere & sense of anticipation on journey from Hyde Park. Good humoured too."

  76. 1705 Commentary Cracking fact alert:  

    A quite splendid fact courtesy of Infostrada:\u00a0Ronald Koeman belongs to a tradition that has seen only foreigners score for FC Barcelona in the final of the European Cup/Champions League. Their goals in these finals have been scored by Hungarians Sandor Kocsis and Zoltan Czibor, Dutchman Ronald Koeman, Cameroon\u2019s Samuel Eto\u2019o (twice), Brazil\u2019s Juliano Belletti and Argentina\u2019s Lionel Messi. It is possible that only three foreigners will start for Barca tonight - Dani Alves, Eric Abidal and Lionel Messi.

  77. 1708 Commentary  

    There's a definite atmosphere inside Wembley right now. Some Barca fans way high up at the back just started a chant which reverberated around the stadium. In an hour or so this place will be rocking.

  78. Twitter  

    From\u00a0lostlibertine: "Fantastic atmosphere in central London, I just passed a huge number of Mexican fans with Hernandez shirts on."

    Sombre(ro) atmosphere, was it? Ouch.

  79. Commentary Key battle: Michael Carrick v Xavi  

    Whoever wins control of the midfield may end up winning the Champions League and arguably the most important men on either side are Carrick and Xavi. Two years ago in Rome, Xavi and Andres iniesta dictated the game and Carrick could not get close to them. But the 29-year-old is ending the season in superb form and if he can keep the ball as well as Xavi does every single game, United could be in business.
    Infostrada Stat: For the first time in his United career, Carrick was not involved directly (goal or assist) in a single Premier league goal in 2010-11.

  80. Contributor  
  81. SMS  

    From Jack, Reading, on text:\u00a0"Not much talk of Villa or Pedro. Two cracking players who can easily make the difference tonight. People seem to think Barca revolve around just three players!"

  82. SMS  

    From Adam, Watford, on text:\u00a0"Being in Watford, we're always an overnight stop for teams playing at Wembley. There's been Spanish fans and United fans all behaving themselves in the town and having a good time. Even last night in the early hours when a fire alarm hit a hotel at 4.30am. Here's to a good game and some memorable moments (for the right reasons)."

  83. 1727 Commentary  

    So congratulations to Stevenage, who have won promotion to League One after winning the League Two play-off final at Old Trafford thanks to a John Mousinho strike I'm told was pretty decent. That means Sam Lyon will be ready to take over from me in about an hour.

  84. 1730 Commentary  

    The video craze continues... my colleagues have just spoken to Steve McClaren, and we'll be posting video of his pre-match thoughts in the next couple of minutes. He thinks Javier Hernandez should partner Wayne Rooney up front for Manchester United.

  85. Contributor  

    Olly Foster on BBC World News: "It is expected that 300 million people will tune in to watch the game on TV tonight. That would be more than double last year's audience. This is THE match to watch and it should be a cracker."

  86. Contributor  

    BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan: "Some say this could be the biggest single game of football ever played, such is the size and popularity of these two sides."\u00a0That appears to be backed up by the view of one fan outside the stadium who said: "I am willing to spend \u00a3800 on a ticket". Asked if that was as much as it was worth, she replied: "It's worth more than that, but that's all I can afford."

  87. BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
    Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "Winning this game was the biggest thing that ever happened to me in my career, absolutely. It was also the most nerve-wracking in the build-up to the game. I reckon, out of the two teams, Man United have come to the boil at the perfect time."

  88. Twitter  

    From\u00a0peter_no: "Prepped for the match by watching the 1994 final. Milan Underdogs 4-0 Barcelona "Dream Team". Come on you Reds!"

  89. 1745 Commentary  

    The Barcelona team coach arrives, and a relaxed-looking Pep Guardiola leads his players off and into Wembley Stadium. The camera pans around the team until it gets to Lionel Messi, and then just stays on the Argentine. He looks like he's rocking up for a training session. All very chilled out.

  90. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "The word "destiny" is being used rather a lot around here in relation to Manchester United's chances of beating Barcelona at the scene of the club's first European Cup triumph against Benfica in 1968. The Barcelona fans already gathered at one end of Wembley clearly don't care much for that - they are already giving noisy backing to Pep Guardiola's side."

  91. 1749 Commentary  

    Dump bags, head out on to pitch to have a look. The Barca players stroll straight out on to the Wembley surface, and the giant screens inside the stadium promptly show Man United beating Benfica in 1968.

  92. Commentary Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic:  

    "We don\u2019t think about any revenge or justice. We just want to prove we are a good team and try to win the trophy. In the last five years we have won four Premier League titles, this will be our third Champions League final. There should be some respect for us."

  93. Commentary Barcelona's Lionel Messi:  

    "I'm one of those players that doesn't look too much at the opposition and concentrates about what we need to do. This is a one-off game - but we have to think about us. United are very strong, but we are in good shape."

  94. 1756 Commentary  

    Cheers from my left among the English contingent as Manchester United's team bus arrives at Wembley and Sir Alex Ferguson takes his players into the stadium and the confines of their dressing-room. Much like Barca, they look relaxed and confident. When you've won as much as these boys, why wouldn't you?

  95. SMS  

    From Nathan Stevenson on 81111:\u00a0"My predo is 3-2 to Barca, with Pedro getting the winner. Remember, I got the World Cup final correct and you still owe me that fiver. By the way, congrats on your last live text, very proud of you. My dad was wondering how they're going to replace you, but he would like it to be known he's also called 'Stevo' and is available to move to Manchester any time."

    Amazing text for a four-year-old, that...

  96. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    On Twitter: "Got sneak preview of the pre-match festivities as I left Wembley last night. Seemed to be based around lots of ladies holding umbrellas."

