UEFA Champions League Final 2011: 1-1, Halftime Report

What an incredible first half of football this has been at Wembley. The match has been one incident after another, and after a bevy of chances for Manchester United in the opening ten minutes as Park Ji-Sung dominated the game (Victor Valdes was astonishingly good in the early stages, preventing both Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney from going clean through on goal) Barcelona then opted to lock things down and looked as though they'd obliterate their English opponents.

Pedro made Sir Alex Ferguson's team pay for a poor spell with a brilliant sidefoot finish following a series of close chances, latching onto a Xavi Hernandez pass and clipping past Edwin van der Sar at the 40-year-old's near post. It looked as though Manchester United were in serious, serious trouble with Barcelona absolutely rampant, but Rooney took the game by the scruff of the neck, playing a one-two with Ryan Giggs (who may have been offside, looking at the replay) and obliterating the ball past Valdes and into the top corner, United scoring on only their second shot of the match. The goals came only seven minutes apart.

There were still ten minutes of football played after that Rooney goal, and it was mostly Barcelona (who ended the first half with 66% possession). They actually had a great chance to go ahead just before the interval, but David Villa just failed to find Lionel Messi, who has been excellent, with the Argentine rushing into the six-yard box after blowing past Michael Carrick. Referee Viktor Kassai blew the whistle shortly thereafter as soon as the clock hit 45:00, ending a wonderful first half of football at 1-1. Hopefully the second can match it in both quality and entertainment.

For news, opinion, and feature articles leading up to the UEFA Champions League final, bookmark this StoryStream and check it often. We’ll have new posts right here throughout the week, during the game, and after the game. For more on the entire world of football, check out SB Nation Soccer. Manchester United fans should head over to The Busby Babe, while Barcelona fans should check out Barca Blaugranes.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.