Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Barcelona and Real Got What They Deserved

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Barcelona and Real Got What They Deserved

Article excerpt

Byline: account Patrick Barclay

IN a precisely ordered world, the Champions League Final would be a contest to decide the best team in Europe. But who's complaining about Bayern v Chelsea? Some Castilians and Catalans.

And a few purists who join them in wishing it could be Real Madrid v Barcelona in Munich. Not to mention those scrupulous souls -- on this I do agree -- who criticise UEFA for allowing home advantage in a final.

Real, though, had 120 minutes on their turf as well as 90 on Bayern's to establish superiority and failed, while Barcelona got what they deserved for being ludicrously over-confident in the minutes leading to the interval and painfully unimaginative thereafter.

So much for the intentions of the French pioneers; the European Cup seems to have turned into something more like the FA Cup in its heyday, a pageant of heroism against the odds and quirks of fate (recall Liverpool in 2005), a consolation prize writ so large as almost to obscure the notion of true merit. …

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