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Barcelona pull out of race for Liverpool target

Timothy Aiyeku

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Adrien Rabiot

There are suggestions that Spanish La Liga outfit Barcelona have pulled out of the race to secure the signature of French Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

Barcelona were reported to have won the race ahead of the Reds team in the last winter transfer window but the agreement failed to be reached.

Adrien Rabiot is desperate to leave the Ligue 1 champions at the end of the season which gives us a hint that he would now be heading to the Anfield as Liverpool will now emerge as favourites for the star player.

It would be recalled that Adrien Rabiot allegedly rejected a move to North London outfit Tottenham so as to see through a move to either Barcelona or the Reds team.

Manager Jurgen Klopp is reported to be a fan of the star player and is ready to do all within his powers to have him join the club in the nearest future.

With the Reds team now battling to have their players return to full fitness, there will be need for more additions in the coming summer window with the German boss already learning his lessons to have a big squad.

Timothy Aiyeku is a Mass Communication graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a sports, everything football analyst.

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How Man Utd Affected Real Sociedad Game – Alba

Segun Amuda

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Jordi Alba

Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba has revealed that the Champions League game against Manchester United affected the performance against Real Sociedad in the league.

The Spanish international defender was speaking after Barcelona stumbled to a 2-1 win over the Basque club at home.

According to Jordi Alba, Barcelona expended a lot of energy against Manchester United in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie and that was the major reason behind the lacklustre showing against Real Sociedad.

Barcelona needed three wins from the last six league games to be crowned Spanish La Liga champions for the second successive season and they got one of those wins at home to Real Sociedad despite the fact that it was largely unconvincing.

The Blaugrana took the lead on the stroke of the halftime interval through Clement Lenglet.

Real Sociedad stunned the Nou Camp with a 62nd-minute equaliser from Juanmi but they were only level for just two minutes after Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi setup Alba to score what proved to be the winning goal.

Barcelona can wrap up the title as early as midweek if they beat Deportivo Alaves and nearest challengers Atletico Madrid fail to pick up at least one point against Champions League chasers Valencia.

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Barcelona Struggle To Win After Man Utd Heroics

Segun Amuda

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Jordi Alba

Spanish La Liga leaders Barcelona were not at their fluent best after they struggled to a slim victory over Real Sociedad in their league clash on Saturday night.

Barcelona huffed and puffed to victory over the Basque club to edge closer to the league title.

After the win over Real Sociedad at home, Barcelona need just two wins from the last five games to secure the Spanish La Liga title.

Barcelona were miles apart from the team that saw off Premier League giants Manchester United easily in their quarterfinal tie.

The Red Devils were beaten 3-0 by Barcelona in their second leg meeting on Tuesday night thereby securing a 4-0 aggregate defeat to exit the competition at the hands of the five-time European champions.

Barcelona took the first lead against Real Sociedad after Clement Lenglet found the back of the net on the stroke of the halftime interval.

Juanmi then equalised for Real Sociedad in the 62nd minute but they were only level for two minutes before star player Lionel Messi setup Jordi Alba to score the second goal for Barcelona.

That was how the game ended as Barcelona sealed a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad to move closer to retaining the trophy won last season.

Barcelona are on the hunt for three trophies this term.

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Barcelona Prised Out Of Rashford Transfer

Segun Amuda

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Marcus Rashford

Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona have reportedly been prised out of a move for Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.

According to the report from the Daily Express, Barcelona pulled out of the race to sign Rashford because he was deemed to be too expensive.

It was revealed that the Spanish champions were forced to back down on their interest in Rashford after they were quoted £150m for his transfer.

Apart from Barcelona, England international Rashford has been touted as a potential transfer addition to clubs like Italian champions Juventus and Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Marcus Rashford has just over a year left on his current Manchester United deal which expires at the end of next season though the Red Devils reserve the right to activate the extra year clause thus taking him till the end of the 2020/21.