  97. SMS  

    From Chris in Ipswich:\u00a0"The thing that could clinch it for Man Utd tonight for me is Edwin van der Sar. Being his last game he is going to be as up for it as anyone and will no doubt be making some crucial saves."

  98. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Just spoken to former England coach Steve McClaren, who was Sir Alex Ferguson's right-hand man when they beat Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League Final and he used that word again: 'I have to go with Manchester United and I do think there is an element of destiny about it.

    "I think they found the right formation against Schalke and Chelsea, so I would go with Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez up front. Sir Alex won't need to say too much to them in the last hour before the game - this is a final and all the important stuff has been said and done.'"

  99. 1810 Commentary  

    Some interesting technical problems just then, sorry about the thankfully only temporary malfunction. No team news as yet, but we'll bring it to you as soon as we get our hands on it. Do Barca risk starting with Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal? Do Man United gamble on Javier Hernandez or stick Darren Fletcher in midfield? Big, game-changing decisions to be made.

  100. 1813 Commentary Supporter corner:  

    Alex, Barca fan from Barcelona: "We've been here from this morning. Hopefully Barcelona will win and we will have a good night tonight. I think maybe we will win 2-0. I was in Rome two years ago and hopefully I will be celebrating again."

    Simon, Manchester United fan: "People are saying we are the underdogs, but I think United always fight harder in that scenario. Apparently we haven't got a chance, so people say. But I think Hernandez could be the man for us today."

  101. Contributor  
  102. 1816 Commentary  

    The pitch is being watered at Wembley, though with some on and off rain today I'm not sure it needs too much. Less than an hour and a half until kick-off in the Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United. In case you didn't know, Barca are the designated 'home team' today, so they will play in their first kit and United will wear a changed strip of white shirts.

  103. Twitter  

    From scottishswan: "Man Utd to over power Barcelona in the first 20 mins. I have a feeling the game will be won then."

  104. 1821 Commentary  

    Lots of chat on Twitter that Manchester United's Premier League Golden Boot winner Dimitar Berbatov is not even on the bench this evening. That would be something of a surprise. Teams should be known at about 1845 BST.

  105. 1825 Commentary Handover:  

    You know, it's on days like this that I don't fully understand the point of people who aren't in love with football. That's it from me, Jonathan Stevenson, so thank you one last time for your company and I hope the game is everything you could wish for. Let football be the winner...

  106. 1830 Commentary  

    You know those fellas who crash a party late into the night, stay for less than an hour, and then bag the beauty of the pack on their way out? Well, consider me that loathesome dude. Sort of. Five-and-a-half hours of cracking build-up from Jonathan Stevenson\u2026 and in I, Sam Lyon, swoop to take over the commentary for match duties. Man I love my job. Plenty more to come from Stevo and all our reporters at Wembley, of course, but from now on our eyes are focused intently on all that really matters; the match itself. Where's ya money folks?

  107. 1831 Commentary TEAM NEWS SNAP  

    Man Utd start with Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez up front, with no place for Darren Fletcher. Dimitar Berbatov is not even on the bench - Michael Owen is.

  108. 1833 Commentary  

    Here's that Man Utd line-up in full, then: Van Der Sar, Fabio ,Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park, Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: Kuszczak, Smalling, Fletcher, Scholes, Anderson, Nani, Owen. Rumours abound, too, that Barcelona have gone with Carles Puyol at centre-half, Eric Abidal at left-back, with no room for Javier Mascherano. That is unconfirmed as yet, though.

  109. Twitter  

    mattlittlechild on Twitter: "To be fair, Berbatov hasn't scored in his last 1134 mins of Champions League football. Ruthless from Fergie."

  110. 1838 Commentary  

    Dimitar Berbatov not even on the bench, then? Surely that's his days at Man Utd over. I'm sure the sharks will be sniffing around the Bulgarian this summer.

  111. 1841 Commentary  

    Right, with the Barcelona team expected asap, can I take this opportunity to remind you how to\u00a0get in touch with kick-off a little over an hour away. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text me via 81111 (UK). Plenty for you to get your teeth around, not least with your thoughts on that Man Utd team, huh?

  112. Contributor  

    A reminiscing Manchester United fan outside Wembley tells Olly Foster: "I was there in 1968 and paid the equivalent of about 50 pence for my ticket. I queued up for hours and hours for my ticket and I got told off for taking the day off school but it was so worth it."

  113. Contributor  

    Former Barcelona manager Terry Venables on what the European Cup means to the big Spanish clubs: "A lot of the journalists in Barcelona are fans as well. In Spain, it's a case of are you Barca or Madrid? So the excuitement and passion is exceptional. The European Cup is their life."\u00a0

  114. Twitter  

    Joshings on Twitter: "Giggs and Carrick don't stand a chance against Xavi and Iniesta, I thought Fergie said he learnt his lessons from last time?"
    \u00a0

  115. 1845 Commentary TEAM NEWS SNAP  

    Those earlier rumours were wrong, Barcelona start with Javier Mascherano at centre-half, Eric Abidal at left-back - and that means, presumably because of injury, Carles Puyol misses out. A boost for Man Utd? And what a story for Abidal, who has recovered sufficiently from cancer to start tonight. Superb.

  116. 1847 Commentary  

    The Barcelona line-up in full, then: Valdes; Alves Mascherano Pique Abidal; Xavi Busquets Iniesta; Pedro Messi Villa. Subs: Oier, Puyol, Bojan, Keita, Afellay, Adriano, Thiago

  117. BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "Like George Best before him, when Messi plays, he dictates. I would say it's better to try and stop the players giving Messi the ball, because you can forget stopping him."

  118. SMS  

    James, West Kilbride via text: "Big mistake to leave Fletcher out - Man U will be overrun in the midfield just like two years ago."

