Last night saw my beloved United of Manchester lose a game that many had them down to win. However, Barcelona, my favourite Spanish side and much better version of the team I used to see at Camp Nou, dominated a United team that despite a promising opening 10 minutes were made to look average at times. I was sure as the game went on, that the experience of the United manager (40 odd trophies won in his career) and players could and should have influenced proceedings, but it wasn't to be. Novice manager, Pep Guardiola picked up the Champions league trophy to add to the La Liga and Copa del Rey. Barça played with verve and comfortably ran out winners in the end.
When your team, or any team for that matter, have been very good and consistent, it is strange watching them come off second best. But that’s what happened. Ferguson has been noted as gracious in defeat, but then he can't be much else. When asked if the loss would affect his or the teams desire last night, the offending journalist was given short shrift. The manager will take on board the way Barça operate beyond what he had done already in the pre-match build up, and as someone said on one of the Guardian message boards: if anyone can embrace any change it's probably Fergie.
One thing that does bode well for football next year is this. With Liverpool feeling they will want to come out and make up for second place in the league, and United wanting to avenge last night in Rome, motivation of those teams should provide another interesting season to all.