Rashford has been enjoying some form of a renaissance since Solskjaer became the Manchester United manager.

The 21-year-old lost his way when Jose Mourinho was in charge of the Red Devils before he was sacked in December for poor results.

His dismissal brought about the interim appointment of former club striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who has since been named the permanent manager.

Marcus Rashford has done well for Manchester United in the league this season with 10 goals and seven assists recorded.

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Messi Still World’s Best After Man Utd Heroics

Segun Amuda

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Lionel Messi

Barcelona legend Carles Puyol has no doubt that Argentine international skipper Lionel Messi is still the best player in the history of world football after he once again shut down the doubters with a stunning performance in the Champions League clash with Premier League giants Manchester United.

Messi and Barcelona knocked out the Red Devils via a 4-0 aggregate win.

Puyol talked about five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi during an interview with Goal while he was at the Champions League trophy tour in Nigeria.

His beloved Barcelona had earlier beaten Manchester United 1-0 in the first leg played at the Theatre of Dreams last week Wednesday.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw put through his own net in the 12th minute to give Barcelona a priceless away goal and that made it count in the second leg at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.

The Red Devils were on the receiving end of a 3-0 trouncing at the hands of Spanish champions Barcelona.

Lionel Messi was the star of the show as he scored two goals within five first-half minutes before ex-Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho added a third goal midway into the second half.

With the second leg victory, Barcelona setup a semifinal tie with Liverpool via a 4-0 aggregate win over Manchester United.

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Liverpool now know why they will defeat Barcelona

Timothy Aiyeku

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Lionel Messi

After eliminating Porto in the Champions League quarter-final, Merseyside outfit Liverpool will now face Spanish La Liga outfit Barcelona who are favourites for the title this season after eliminating Man United.

The Reds team now have the hope of seeing their second consecutive Champions League finals if they are able to see past the Spanish side.

One challenge for Liverpool will be how to stop Argentina international Lionel Messi knowing that he was responsible for the downfall of the Red Devils and manager Jurgen Klopp has stated that he hopes his team are able to find a way to stop him.

However, Jurgen Klopp has been told by former player Xavi Alonso that the La Liga team are beatable despite the fact that it looks difficult.

According to Xabi Alonso, the Reds team can boast of their last season’s experience to see past Barcelona, adding that it would be a great game to behold.

He stressed that the attack force of the Jurgen Klopp team with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino is also formidable and will pose a threat to the Barcelona defence.

Meanwhile, the Reds team have got the English Premier League title to fight for and they hope to win the double at the end of the season.

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Messi Already Deserves Ballon d’Or Award After Man Utd Heroics

Segun Amuda

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Lionel Messi

Barcelona legend Rivaldo is certain that Lionel Messi deserves a sixth Ballon d’Or after his heroics against Premier League giants Manchester United.

In an exclusive interview with popular media portal Goal, the former Barcelona forward pointed out that Messi has been consistent in the past months and he’s the overwhelming favourite to win the Player of the Year for 2019.

The reigning Ballon d’Or winner is Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric who was a key performer for the Croatian national team at last summer’s FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia.

Modric and Croatia surprisingly reached the final of the aforementioned tournament before they were beaten by France in the finals via a 4-2 defeat.

Lionel Messi is the favourite to succeed Modric as the Ballon d’Or recipient for this year.

The Argentine national team skipper has scored 10 goals in the Champions League this season which is more than any other player in the competition.

He moved clear of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski (8 goals) with two goals against Manchester United in their Champions League quarterfinal second leg clash.

Messi was the star of the show as Barcelona thrashed the Red Devils 3-0 to secure a semifinal spot via a 4-0 aggregate victory over the Red Devils.

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Champions League: Man Utd Needed A Cage To Stop Messi

Segun Amuda

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Lionel Messi

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has praised Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi following his performance for the Spanish champions in their Champions League win over his former club.