  119. Twitter  

    nsaraswat on Twitter: "Rooney needs to pull Pique out with him & let Hernandez attack Mascherano. Can you hire me as a pundit please?"

  120. BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren  

    "Hernandez and Rooney were the obvious choice tonight. They're the ones who can win this match for United, they're the ones who are dangerous on the transition. Fergie will be going around the dressing room explaining his reasons to those who have been left out. Berbatov is a bit more to feet and doesn't have the same penetration as Owen."

  121. 1853 Commentary  

    How fantastic that Wembley should stage this match, huh? Wembley - the home of English football, famous the world over, and the scene of both Barcelona and Manchester United's first European Cup successes, would you believe it, in 1992 and 1968 respectively. And it will surprise precisely no-one among you that in and around the stadium is absolutely rocking. You could scoop out great jellied lumps of excitement with a shovel, I tell you.

  122. SMS  

    Ross, Lincs via text: "Loss of Puyol is a MASSIVE boost for United. Barca will miss him at set pieces - could be profitable to back vidic/ferdinand to score tonight. Mascherano could get bullied in the air."

  123. 1900 Commentary Barcelona v Man Utd (1945)  

    Barcelona: Valdes, Dani Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Abidal, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Villa, Messi, Pedro. Subs: Oier, Puyol, Bojan, Keita, Afellay, Adriano Correia, Thiago.
    Man Utd: Van der Sar, Fabio Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park, Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Anderson, Smalling, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher.
    Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

  124. Twitter  

    gouldie7 on Twitter: "Strange bench, no? Four midfielders? Is Sir Alex Ferguson's head ruling his heart choosing Fletcher and Scholes over Berba and Rafael?"
    \u00a0

  125. BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren  

    "In the five months I was there leading up to the 1999 final, Manchester United's history and tradition were driven into you. By the end, it was part of your DNA, you had it in your blood. It's a part of the club, it's the philosophy and the culture - and although Sir Alex hasn't spoken about it much this week, everyone in that dressing room will be aware of it."

  126. 1904 Commentary  

    The players are out and about on the Wembley turf, warm-ups a-go-go. A quick, completely amateur assessment of the players' moods judged purely on their expressions... Wayne Rooney looks a touch nervy, Michael Owen excited, and Edwin van der Sar... like he's on an early evening stroll walking the dogs. Been there, got the t-shirt, that boy.

  127. Twitter  

    SamMartens\u00a0on Twitter: "Spot on by Fergie, Barcelona crying out to be attacked experience and the hunger of youth. Should be an open game."
    \u00a0

  128. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson resists the temptation to pack midfield and trusts to the increasingly impressive attacking partnership of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez at Wembley. The big calls mean leading scorer Dimitar Berbatov does not even make the bench, with Michael Owen getting the nod ahead of the Bulgarian. Darren Fletcher's late recovery from illness means he is a substitute, but there may yet be a part for the Scot described by Ferguson as "a real big game player." The big news for Barcelona is that Carles Puyol must make do with a place on the bench. That means a start for Javier Mascherano at centre-half, who will be accompanied in defence by Eric Abidal, two months after surgery on his liver."

  129. 1910 Commentary  

    Wondering what Sir Alex Ferguson has to say in the final moments before kick-off? Wonder no more...

  130. 1912 Commentary  

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on dropping Dimitar Berbatov from the squad on ITV: "That's the worst part. There should be 11 subs on the bench for the final. It's heartache, a terrible decision to have to make. It's not easy but we have to judge what we need in the game and I decided we needed three midfield players."

  131. BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
    Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "I can only think that Pep Guardiola does not think Carles Puyol is fit enough to start the game. Then again, the coach sees the players day in, day out, and he might just have looked at it and said: 'You know what? Javier Mascherano has done well for me recently and I'm going with him'."

  132. Twitter  

    Sameja90 on Twitter: "Barca's defence is nothing special, Valencia, Rooney and Chico can cause some serious damage."

  133. Twitter  

    DrewwC17 on Twitter: "Argentina-Greece last year in the World Cup, Messi was man marked and quiet the whole game. it can be done!"

  134. 1917 Commentary  

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on what he'll emphasise in the dressing room on ITV: "concentration. Enjoy it, work for each other and trust each other. It's a great team spirit in there which has helped us all season. Rooney's form has been great in the last few months, he's young and he's improving all the time."

  135. BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren  

    "For me, the two most important people on the field are Wayne Rooney and\u00a0Ji-sung Park. Does Park have to follow Dani Alves? If he does, then Rooney has to drop into midfield and that won't help United."

  136. 1921 Commentary  

    Talking of Ji-sung Park, I imagine a few of you out there might be wondering if there's a secret to his success. Well, yes there is. And you know what it is? Frog juice. Seriously. His dad tells BBC Five Live: "From a young age, Ji-sung was underprivileged and physically small. That made him try harder. He knows he needs to run more, train more. We used to give him extract of boiled frog juice to help him."

  137. BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Wembley  

    "All the talk in the build-up was that Pep Guardiola did not want to risk playing both Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal, but it's still a shock that the captain and leader of this Barca team is not in the XI. All eyes on Javier Mascherano, who has hardly had to break sweat in previous games at centre-back. Tonight will be different, and it increases the pressure on Gerard Pique, too. With Puyol and Pique together in the middle, Barca have lost only two of 58 games."

  138. SMS  

    BBC Radio Manchester's Steve Wyeth: "On Wembley Way now and the fans are really hurrying towards the Stadium. Trade at the food outlets slowing as a result."

