Past Perfect: They had met before, would the Champions League 2011 be any different?

PAST PERFECT = Had + Past Participle (look out for lots of use of the past perfect in the text) Past Perfect On Saturday night, the world watched as the two biggest clubs in football battled it out for the Champions League trophy at Wembley Stadium in London.

Expectations of a great match were high as Barcelona and Manchester United had met in the final two years previously, with the Spanish side easily winning 2–0. So, Manchester United were out for revenge and looking to repeat their historic European Cup win of 1968 at Wembley, only a few years after the Munich air disaster had decimated their team. Both teams had already won their domestic league titles easily, so the media had promoted this match as ‘the final of the decade’. Both managers had selected sides with some surprising omissions. Manchester Utd would be without Dimitar Berbatov who had scored 21 goals in the Premiership this season and Barca would be without their legendary defender Carlos Puyol, who had captained his side to so many victories before. In 2009, Pep Guardiola’s men had demoralised Alec Ferguson’s side with an early goal from which they never recovered. To try and stop this happening again, Manchester United started strongly with lots of possession in the first 10 minutes. However, when Barca finally got hold of the ball, they kept it and never really let go. The inevitable came after 27 minutes when Barcelona scored. The only surprising thing was when Wayne Rooney scored to make sure that it was 1–1 at half time. However, after the break, Lionel Messi did what he always does and scored Barcelona’s second goal, just like he had done in the 2009 final. Eventually, the final score was 3-1, meaning Barcelona had won by a 2 goal margin, just as they had done 2 years before. If Sir Alec Ferguson had used different tactics, and if the magical Lionel Messi hadn’t scored, would Man U have managed to overcome the artistry displayed by this Barcelona side, that many are calling ‘the greatest team to have ever played the game’? Probably not! Congratulations, Barcelona!


We use the past perfect when we are already talking about the past, and then we want to jump even further back into the past to talk about an earlier past action. PAST                                                             EARLIER PAST I arrived at the pub 30 minutes late and my friends had already left. Make the Past Perfect with   HAD + Past Participle I watched a movie on TV last night, but after the start, I realised that I had seen it before.

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