The Portuguese tactician paid tribute to Messi in an interview with Russia Today as he revealed that Manchester United needed a cage to stop Messi from wreaking havoc.

Lionel Messi was at his best against the Red Devils as he scored twice to lead Barcelona to a 3-0 win over the Red Devils in their Champions League quarterfinal second leg meeting to secure a 4-0 aggregate victory.

The little Argentine international scored the opening goal for the Red Devils in the 16th minute with a left-footed strike before he added a brace in fortuitous circumstances after his right-footed strike squirmed under the body of Manchester United shot-stopper David De Gea.

Ex-Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho wrapped up the win for the Spanish champions in the second leg.

Barcelona had earlier won the first leg at Old Trafford with the help of an own goal from Manchester United defender Luke Shaw.

With the aggregate win over Manchester United in the last eight, Barcelona will now face Liverpool in the semifinals of the Champions League.

Barcelona host Liverpool in the first leg at the Nou Camp before the second leg in England.

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Champions League: Pique Rewarded For Performance Against Former Club

Segun Amuda

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has been rewarded for his performances for the Spanish champions over the two legs of their quarterfinal tie against his former club Manchester United.

Pique was with the Barcelona youth team before joining Manchester United in 2004 where he largely played for the youth team for the first year before breaking into the first team at Old Trafford.

The ex-Spanish international centre back was in superb form as he repelled Manchester United in the first leg meeting of their Champions League quarterfinal duel.

Pique helped the Red Devils to keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 first leg win at Old Trafford.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw put through his own in the 12th and that happened to be the only goal of the game as Barcelona held on to that advantage.

The Red Devils started the second leg well but Pique and others were able to repel them before star player Lionel Messi scored two goals in the first half of that second leg to give Barcelona a spot in the final four of the competition.

Former Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho added a third goal with a fine strike to condemn Manchester United to a 3-0 win and a 4-0 aggregate victory.

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Three Barcelona Players On Champions League List After Win vs Man Utd

Segun Amuda

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Three players from Spanish champions Barcelona made the team of the quarterfinals in the Champions League following their win over Premier League club Manchester United.

The three players namely Gerard Pique, Marc Andre Ter Stegen and Lionel Messi were outstanding for the Spaniards who saw off Manchester United easily to secure a last four meeting with Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Pique produced a very good outing for Barcelona against Manchester United especially in the first leg to help the Spanish champions to a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

The recently retired Spanish international also played well in the second leg which Barcelona won 3-0 though Lionel Messi was the star of the show after the Argentine superstar netted twice in the first half.

Manchester United could not handle the threat from Messi who took his Champions League goal rally for this season to ten after the double against the Red Devils.

Marc Andre Ter Stegen didn’t have much to do in the Barcelona goal over the two legs against Manchester United but he was able to keep a clean sheet.

The list of the best players for the Champions League quarterfinals was compiled by media outlet Goal.

The aforementioned Barcelona players would be hoping to play their respective parts in the last four tie vs Liverpool.

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Chelsea get opportunity to avenge for United against Barcelona

Timothy Aiyeku

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West London outfit Chelsea are reported to have set up a clash against Spanish La Liga Barcelona in this coming summer for a preseason game in Japan on June 23 at the Saitama Stadium in North Tokyo.

This could be an opportunity for the West London outfit to take up revenge for the English Premier League counter-part Man United despite the fact that it would be on a lighter note.

Man United were defeated by the Spanish giants in the Champions League quarterfinals earlier this week and that marks the end of their European journey this season.

However, Chelsea will have a test of the Spanish side later at the end of the season for the MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE WORLD CHALLENGE 2019 which is organized by Yokohama Tyres.

However, the Blues team have got no opportunity to meet with the La Liga outfit in a more competitive game because of their failure to secure qualification to the Champions League this season.

The West Londoners played in the Europa League and they are currently in the quarterfinals with the second leg expected later on Thursday after seeing a 1-0 win in the first leg. A win will ensure they progress to the semi-finals.

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