  139. 1926 Commentary  

    The Barcelona players completing their warm-ups as we speak, then. Lionel Messi - a player who has yet to score in England in\u00a0627 Champions League football minutes, believe it or not\u00a0- is sporting illuminious green boots. And if you were as good as the little magician, you would I suppose. Lionel Messi - quite good at football. You can have that one for free.

  140. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Especially affectionate welcome from Man Utd fans for former Liverpool midfield man - once sent off at Old Trafford - Javier Mascherano."

  141. SMS  

    Jason, Belfast via text: "RE: Sameja90 - Barca have a very good defence.\u00a0Abidal isn't as attacking as Alves so he'll sit back more, we know what Pique is like and Mascherano is one of the best defensive players in the world. I'm a Man Utd fan and even I'm not that naive."

  142. 1930 Commentary  

    Fifteen minutes and counting until kick-off... get in while you can folks... Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text me via 81111 (UK). Bosh.

  143. BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
    Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "Wayne Rooney is\u00a0a beast of a player on his day. Two years ago in Rome [when Man Utd lost 2-0 to Barcelona] he took one for the team and played on the left, but the position he'll play in tonight is the best position for him. For me, he could get in the Barcelona team."

  144. BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren  

    "I don\u2019t think Wayne Rooney has yet produced in a big, big game. Big players produce in big games and I don't think he's done that yet. He will do it, but he has to make that breakthrough to become world class. Let's hope he does that tonight."

  145. 1935 Commentary  

    Big night for match official Viktor Kassai tonight\u00a0as he becomes the youngest referee ever to officiate the Champions Cup/Champions League final. At 35 years and 260 days of age, he beats the record of 36 years and 21 days of Frenchman Michel Kitabdjian who was the referee in Bayern M\u00fcnchen\u2019s 1975 win against Leeds United (2-0). Let's hope we barely notice him...
    Courtesy of Infostrada Sports

  146. 1938 Commentary  

    On the Wembley pitch, by the way, the opening ceremony is under way... and apparently, whoever choreographed this little number has a simple impression of England: it rains a lot and everybody wears bowler hats. Errmmm.

  147. BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "Sir Alex hasn't lined up like-for-like, he hasn't tried to match the Barcelona formation. That tells you that he's looking to go out and win the game, not just go out and try to counteract the Spanish giants."

  148. SMS  

    Tuffers in Menorca via text: "Not a United fan but sitting in Spain is edging me towards England and United, money is with Giggs to regain the back pages tomorrow, although Hernandez will surely bring some Mexican magic to Wembley."

  149. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Champions League Finals specialise in some fairly ludicrous pre-match pomp and ceremony and this looks like it will be no different. English people in bowler hats carrying umbrellas - as we all do obviously. Clever ploy to make supporters even more desperate for the match to start."

  150. 1940 Commentary  

    Deary me... here we go... the players emerge from the tunnel, led out by a couple of Royal Guards carrying the magnificent trophy with them... and we're minutes away from kick-off. I'm so excited I might implode.

  151. 1943 Commentary  

    Barcelona win the toss and Man Utd will kick-off.

  152. 1944 Commentary  

    A warm embrace between Sir Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiola... and we're only moments away now...

  153. 1945 KICK-OFF  

    Nice and prompt, amid a cacophony of Wembley noise, Manchester United get the 2011 Champions League Final up and running against Barcelona. Massive.

  154. 1947 Commentary  

    Two minutes in and it's been encouraging for Manchester United so far - with, notably, Wayne Rooney really enjoying something like a free role behind Javier Hernandez early doors.

  155. 1949 Commentary  

    Half chance - if that - for Man Utd as Wayne Rooney's delightful clip over the top finds Javier Hernandez, but the Mexican is crowded out of it by Gerard Pique well. Still, Barcelona very much on the back foot in these opening minutes. Albeit only four of them so far.

  156. 1952 Commentary  

    First glimpse of Lionel Messi with the ball at his feet... his progress halted brilliantly by a back-tracking Ji-sung Park. Manchester United, in their changed white strip,\u00a0buzzing about their exalted opponents in the opening exchanges and it's been a very encouraging start for Sir Alex's boys.

  157. 1953 Commentary  

    Another half-sniff for Man Utd as Wayne Rooney looks to get in behind the Barcelona defence from Edwin van der Sar's long punt upfield - but Barca keeper Victor Valdes is out just in time to clear on the stretch with a firm punch.

  158. BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
    Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "Good early pressure from Manchester United. You can already sense there's a different attitude about them tonight than there was two years ago\u00a0in Rome."

  159. 1954 Commentary  

    Oof - almost a mix-up between Victor Valdes and Gerard Pique as the Barca keeper is forced to hurriedly clear from the defender's back-pass just when Ryan Giggs' through-ball looked like finding Javier Hernandez.

  160. 1955 Commentary  

    And then, out of nothing, Barcelona almost carve an opening of their own, Lionel Messi slipping David Villa in inside the box - United defender Rio Ferdinand across well to clear the danger with an outstretched right leg.

  161. BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Wembley  

    "Barca started with Messi right, Pedro left and Villa central. Villa and Messi have swapped already."

  162. 1959 Commentary  

    We're 14 minutes in and, for the first time, Barcelona are able to work some possession football. Man Utd sitting back a touch for now, allowing their opponents room until they hit the attacking third. There might be a fair bit of that from Sir Alex's side tonight.

  163. 2001 Commentary  

    Chance! David Villa works some space in the box and lays it to Xavi on the right wing, the Barcelona playmaker's cross met by Pedro ahead of Rio Ferdinand but fired wide by the frontman six yards out. A warning for United.

  164. 2003 Commentary  

    Man Utd certainly bossed the opening exchanges - but Barcelona have settled now and it's the Spanish giants controlling proceedings now. Lionel Messi has also just had his first mazy dribble, beating four United players, before finding Pedro with a shot pass. Ominous.

