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Dublin: United need more from Pogba & Lukaku to beat Barca

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Ex-striker Dion Dublin has called on Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to pull their weight to help Manchester United launch a sensational comeback at Barcelona.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side played host to Barcelona at Old Trafford for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday and were, perhaps, unfortunate to suffer a 1-0 defeat.

United proved to be more than a match for a struggling Barcelona, but ultimately found opportunities to score hard to come by as not a single one of their 10 attempted shots were on target.

Therefore, Luke Shaw’s own goal proved to the decisive factor as Barcelona escaped with a narrow advantage from England.

Now the Red Devils will have it all to do at Camp Nou next Tuesday, where a similar comeback to the one they managed against Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round will be required.

But Dublin reckons United can pull it off should Pogba and Lukaku be more involved in the return leg at Catalonia.

The pair started on Wednesday, but failed to make an impact with Lukaku being substituted in the 68th-minute for Anthony Martial as United desperately sought an equaliser.

“United did not manage a shot on target on Wednesday, and they did not really use the ball well enough when they got possession,” The former United forward told BBC.

“Pogba was the player expected to play the biggest part in unlocking the Barcelona defence, but we did not see enough of the creative side of his game.

“He will have to do much better next week, but he can only do that if his team-mates are making the forward runs that allow him to play those sort of passes.

“Lukaku should be doing exactly that. He did not manage a single shot in the first leg but I actually thought he played well.

“He held the ball up and was very reliable in possession, but all of his work was a long, long way from goal.

“If United are to have any joy at the Nou Camp, they need to get him in the box and give their wide players more to aim at, because firing the ball into the Barcelona area was clearly part of Solskjaer’s plan.”

Meanwhile, Pogba voiced his confidence over United’s chances of springing a surprise on Barcelona as they are now aware of the Catalan side’s “flaws”.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 10: Paul Pogba of Manchester United reacts during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Manchester United and FC Barcelona at Old Trafford on April 10, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)