Spanish champions Barcelona rested several first teamers as they played out an uninspiring draw at the home of basement club Huesca just before their all-important Champions League quarterfinal second leg meeting with Premier League giants Manchester United.
First team players like club skipper Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets were excluded from the 18-man squad for the Huesca game while the likes of Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique were suspended for the game.
Without the aforementioned first team players, the fringe players didn’t impress against the worst team in the division.
This was in stark contrast to the first meeting between the two clubs which ended in an 8-2 defeat for the bottom team in La Liga.
Ousmane Dembele was making his first start for Barcelona for over a month and the French World Cup winner was the biggest threat for the visitors against Huesca.
The former Rennes and Borussia Dortmund star came close to breaking the deadlock from both sides after he hit the post as the two teams settled for a share of the spoils though it must be pointed out that Barcelona dominated proceedings.
Barcelona’s lead has now been trimmed to nine points by nearest challengers Atletico Madrid with six games to go.
Three wins will hand Barcelona a second successive league title.
The big guns including Messi are expected to return for the second leg against Manchester United.
Champions League: Man Utd Needed A Cage To Stop 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.
Champions League: Pique Rewarded For Performance Against Former Club
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.
Three Barcelona Players On Champions League List After Win vs Man Utd
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.
Chelsea get opportunity to avenge for United against Barcelona
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.
Messi Quality Was The Difference – Solskjaer
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has lauded the impact of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi following his performance against his team in their Champions League clash.
Solskjaer was full of praise for Messi after the Argentine international captain scored twice for Barcelona in their 3-0 trouncing of Manchester United in the second leg of their last eight tie.
In his post-match reaction to the game, the former Red Devils striker told reporters that Messi was the difference between the two teams.
Buoyed by the quality of Messi, Manchester United were outclassed by their hosts.
Barcelona had to overcome a nervy first five minutes before Messi scored the first goal in the 16th minute via a fantastic shot from the edge of the box.
Messi added a second goal for the Catalan giants in fortunate circumstances after his right-footed shot squirmed under the body of Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and into the net.
The second goal was a killer for Manchester United who needed three goals to qualify at that stage.
Former Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho added a third goal for the home side just after the hour mark to secure the 3-0 victory as well as a 4-0 aggregate win for Barcelona after the two legs between both teams.
Ex-Premier League Player Predicts UCL Final After Barcelona-Man Utd Tie
Former Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Rafael Van Der Vaart has predicted the final teams in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) this season.
The ex-Dutch international made his final prediction while he was on BBC Sports as he predicted a Barcelona-Ajax Champions League final.
He was speaking after both Ajax Amsterdam and Barcelona moved a step closer to landing the big price with respective aggregate victories over Juventus and Manchester United.
Rafael Van Der Vaart is delighted that two teams from the school of Dutch football legend Johann Cryuff are through to the last four of the competition.
Johann Cryuff attained legendary status at both Ajax Amsterdam and Barcelona before his death.
Ajax Amsterdam have been the surprising team of the season in the Champions League following their stunning victories over Real Madrid and Juventus.
Real Madrid fell to Ajax in the last 16 via a 5-3 aggregate defeat before the Dutch Eredivisie giants beat Italian champions Juventus 2-1 away from home on Wednesday night to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory over the Italians.
Barcelona are also in the final four after their dominant win over Manchester United.
The Spanish champions defeated Manchester United 3-0 in the second leg to secure a 4-0 aggregate win over the former English champions.
Barcelona Backed For Champions League Title
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tipped Spanish champions Barcelona for the Champions League title this season following the Red Devils’ elimination at the hands of the five-time European champions.
Solskjaer was speaking after Barcelona thrashed his Manchester United team 3-0 in their second leg clash to seal a 4-0 aggregate win over their two-legged Champions League quarterfinal tie.
In his post-match press conference after the second leg at the Nou Camp, Solskjaer told reporters that he won’t bet against Barcelona lifting the Champions League trophy in June having seen them at close quarters.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unable to mastermind another great escape against Barcelona like he did with the Red Devils’ last 16 tie with French giants Paris Saint Germain (PSG).
The Norwegian tactician and his players had suffered a 2-0 home defeat against PSG before they were able to turn it around via the away goals rule after a 3-1 victory over the French capital club away from home.