  165. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Manchester United's intentions are plain. High tempo and no time for Barcelona on the ball and Sir Alex Ferguson will be encouraged. The warning signs are already there that concentration is everything though because Pedro should have given Barca the lead with the chance from Xavi's cross."

  166. 2004 Commentary  

    Boom. David Villa, found by Xavi, fires in a dipping shot from 20 yards that zips past Edwin van der Sar's post by mere inches.

  167. 2005 Commentary  

    Lionel Messi, dropping deep into midfield to create the extra man, is tearing Manchester United every which way at the moment.

  168. 2006 Commentary  

    Another David Villa snap-shot from the edge of the area, held low down by Edwin van der Sar.\u00a0As good as Man Utd were in the first 10, Barcelona are twice as good now.

  169. 2008 Commentary  

    Sensational tackle, Nemanja Vidic timing his intervention to perfection to stop Lionel Messi - who had danced gracefully into the box - getting a shot off 16 yards out. It's taking those sort of challenges to keep Barca at bay at the moment, though, and Sir Alex Ferguson cuts a worried figure on the sidelines.

  170. BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
    Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "It's a bit like seeing the dark clouds approaching your house - you know, sooner or later, it's going to start raining."

  171. 2010 Commentary  

    These first 25 minutes have absolutely flown by. Goalless... but Barca ahead on points so far.

  172. 2012 GOAL Barcelona 1-0 Man Utd (Pedro)  

    To say it's been coming would be an under-statement, but what a fine goal this is. Xavi is the creator, the Barca skipper's sublime flicked pass finding Pedro, who side-foots past\u00a0Edwin van der Sar from 12 yards. United staring down the barrel, Barcelona buoyant.

  173. 2015 Commentary  

    Half an hour gone, and Barcelona have bossed 20 of them. Damage limitation the immediate name of the game for Man Utd, I would think.

  174. 2017 Commentary  

    According to the boys on ITV, Barcelona have completed 265 passes to Man Utd's 100 so far. Sir Alex Ferguson's side looking more than a little punch-drunk - what can they do to stem the tide?

  175. 2018 GOAL Barcelona 1-1 Man Utd (Rooney)  

    They can score a cracking equaliser totally against the run of play, that's what. Fabulous link-up play between Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs, the Welshman's return pass fired into the top corner of the Barcelona net 16 yards out by the England frontman for a fantastic finish. Game. On.

  176. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Wayne Rooney has made his mark on Wembley with that equaliser. Manchester United's thoughts were scrambled in the moments before he scored as Barcelona ruled possession, but what a way to clear their heads."

  177. 2022 Commentary  

    Just seen a replay of that goal and it gets better with every view - Rooney swapping passes with Carrick and then Giggs before supplying the perfect finish. Barca-esque goal and every inch the tonic United needed. What a match this is.

  178. 2024 Commentary  

    The Man Utd equaliser has taken a little of the wind out of Barcelona's sails - but not a huge amount, the Spanish giants settling right back into their passing rhythm straight from the restart. Andres Iniesta tries his luck from range, but Edwin van der Sar is well behind it to save comfortably.

  179. BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
    Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "It's been a great first half. There haven't been too many chances, but we've had two wonderful goals and some of the movement and passing from Barcelona has been outstanding."

  180. 2028 Commentary  

    Superb counter-attack from Barcelona, Lionel Messi bursting at the Man Utd defence, feeding David Villa, and going with an inch of getting on the end of the Spaniard's return pass and prodding home six yards out. Top move.

  181. 2029 Commentary  

    There are two balls on the Wembley pitch at the moment. Perhaps the only way Man Utd will get a meaningful touch?

  182. 2031 HALF-TIME Barcelona 1-1 Man Utd  
  183. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley HALF-TIME SNAP-SHOT  

    "The Champions League Final everyone was hoping for. Class and quality everywhere. Manchester United did well to survive the roughest of rides before and after Pedro scored for Barcelona without sustaining serious damage and now Wayne Rooney's goal has given them real hope."

  184. BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
    Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "Manchester United have clawed their way back into it. When they're in shape they're OK, but too often they're not. They must sort this out at half-time. It's risky to go one-on-one, but if they don't they just get outnumbered."

  185. BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "What has really surprised me is the amount of times Messi has come off the centre-back and into midfield without anyone trying to stop him. It wouldn't surprise me to see some changes at half-time; you can't allow that sort of player that kind of space, because sooner or later he will score or create a goal."

  186. BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Wembley  

    "The stats say Barca have dominated - eight shots to United's two, 365 passes completed (87% of total passes) to 139 (67% success) and the Spaniards have had 67% of the ball too. But the most crucial one says we're 1-1, and Pep Guardiola will know that United will ruthlessly punish any more profligacy. Poised to perfection."

  187. Twitter  

    jameskingadams on Twitter: "What a first half of football. Completely and utterly nail bitting."

  188. SMS  

    Pete, Oxford via text: "If by luck or by skill, utd need another two goals at least to have anything near what you'd call a safety net. Barca's passing game just to much at the moment to work up any sort of consistant defence. Good game this."

  189. 2040 Commentary  

    Anyone encountered a nay-sayer this week claiming this Champions League Final would be a big, dull, dud? Someone insistent that one side would dominate the other or that nerves would get to both and a tense, tight match would ensue? Hunt them down, tap them on the shoulder, and point and laugh in their face. It's a belter.

  190. Twitter  

    JOSH_092 on Twitter: "Great final so far, someone now needs to step up and put their name into the history books."

  191. 2045 Commentary  

    A good couple of minutes after Man Utd re-enter the fray at Wembley, Barcelona return to the green, green grass in north west London. Ready?

