The feeling brought on by Wayne Rooney’s goal ten minutes before half-time in the 2011 Champions League final was absolutely incredible. Following the football lesson we received two years earlier from Barcelona in Rome, I almost dreaded watching us play them again at the new Wembley, a pitch we rarely succeed on. But when Rooney scored it was the first bit of hope. Maybe we would get something out of this game after all. We went in 1-1 at half-time but conceded again less than ten minutes in to the second.
Rene Meulensteen has suggested the reason behind that defeat was what happened in the dressing room at half-time.
“At Wembley [two years later], our preparation had been brilliant but we lost it in half-time. There was an argument going on too long between players. I don’t think we used half-time to reiterate what we’d done all week. Look at the first 15 minutes of the second half, that’s where Barca try to kill off teams. They did. We didn’t start the second half the way we should and it cost us. People forgot what we’d done all week. Keep the ball.”
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