One moment of magic is all that seperates the sides at the half. A cracking goal from Paul Scholes has United in the lead 1-0. Scholes was gifted the chance after a poor clearance from Zambrotta fell at his feet and he cracked a half-volley into the top corner from about 25 yards out.
The first half saw a lot more energy and direct play from United and the possession has been a lot more even through the first half. It was still about 55-45 in favour of Barca but they have not sustained an attacking rhythm. I think they need a change up front as any attacks they are building are falling apart around the United box. I think we’ll see Henry coming on for Iniesta for sure by the 65th minute.
For Barcelona, Messi had a decent first half and made some strong runs but Puyol struggled and took a headbutt from his defense partner Milito for his troubles. Yaya and Xavi have not really imposed themselves on the match yet and they have a big part to play in the second half. Eto’o has been isolated alone upfront and needs better service if he is to have an impact on the match.
For United, Scholes obviously stood out but Evra and Hargreaves are getting forward more in support of the forwards. This has pinned Barca back a little and United will need to continue playing positively in the second half and resist the urge to collapse into a compact, defensive shape. If the scoreline remains this way into the 70th minute, we may see either Anderson or Fletcher come on for Nani just to tighten things up a little.
One small note, I like the new ticker for the time & score that ESPN is using. Much cleaner and to me it seems less intrusive.
I look forward to your comments. Time for me to open a cold one and enjoy the second half! Hope you all enjoy it as well!