United, who had won the Europe’s elite club competition in 2008 May after defeating Chelsea were on the course of winning it for a consecutive time against Barcelona a year later at Wembley.
However, the Red Devils suffered a defeat and the fixture was Cristiano Ronaldo’s last match in United shirt. Meanwhile, United lost the league title to derby rivals City on goal difference. Meulensteen claims his former club lost the title after losing 1-0 to Wigan Athletic at DW Stadium.
“That’s where we lost the league. The manager thought that Paul Scholes, our key player and the one who could change the rhythm of the game, wasn’t right to play two games in a week (United had beaten QPR on the Saturday, a match Scholes scored in) and for that reason he wasn’t in the squad and we missed him,” Meulensteen was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
After United’s final day league win over Sunderland, “The manager tapped me on the shoulder and said well done. I went into the tunnel to meet Simon Wells, our video man. He said ‘They’ve just scored’.”
On Barcelona defeat, Meulensteen said: ” ‘I thought we had enough quality to deal with them. In hindsight, I think we didn’t pick the right team with (Carlos) Tevez, (Dimitar) Berbatov and (Paul) Scholes on the bench.”
“Three massive players who could have put more authority in the game, especially as a few players underperformed.”