Manchester United were outclassed by Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League last eight tie after losing 1-0.
Lionel Messi (2) and former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho scored the goals for Barcelona in their 3-0 home win over the Red Devils.
Barcelona sealed a last four spot with a 4-0 aggregate victory over Manchester United.
Messi Confirms Nervous Barcelona Start vs Man Utd
Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi revealed that the Spanish La Liga leaders were nervous at the start of their Champions League game against Premier League giants Manchester United.
The Catalans played host to the Red Devils in what was the second leg of their quarterfinal tie having won the first leg at the Theatre of Dreams.
Barcelona beat Manchester United away from home in the first leg via a 1-0 win with Luke Shaw (own goal) getting the only goal of the game.
Manchester United started the second leg on the front foot in search of the goal that would bring them back into the tie.
Barcelona were nervous at the beginning mainly due to the pressure from the English club but they were able to recover from that nervy start to win comprehensively.
Lionel Messi confirmed the nervy start in his post-match thoughts after netting two goals in a 3-0 win over Manchester United thus giving his team a 4-0 aggregate win.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner told media outlet MoviStar about the nervy star from Barcelona.
Messi scored twice within four first-half minutes before former Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho scored the third goal for Barcelona to condemn Manchester United to elimination from the competition.
Barcelona will face either Liverpool or FC Porto in the semifinals.
Man Utd Need Defensive Revamp After Barcelona Thrashing
Manchester United legend Gary Neville is certain that his former club needs defensive reinforcements after the thrashing handed out to them by their Champions League opponents Barcelona.
Both teams met in the quarterfinals of the competition but the Spaniards showed their clash at the expense of Manchester United with a 3-0 victory and a 4-0 aggregate win to secure a semifinal berth.
While speaking on the disappointing loss suffered by Manchester United, former Red Devils right-back Gary told BeIN Sports that his former club will have to improve their squad defensively.
According to him, Manchester United need a defensive revamp to be able to compete with big clubs like Barcelona.
Gary Neville also said that current Red boss and former Manchester United teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a lot of work to do in terms of squad reinforcement ahead of next season.
The Manchester United defence was not able to withstand the star quality of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi who scored a first-half brace to set his team on their way to victory.
Messi scored the first goal on 16 minutes before he added a second goal some four minutes later.
Philippe Coutinho wrapped up the dominant win over Manchester United with a fine goal in the second half.
Man Utd Handed Twin Injury Boost For Barcelona Clash
Premier League giants Manchester United have been given a twin fitness boost ahead of their Champions League clash with Spanish giants Barcelona.
Both teams meet at the Nou Camp for what’s the second leg of their quarterfinal tie in the Champions League.
Manchester United trail 1-0 from the first leg played at the Theatre of Dreams as a result of the 12th-minute own goal scored by left-back Luke Shaw.
Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the return of two senior players to the Manchester United squad for the game against Barcelona.
In his pre-match press conference, Solskjaer revealed that both Alexis Sanchez and Nemanja Matic are fit to return to the Manchester United squad.
Alexis Sanchez has been suffering from a hamstring injury which kept him out of the last two months of football.
He is expected to be on the bench against his former club whom he left to join North London giants Arsenal in the summer of 2014.
Alexis Sanchez has struggled to perform for Manchester United since his swap transfer from Arsenal.
The Chilean has struggled to score goals regularly for Manchester United.
On his part, Nemanja Matic has returned to the Manchester United squad having struggled with fitness problems this term.
Chelsea3 months ago
Official! Chelsea complete another signing after successful medicals
Chelsea3 months ago
Star winger jets into London to seal Chelsea deal
Chelsea6 months ago
‘I am ready to play for Sarri’ – Chelsea target
Chelsea5 months ago
Willian tells Sarri who to replace Morata, Grioud?
Chelsea1 year ago
Deal Almost Done as Serie A star agrees to join Chelsea on £80,000-weekly deal – report
Chelsea8 months ago
“The King is back”- “Could help develop Morata” Good news for Chelsea fans.
Chelsea4 months ago
Breakthrough deal! Chelsea to announce new signing in new year
Chelsea1 year ago
Done Deal! Striker sends message to Chelsea as he’s finally unveiled