Champions League Quarter-Final

Rex Christensen
April 17, 2019

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged his players to recall their last 16 exploits against Paris Saint-Germain for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona.

Messi almost completed his hat-trick with a bicycle kick as Barcelona completely dominated the second half, with their play leaving United chasing shadows.

After that Barca held the beleaguered visitors at bay as they set up a likely last four clash with Liverpool - Philippe Coutinho curled unstoppably past De Gea in the second half to rubberstamp a flawless 3-0 victory as Barca went through 4-0 on aggregate.

Messi then made it 2-0 in the 20th minute when his shot caught out David De Gea, who should have been able to make a routine save. It was the worst draw we could have got.

Lionel Messi has scored a total of 45 goals in all games for Barcelona this season which is 10 more than any other player in the top five European leagues.

In the first two minutes at the Camp Nou, United did more than they had in 90 minutes at Old Trafford.

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The entertaining factor was replaced by plenty of tension and poor play, and apart from a magical first 15 minutes from Barcelona which earned them the only goal of the game, it was not a night to remember in England.

90 - Ninety per cent of Manchester United's Champions League goals this season have come away from home.

Then, Barcelona had their own eight-minute flurry as United nearly conceded a penalty, ruled out after Fred took the ball before bringing down Ivan Rakitic, and then did concede, twice, to Messi.

Despite having the bonus of an away goal, Barca goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, said he and his teammates have to maintain their focus. Fred and Scott McTominay closed in on Coutinho and the ball spilled out to Messi, whose dribbling shot with his right foot should have drawn a routine save.

Sergi Roberto at the far post only for De Gea to redeem himself with a fantastic save.

Rashford might have made it interesting if he had controlled Pogba's ball over the top but Barcelona were in exhibition mode, helped by a vintage Coutinho curler after he had cut inside from the left. Barca's less so, especially in recent years where they have had to take a back seat to fierce rivals Real Madrid's trailblazing antics in Europe.

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