If United’s defeat in Rome could be blamed upon one game-changing moment, Barca erased all doubt over the gulf in quality between the teams when they met again at Wembley two years later.
In one of the most one-sided finals of the modern era, Pep Guardiola’s side gave United a footballing lesson from the first minute to the last | notwithstanding Wayne Rooney’s fine 34th-minute equaliser that cancelled out Pedro’s early opener.
Messi was unplayable, the world’s best footballer at the peak of his powers, and he got the goal he deserved shortly after the interval to put Barca back in front.
On another night, Barca might have won by a far more embarrassing scoreline, such was their superiority, with David Villa eventually wrapping up the win in the 69th minute with a stunning curling effort.
Even Ferguson was well and truly humbled by the defeat, as he described Guardiola’s Barca as “the best team I have ever faced”.