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Barcelona barely beats Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Only an own goal from Luke Shaw could beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, FC Barcelona struggled to get a good Champions League result.

In what is considered the most competitive series of the Champions League quarterfinals, favorites FC Barcelona visited Old Trafford this evening to play against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United.

It was obvious that the Catalan club was the absolute favorite to win this match in England, but the Red Devils weren’t keen on allowing the Catalan club to have an easy visit to the Theatre of Dreams.

Regardless of how well placed the defense was for Manchester United, FC Barcelona still had Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on their side and they were the ones who combined for the Catalan club’s goal during the first half.

Sergio Busquets lobbed a ball to Leo Messi over the Manchester United defenders with Luis Suarez not participating in the first tempo, the Uruguay international was in clear offside but he was good to go right after that.

Leo sent an elevated pass to Suarez’s head and Luis responded with a potent header that didn’t seem to go straight to the goal. However, Luke Shaw made sure that the ball got in with an unfortunate own goal for Barcelona that got disallowed at first glance by the sideline referee.

After checking VAR, the central referee gave the goal to the Catalan club.

When the goal was announced, Luis Suarez celebrated it as if it was his own but the ref credited the own goal to Shaw and made the Barcelona striker wait a little more to end his three-year away goal-drought.

Just minutes after the Catalan club’s goal, Chris Smalling felt the need to intimidate Lionel Messi by flat out slapping him in the face and breaking his nose.

The Argentine player got a bloody response to the aggression and the English defender didn’t even get booked for it, this prevented Messi from playing his best football because he was hurting throughout the rest of the match as he really got a severe fracture.

But the show had to go on, the Catalan club kept searching for a second goal during the first half and they nearly got it through Luis Suarez again.

The former Liverpool player came back to Old Trafford in top form but his efforts were unlucky in front of David de Gea, he took a couple of shots in front of the goalkeeper with one going slightly to the side of the post and another one with practically no power.

Manchester United proved that they were ready to defend well, but they needed to score a goal during the second half.

Despite the clear effort from the Red Devils after the break, the level difference between squads was quite evident as the local team wasn’t able to penetrate the FC Barcelona defense with the players they got.

This whole match proved that Manchester United urgently needs to get some world-class players next summer in order to become more competitive against the best clubs in the world, but they still got a better result against Barcelona than against Paris Saint-Germain.

The Catalan club wasn’t able to completely close the series with another goal despite the many efforts from the front duo, manager Ernesto Valverde decided to leave Ousmane Dembele on the bench and save him for the return leg next week.

Neither Leo Messi nor Luis Suarez could score another goal, but this result seems good enough for them to finally close the series at Camp Nou.

Manchester United will have to travel to Barcelona and work up another massive miracle like they did at Parc des Prices, something that is in no way impossible but it does seem pretty difficult from on paper.

The Spanish giants weren’t especially bright tonight, but that was still good enough to win at Old Trafford.

What do you think about Manchester United’s defensive performance against Barcelona? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.