  192. 2046 Commentary Barcelona 1-1 Man Utd  

    And Barcelona get the second half up and under way.

  193. 2048 Commentary  

    Barcelona right on to the front foot at the start of this half, first Javier Mascherano causing problems with a striding run out from the back to the edge of the Man Utd box - his cross is blocked - and then Xavi's shot from range is blocked by Nemanja Vidic.

  194. 2050 Commentary  

    Wayne Rooney, you feel, holds the key for Manchester United tonight - and it is the England frontman again who almost breaks into the Barcelona box, his determined dribble on the counter ended by Javier Mascherano's fine covering tackle.

  195. 2051 Commentary  

    The ITV boys, by the way, reckon Dimitar Berbatov has not taken his seat with the rest of the Man Utd squad at Wembley tonight. Rumour-mongers, do your worst...

  196. 2054 Commentary  

    Fine save! Andres Iniesta picks a perfect pass to release the onrushing Dani Alves in the Man Utd box, but the Brazilian's low shot is kept out well by Edwin van der Sar, who spread himself brilliantly. Lionel Messi, on the follow-up, see his shot headed away from goal by Nemanja Vidic. Barca knocking on the door again already.

  197. 2055 GOAL Barcelona 2-1 Man Utd (Messi)  

    It's his first ever goal on English soil... but the one-man headline-making machine has struck at just the right time for Barcelona. Lionel Messi picks the ball up 25 yards out and is afforded all the time in the world to take a touch and drill home from outside the area. Both the Utd defence and Edwin van der Sar might have done better - but Messi can be one of those players: unstoppable.

  198. BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
    Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "The boy's an absolute genius. He played a little give and go and then, with a minimum amount of backlift, slotted it past Edwin van Der Sar - brilliant."

  199. 2058 Commentary  

    Man Utd with it all to do again, then - and Barcelona look in no mood to take their foot off the pedal just yet either. How long before Sir Alex looks to his options on the bench?

  200. 2101 YELLOW CARD  

    Approaching the hour mark and we've got our first booking of the game - Dani Alves having his name taken for a trip on Patrice Evra. Referee Viktor Kassai has done pretty well tonight, if you ask me.

  201. 2102 YELLOW CARD  

    And within seconds we have our second booking of the match - United midfielder Michael Carrick rightly cautioned for an ill-timed lunge at Andres Iniesta.

  202. 2103 Commentary  

    Something like a response, this, from Man Utd as the boys in white enjoy\u00a0a spell of possession. Wayne Rooney starting to make things tick at the right end of the pitch, too.\u00a0

  203. 2105 Commentary  

    But still Barcelona look a threat every time they pile forward - and Lionel Messi in particular. This time the Argentine's low 18-yard shot is kept out by the legs of Edwin van der Sar... but United must do something to hush the mercurial playmaker.

  204. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is prowling his technical area urging his team to go in for the kill. Lionel Messi has made a habit of avoiding Manchester United's attentions. How long before Sir Alex Ferguson makes a change in an attempt to shift the momentum away from Barcelona?"

  205. 2107 Commentary  

    Another minute, another Barcelona attack, another chance - Lionel Messi's flick from Dani Alves' cut-back stopped on the line by Fabio. Moments later, Xavi's ripper from range is kept out on the stretch by Edwin van der Sar. United being battered at the back right now. Battered.

  206. 2109 Commentary  

    Blimey. Talk about the screw being turned. Barcelona are moving the ball about at will and Manchester United simply have no answer to the Spaniard's movement and accuracy of pass right now. A third Barca goal feels only moments away.

  207. 2110 Commentary  

    Nani on for Fabio for Man Utd.

  208. 2111 GOAL Barcelona 3-1 Man Utd (Villa)  

    Another superb goal and Manchester United's 'mission improbable' is looking more like 'mission impossible' by the minute. Lionel Messi is brilliant on the right, Nani fails to clear properly inside the United box, and David Villa responds by curling Sergio Busquets's lay-off into the top corner from 20 yards. Pearler.

  209. 2113 Commentary  

    Admirable response from Man Utd as Wayne Rooney dinks one narrowly over the Barcelona bar from outside the area - but Sir Alex Ferguson's side have looked out of their depth all night if I'm honest. Barca have been brutally good.

  210. BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren  

    "We know that Barcelona will have possession and create, but the most disappointing thing from Manchester United's point of view is that they've not played attacking, penetrating football. They've lost all belief and self-confidence because of the way Barcelona have played."

  211. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "David Villa's goal is simply a true measure of Barcelona's vast superiority. It has been little short of torture for Manchester United since half-time - and to be fair for long periods even before that."

  212. 2117 Commentary  

    Two goals to the good they may be, but there is still no let-up in Barcelona's relentless passing game. Man Utd on the ropes, gasping for breath, and continuing to take punches here.

  213. 2118 Commentary  

    Paul Scholes comes on for Michael Carrick for Manchester United with one simple\u00a0order: grab a couple of quick goals will you?

  214. 2121 Commentary  

    Penalty appeals from Manchester United as Ryan Giggs' dink inside the box strikes the hand of David Villa - but all of the officials as one are unmoved, and rightly so as it looked a clear case of ball-to-hand.

  215. 2122 Commentary  

    Into the last 10 minutes and Manchester United need a miracle as big, if not bigger, than the one they enjoyed in injury time against Bayern Munich in the Nou Camp in 1999.

  216. 2124 Commentary  

    To achieve that, Manchester United will need to get on the ball. The trouble is, Barcelona's keep-ball game is better than anyone's and Pep Guardiola's boys are providing a master-class again at this moment in time.

  217. 2125 Commentary  

    Man Utd will want to take any half-chance that comes their way now, though - and Barca keeper Victor Valdes does well to prevent them doing so on this occasion as he punches away with Javier Hernandez poised to get on the end of a loose ball in the box.

