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UEFA Champions League Final 2011: Barcelona Waste Great Chance To Go Ahead; 1-1 At Halftime

How have Manchester United gotten away with that? They allow the lethal combination of Lionel Messi and David Villa to break centrally, and the entire defence drifts towards the Argentine forward. Naturally, Messi immediately passes to Villa in a position very similar to the point from which Pedro scored the opener. Villa opts to pass rather than shoot and is about an inch from finding Messi two yards from goal, but the ball is crowded out by Edwin van der Sar and several other white shirts. The ball ends up gong out of play for a goal kick, and Michael Carrick also picked up a knock on the head for his troubles.

Surprisingly, there's no injury time, and after forty-five minutes referee Viktor Kassai blows his whistle and ends the first half. It's been phenomenal so far, and we can only hope the second is just as good. We go into the break at Wembley with the teams level at 1-1.

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.