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Posted at 07:05 PM ET, 07/30/2011

LIVE blog: Manchester United vs. Barcelona

For the first time since their clash in the Champions League final in May, Manchester United and Barcelona will meet again in a friendly here at FedEx Field.

Some major stars are missing, Messi and Chicharito are the most glaring absences, but it remains a compelling match-up between two of the world’s best teams.

Follow along here for live updates from Landover. The lineups were released earlier, you can catch them after the jump.

FINAL: Manchester United 2 - Barcelona 1. Can you call it revenge for the Champions League? Um, no. But it was an entertaining game and had some great goals and fun moments.

Manchester United was the better team in the first half, but Barcelona was more aggressive in the final 45 minutes and the subs helped the pace and entertainment value of the contest late. Thiago had a beautiful goal, but a giveway was punished and United got the result.

Thanks for joining us on the blog for the live chat and sorry for the technical difficulties!

90’+- Wow. Michael Owen with a laugher. Obertan turned the corner and found Owen alone on the far post, but he somehow put his effort way over the frame. That was embarrassing.

89’ - Nearly an equalizer! Barcelona moving the ball well in the final third and get a good look at goal, but Thiago’s shot goes over the bar.

85’ - The pace of the game has certainly picked up since about the 65th minute. That’s when you saw some subs and young players come on. Fresh legs and something to prove. Been a bit more back and forth.

76’ - GOAL! Didn’t take long for Manchester United to reclaim the lead. A very poor square pass from Busquets in his own half was intercepted by Tom Cleverly, and he put Michael Owen in alone. Owen made no mistake in front of net, chipping over Valdes’ left hand to give United the 2-1 lead.

70’ - GOAL! Barcelona finally evens the score on a brilliant play from Thiago. A ball from Carlos Carmona slipped by a sliding Ryan Giggs, Thiago took possession, looked up from 20 yards out and hit a curling ball that turned inside out and into the upper 90. 1-1.

Computer issues kept me from updating the first 25 minutes of the second half.

HALFTIME: Manchester United certainly looked the more dangerous team in the attack, with Barcelona only showing some flashes of its ability when it strings passes together. Iniesta had late signature pass that set up a chance, but Manchester United’s defense handled its business.

Nani was the most dangerous player on the field in the first 45 minutes, constantly taking on defenders down the right sideline and serving in several dangerous crosses. His perfectly-timed run was rewarded and he showed composure with a great finish. It’s 1-0 here at FedEx in favor of United.

43’ - Afellay off. Isaac Cuenca on for Barcelona.

41’ - Looks like Afellay just pulled his left hamstring. Grabbed back of his left leg as he dribbled toward the sideline. He’ll get subbed out.

39’ - Nani continues to cause headaches for Barca, but a Rooney giveaway at the top of the box leads to a counter. No matter. Once again United’s back line steps up, this time Jonny Evans doing well to block a shot and draw a foul.

35’ - United defense is up to the task tonight, but Barcelona seems to be taking extra touches in the box. Looking for special moments in a friendly perhaps.

30’ - Jonathan dos Santos earns a yellow card for a knee-to-thigh challenge on Ashley Young.

28’ - It’s a deserved lead for Manchester United. Barcelona had started to press more and Man U was defending with 11 behind the ball, but they broke out quickly on that counter and Nani timed his run perfectly to stay onside. Barca playing a high line defensively and United looking to exploit it.

22’ - GOAL! Barcelona was holding the ball more in the final third and earns a corner kick but Manchester United clears and counters right up the gut. Nani makes a run crossing defenders to the left side, gets the feed from Welbeck and finishes low. 1-0 Manchester United

20’ - Still not much for Barcelona in the final third. Afellay with a couple stepovers to get into the box but his touch is a bit heavy and the ball goes over the end line for a goal kick.

15’ - A Barca chant breaks out at FedEx but United looking dangerous still. A little combination between Rooney and Nani leads to another cross, but Barca clears. The right side is being exploited right now by the Red Devils. Abidal playing left back.

10’ - Manchester United has what may qualify as more than a half chance. Nani got the ball on the right sideline and served a low curling ball on the ground. Rooney met it at the near post but his effort was wide. Should have at least put the shot on target. Nonetheless, Man U actually with the better of play, I’d argue, through the first 10 minutes.

5’ - Manchester United with the first chance. Evra with a pretty ball down the left sideline to Ashley Young, but his cross is easily collected by Valdes. Now Sergio Busquets is down on the field.

1’ - And we’re off here at FedEx Field. Manchester United kicked off as the crowd still fills in the upper bowl in Landover.

Barcelona Starting XI: Valdes; Fontas, Abidal, Alcantara, dos Santos; Busquets, Iniesta, Keita; Villa, Pedro, Afellay. Subs: Pinto, Masip, Balliu, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Suarez, Riverola, Cabelino, Lozano, Muniesa, Carmona, Espinosa, Cuenca

Manchester United Starting XI: De Gea; Evra, Vidic, Evans, Rafael; Cleverly, Anderson, Young, Nani; Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: Lindegaard, Amos, Jones, Ferdinand, Smalling, Fabio, Obertan, Owen, Giggs, Carrick, Park, Diouf, Berbatov, Macheda

By  |  07:05 PM ET, 07/30/2011

 
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