By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Outdated Trafford
Manchester United must design one other now potentially not Champions League comeback to inspire their hopes alive after Barcelona left Outdated Trafford with a slender relieve following the quarter-final first leg.
Barcelona, with celeb Lionel Messi composed by his standards, had been nowhere approach their most efficient nonetheless secured the preserve shut after Luis Suarez’s a ways post header from the Argentine’s stride deflected in off Luke Shaw within the 12th minute and used to be confirmed by the video assistant referee after initially being given offside.
Fresh Manchester United supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can take heart from his crew’s huge endeavour nonetheless opportunities had been at a top fee, the absolute best being a first-half of header from Diogo Dalot that he directed off beam. Truly United did no longer muster a single shot heading in the right direction.
Barcelona mute posed a menace, with David de Gea saving from Philippe Coutinho and Messi – and United must now repeat their final-16 heroics in opposition to Paris St-Germain in France when they fade to the Nou Camp chasing a semi-final field in opposition to Liverpool or Porto.
Man Utd all sweat, no menace
Manchester United’s gamers took the applause of Outdated Trafford – nonetheless it used to be acknowledgment of a daring effort as a change of reward for any excessive quality.
United had very excellent performers, with teen Scott McTominay turning in a performance of genuine maturity, nonetheless the underside line used to be that they barely laid a glove on Barcelona all evening.
And the frustration for the Premier League aspect may per chance perhaps be that this wants to be considered a uncared for opportunity attributable to Barcelona had been light years a ways from their flowing most efficient right here.
This used to be the first time United have did not have a shot heading in the right direction in a Champions League sport since March 2005, when they lost away to AC Milan.
Solskjaer and his aspect are left hoping for the identical form of miracle that saw them overcome a 2-0 home defeat to reach thru the final 16 in opposition to PSG – nonetheless lightning does no longer on the total strike twice, Barcelona are a superior aspect and the Red Devils have acquired handiest once within the Nou Camp, when they beat Bayern Munich there within the 1999 Champions League final.
United will summon up these spirits nonetheless right here is amazingly essential odds in opposition to every other time.
Barcelona grind out crucial preserve shut
Barcelona have glittered within the Champions League for years. This used to be an evening for the grind and they obtained the job done. It used to be undistinguished, unspectacular, nonetheless done your total identical.
Suarez obtained his goal nonetheless used to be handiest an intermittent menace whereas Messi customarily flashed nonetheless used to be on the total on the margins, no longer helped by sustaining a facial spoil in a first-half of field by Chris Smalling.
Coutinho showed glimpses of the brilliance that made him one of these treasured commodity nonetheless this used to be an evening when Barcelona performed effectively within themselves.
There used to be microscopic within the form of social gathering from their gamers at the final whistle as they knew their performance used to be dreadful nonetheless it used to be mute a huge trail in direction of the semi-final, and they’ll be delighted by how they fully nullified United.
Man of the match – Scott McTominay (Manchester United)
‘We’re mute in this tie’ – what they stated
Manchester United supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:“There had been pluses and negatives. We started sloppy and quite nervous. After their goal we settled and performed effectively.
“We had very factual particular person performances in midfield. At conditions it felt cherish a first fee United crew – the crowd had been at the inspire of us, we obtained out huge and obtained crosses in.
“We did not delivery huge, nonetheless it used to be a monumental goal and circulation from Messi and Suarez nonetheless they’re fortunate it comes off Luke Shaw. It be a blow nonetheless we settled effectively. We’re mute in this tie.”
Barcelona supervisor Ernesto Valverde stated:“It be a factual feeling attributable to it be a first fee consequence. We ticket it be mute tight and there may per chance be a 2nd sport to reach. Each person is conscious of they are able to react a ways from home and they did effectively in opposition to PSG. It used to be a without a doubt refined sport and what we anticipated. There had been moments the attach we suffered nonetheless we are gratified.”
Outdated skool United and most traditional Barcelona defender Gerard Pique:“After seeing the PSG sport, you attain no longer must trust the consequence – they came in Paris with a a lot bigger consequence and notice what took put. Enormous golf equipment can attain these items, it be crucial to work it out.
“It used to be particular to reach right here after so a long time. We’re defensively at the absolute best 2nd of the season. I feel snug attributable to of my age and experience.”
United battle at Outdated Trafford again – the stats
- Manchester United have lost three consecutive home Champions League knockout stage games for the first time.
- This used to be Barcelona’s fourth Champions League victory in opposition to Manchester United, with each and each person coming in a particular stadium (Nou Camp, Stadio Olimpico, Wembley and Outdated Trafford).
- Manchester United have lost four of their past six Champions League home games, as many as they’d in their outdated 71 at Outdated Trafford within the rivals (W51 D16 L4).
- Manchester United did not have a single shot heading in the right direction in a Champions League sport for the first time since March 2005, in a 1-0 loss at AC Milan.
- Barcelona have acquired 5 of their past seven away games in opposition to English opponents within the Champions League (D1 L1), as many as they’d in their first 17 such games within the rivals (W5 D5 L7).
- 36% of Manchester United’s total home defeats within the Champions League had been in opposition to Spanish opponents (5/14).
- Luke Shaw’s have goal used to be the eighth Manchester United have scored within the Champions League – no aspect has conceded more within the history of the rivals.
- Luis Suarez has had more shots without discovering the salvage than another participant within the Champions League this season (33).