  218. 2126 YELLOW CARD  

    Moments after Nani fires wide after cutting in well from the right, Victor Valdes is booked for wasting time on the restart.

  219. 2127 Commentary  

    Barcelona shutting up shop now, Seydou Keita on for goalscorer David Villa for the last five minutes.

  220. 2130 Commentary  

    And there will be a late cameo from Barcelona hero Carles Puyol, too - the veteran, 16 years at the Nou Camp, on for Dani Alves to huge cheers from the Barca fans inside Wembley.

  221. BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Steve McClaren  

    "Pep Guardiola has been getting frustrated because his players seem to think they've won it and have been allowing Manchester United to nick the ball. But United haven't shown the quality, craft, and intelligence to get behind this Barca defence and get the goal they needed about five minutes ago. Now they're running out of time."

  222. 2131 Commentary  

    This race is well and truly run, people. Man Utd look like they've got absolutely nothing left to offer - and who can blame them in the face of such a masterclass from Barcelona?

  223. 2132 Commentary  

    Even time for the party tricks now - Andres Iniesta looking to catch Edwin van der Sar off his line from long range, the Dutchman back in time to claim the shot easily.

  224. 2133 Commentary  

    Into three minutes of injury time and Ibrahim Afellay will get a run out in place of Pedro for Barcelona.

  225. 2134 FULL-TIME Barcelona 3-1 Man Utd  

    BARCELONA WIN THE 2011 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

  226. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Rome 2009 revisited. A bright start from Manchester United before being outclassed long before the end by Barcelona. More bitter disappointment for United but there is no shame in defeat against one of the finest club sides the game has seen."

  227. 2140 Commentary  

    Simply put - the greatest club side of a generation, yeah? Barcelona were sensational tonight, leaving Manchester United outpassed, outfought, out-thought and outclassed. How do you stem the flow of one of the greatest sides that has ever graced the game? On this evidence... maybe, just maybe, you don't.

  228. Twitter  

    joecon123\u00a0on Twitter: "In what was a glorious final, Barcelona saved their best for last on a night where Fergie's timid tactics cost United dearly."
    \u00a0

  229. SMS  

    Sitso, London (but watching in Dubai) via text: "Can anyone think of ANY club team, past or present, that could have beaten Barcelona today (apart from the 2009 Barca side!)."

  230. Twitter  

    mjhall39\u00a0on Twitter: "Outclassed in every department! Utd can have no complaints!The best team to ever grace the game have proved\u00a0to be one\u00a0step too far!"
    \u00a0

  231. 2144 Commentary  

    Manchester United, led by Sir Alex Ferguson, make their way up the Wembley steps for their runners-up medals - and not one of them look anything other than resigned to the fact that tonight they just didn't have an answer to Barca.

  232. 2147 Commentary  

    And now it's the turn of the victors, Barcelona. Pep Guardiola takes the lead - and there's a nice moment as he is warmly congratulated by Man Utd legend Sir Bobby Charlton at the top of the Wembley steps. It is believed, by the way, that Eric Abidal will lift the trophy for Barca. What a cracking touch that would be after his trials with illness this season.

  233. 2149 Commentary  

    It is indeed Eric Abidal to receive the trophy for Barcelona... and Wembley goes ballistic as the Frenchman lifts the glorious piece of silverware above his head, the Barca fans' celebrations aided by an eruption of fireworks. Fantastic moments.

  234. 2150 Commentary  

    Anyway, I'm sticking around for a while yet with all the reaction and comment... so why not take the chance to let me know your thoughts? As always, you can Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text me via 81111 (UK). Get involved you wonderful people, you.

  235. Twitter  

    PM9090 on Twitter: "That is pure class. Well done Barca, well done Abidal."

  236. SMS  

    Kevin, London via text: "That guard of honour by Barcelona was as classy as their performance. All credit to Guardiola and co they thoroughly deserve all the plaudits they get, but United will come again."

  237. 2155 Commentary  

    Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand: "We could have played better but Barcelona were the better side. We could have done better on a couple of the goals. We got caught out. Time will tell if they are the greatest side ever but they are definitely a great side. We came here to win and we honestly believed we could do it. But in the end the better team won."

  238. 2158 Commentary  

    Man Utd captain Nemanja Vidic: "We didn't do enough to cause them problems on the ball. They don't play a striker because Villa and Pedro cut in from the wing so it is easy for misunderstandings in defence. They play great football and deserve to win."

  239. BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Wembley  

    "Generous applause from Fergie for Pep and some of the United fans stay to clap the Barcelona players too. That was very, very special."

  240. 2159 Commentary  

    They're stealing the net! Barcelona are actually stealing one of the goal nets haha. Gerard Pique is hacking through the ropes with a pair of scissors - seriously. As souvenirs go, what happened to just pulling up a bit of the Wembley turf?

  241. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Rumours, as yet unconfirmed it should be stressed, that Berbatov left before kick-off. If he did that's thank you and goodnight for Dimitar."

  242. 2202 Commentary  

    Still plenty of supporters in the Wembley stands as they watch Barcelona's players and staff milk the moment. Traditional bumps for Pep Guardiola, followed by a centre-circle wide ring-a-ring-a-Rosie. Again, seriously. Strange methods of celebration these boys, I'm telling ya.

  243. Twitter  

    philarundell on Twitter: "Barcelona aren't just in a different class, they're in a different universe! Pure footballing genius and a pleasure to watch."

  244. SMS  

    Jeffrey via text: "I think United are definitely the second best team in Europe. Given that, what chance does anyone have for the next few years?"

