Shaw OG gives Barca advantage

Source:AFP Published: 2019/4/11 20:03:41

Beating Barca tougher than PSG, admits Solskjaer


Barcelona's Luis Suarez (center) celebrates with teammate Lionel Messi after an own goal from Manchester United defender Luke Shaw (right) on Wednesday in Manchester, England. Photo: VCG

Manchester United face an even tougher task to turn around the 1-0 deficit from the first leg of their quarter­final with Barcelona than their miraculous comeback away to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Wednesday.

United became the first side to ever overcome a 2-0 first-leg defeat at home to reach the last eight with a 3-1 win in Paris last month.

But Solskjaer, who scored the winner when United won the Champions League at the Camp Nou in 1999, believes Barca's prestigious European history makes beating the Spanish champions a different prospect to PSG.

"Of course the PSG performance away gives us hope and belief we can do it, but we know we are playing against probably the favorites for the tournament," said Solskjaer.

"It will be a greater achievement winning that one with the history of Barcelona. They are not used to losing at home."

Luke Shaw's early own goal was all that separated the sides on the scoresheet, but Barca comfortably edged toward a first Champions League semifinal in four years as United failed to register a single shot on target.

Much has been made of Luis Suarez's Champions League goal drought on the road and while the Uruguayan has still not officially netted an away goal in the competition since September 2015, he had a huge hand in Barca's winner.

Lionel Messi drifted in behind the United defense and his cross hung up to the back post was headed goalward by Suarez, the ball flicking off Shaw on its way past David de Gea.

An errant offside flag briefly threatened to spoil Suarez's delight. However, the goal was quickly given on a VAR review and the former Liverpool striker took extra glee at having the last laugh with a fist pump in front of the Stretford End.

The early goal should have settled the Catalans into their stride as their dominance of possession touched close to 90 percent in the opening stages.

United defender Chris Smalling had said "bring it on" at the prospect of facing Messi on the eve of the game.

And he left the Argentine bloodied from the nose as he careered into an aerial challenge on the half-hour mark.

Messi was quickly back on his feet and into the heart of the action, but it was Philippe Coutinho who came closest to extending Barca's advantage before the break with a thunderous low shot that Gea did brilliantly to repel with his feet.

Moments later United could easily have been on level terms, but the hosts' best chance of the half fell to the wrong man as Marcus Rashford picked out Diogo Dalot only for the Portuguese to completely miscue his header across goal.

However Rashford also failed to make proper contact with his big chance early in the second-half when Marc-Andre Ter Stegen could only punch a cross into his path.



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