ManU focus on tackling Barcelona trio

by AP on May 10, 2011

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With the English Premier League title almost won, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is working on a game plan to stifle Barcelona trio Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez in the Champions League final.

Man United were completely outclassed when Barcelona won 2-0 in the 2009 final, and Ferguson is looking to avenge that loss at Wembley Stadium on May 28 to deliver the club's fourth European Cup.

"In the final last time we started off really well, then gave away a bad goal. After that, Barcelona kept the ball very well, as they always do," Ferguson told American satellite radio station Sirius XM on Monday.

"What we have to do is find a solution to the Xavi-Messi-Iniesta problem. Everyone is searching for that because they are outstanding footballers.

"We have our share, too. We have players who can cause any team a lot of bother, and hopefully those attacking players will give Barcelona problems that everyone thinks they are going to give us."

Ferguson is frustrated that United have been criticised this season for lacking star quality, despite the team being a point away from winning a record 19th English league title and reaching the Champions League final for the third time in four years.

"Everyone has said this is not a good Manchester United team, that we are not this or that. But we have scored more goals than anyone else (in England)," Ferguson said. "Our home form has been magnificent. We are undefeated in Europe. We are in the Champions League final and we will win the league by getting one more point.

"You have to put all the criticism to one side because I have to be realistic when I look at my team and ask, 'Am I satisfied?' Those players have given me everything."

Some of them will be able to take a two-week break from playing before the final if United earn at least a point against Blackburn on Saturday to win the Premier League with a game to spare.