  245. 2208 Commentary  

    This, Infostrada Sports tell me, is FC Barcelona's third Champions League trophy, equalling AC Milan and Real Madrid's record.\u00a0It was also FC Barcelona's 11th European troph overall,\u00a0equalling the record by Real Madrid, who have won nine European Cups and two Uefa Cups. Barcelona - quite good at football.
    \u00a0

  246. SMS  

    Ian in York via text: "I'm sorry, but I know other people agree that Barca weren't that incredible, so will you please give an indication of that?"
    Done. You're wrong. But done.

  247. 2213 Commentary  

    Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano:\u00a0"We are very happy. We beat a fantastic team but we're happy because we played in the way we know how to play. It is very good to win the Champions League for any footballer. Also, Liverpool fans were a little bit sad after my exit so this is for them as well!"

  248. 2215 Commentary  

    Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar, who retires this summer: "It was one game too many, I think. It\u2019s never nice to lose. They had the better chances but we made one or two mistakes and they punish you. We had to score the first goal and we didn\u2019t do that. Of course it's not how I wanted my last game to go, but you can't always choose how football goes."

  249. Twitter  

    henrybenryo on Twitter: "RE: Ian in York: you are aware that Barca were the team in blue and red, right!?!?!?"

  250. SMS  

    Phil from Bradford via text: "This result puts standard of Premier League into perspective-not good enough."

  251. Twitter  

    marty_brett\u00a0on Twitter: "I hate people who send in crazy opinions just to get a mention. Personally I think the ref cost Man U the game."
    Haha. I see what you did there. Like it.
    \u00a0

  252. BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
    Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "Messi is a footballing genius. We can talk long and hard about getting close to him, but it\u2019s very difficult to do. The ball is always at his feet, he\u2019s always got options. He can have the ball under any sort of pressure. I think when you look at this in years to come, you\u2019ll think how good Barcelona were \u2013 they were special, and it was a privilege and a pleasure to watch them play like that."

  253. Twitter  

    orlenschlink\u00a0on Twitter: "That Champions League\u00a0final was all well and good, but could they do it on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke??"
    *Snigger*

  254. 2228 Commentary  

    As one of life's winners, Sir Alex Ferguson is understandably far from happy if his interview with ITV just now is anything to go by. The phrase 'camel chewing on a lemon' springs to mind. You have to admire the great man's honesty, though...

  255. 2230 Commentary  

    Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "I expected us to do better but at the end of the day we have to acknowledge that we were beaten by a better team. The best team we have ever faced. It has been a good season for us with two Wembley appearances - it's just a shame it ends on such a disappointing note. But there is no shame in losing to Barcelona. We have proved that we are a good European side but every now and again you come up against a team that are better than you, and this is that night."

  256. 2235 Commentary  

    Tonight's Man of the Match award, by the way, was handed to... Lionel Messi. Predictably. Apparently the Argentine was greeted with a standing ovation in the press room, with Sir Alex Ferguson admitting: "They [Barcelona] mesmerise you with their passing. We never controlled Messi... but many teams over the last couple of season could say that. Barcelona are the best team we have ever faced - no-one has ever given us a hiding like that. Our challenge now is to get better and better. Next season we may improve even more."

  257. 2238 Commentary  

    Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson also denied Dimitar Berbatov left the ground early, claiming the Bulgarian was "in the dressing room". Hhmm.

  258. SMS  

    Karim via text: "Just got back from the game. Hard to be upset when you've seen a team that's so much better than yours. Well done Barcelona - we'll be back next year with a new central midfield."

  259. Twitter  

    Mattyaxl9 on Twitter: "RE Phil Bradford: No, no it doesnt. All four of our teams reached\u00a0the last eight this season - this game only showed the massive superiority of Barcelona."

  260. BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "Manchester United are not used to being outpassed and outplayed. If there was a disappointment, it was that they couldn\u2019t cope with it. You have to give Barcelona great credit \u2013 they\u2019re a very difficult side to play against \u2013 but Manchester United looked a team who didn\u2019t know what to do."

  261. BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley
    Contributor BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley  

    "Ferguson asked if he had a blank cheque which Barcelona player would he sign? Answer: 'That's one of the most stupid questions I've ever heard in my life... Javier Mascherano. You try my patience sometimes.' Er, Messi then."

  262. 2245 Commentary  

    With plenty more to\u00a0come through the night, then, a couple of things for you lot to check out before you all get your heads down in bed...

  263. 2247 Commentary  

    Phil McNulty's match report\u00a0typically on the money... "United had hoped to add a fourth victory in Europe's elite club tournament to a record 19th domestic title - instead they received a brutal lesson in the standards they must achieve from the Barcelona benchmark."

  264. 2249 Commentary  

    And Jonathan Stevenson's player ratings offer an insight into\u00a0Barca's dominance... Lionel Messi's mark? A 10. Obviously.

  265. Twitter  

    scooke7 on Twitter: "Eh? Did ANYONE ACTUALLY expect Man U to win tonight? As the boy Lineker said, Barca turn up, they win and they did. Simples!"
    \u00a0

  266. 2300 Commentary  

    And on that note, I'm going to wrap this bad boy up, people. Congratulations to Barcelona - mercurial they were this evening, and deserved winners of the club's third Champions League trophy. Hard to argue the evening was anything other than a struggle for Man Utd - but theirs has been a fine season nonetheless. I'm back tomorrow for the League One play-off final between Huddersfield and Peterborough, so join me then. I guarantee it will be almost as good as tonight's offerings. Honest. Good night folks. Legends.



Print Sponsor


Champions League results

28 May 2011 23:59 UK


see also
Barcelona 3-1 Man Utd
29 May 11 |  Europe
Champions League photos
28 May 11 |  Football
Champions League build-up photos
27 May 11 |  Tennis


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.