It was a dominating performance by Lionel Messi and Company in their own backyard as they notched up a 3-0 win against Manchester United in the second leg of the quarterfinal encounter in the Champions League. The Blaugrana outplayed the Red Devils in every department as Lionel Messi struck twice and Philippe Coutinho notched up the last goal for his side to get them through to the semifinal stage.
Manchester United never looked like having a grip on the match as Barcelona dominated the proceedings from the word go. Messi carried on his brilliant form and scored the first goal with a sublime strike off his left foot. He got the rub of the green going his way in the case of the second goal as David De Gea committed a howler to a rather harmless shot that went into the net through his hands. Coutinho’s goal in the second half was an absolute masterpiece as the Brazilian ace found the back of the net with an inch-perfect shot to beat the Spanish goalie. This result puts an end to United’s hopes of winning a silverware this season.
Here is how the Barcelona players were rated from their win against Manchester United.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: 7
Made a few regulation saves except the one where he had to go full stretch to prevent Sanchez from scoring one on his return to Nou Camp. Had a rather quiet night otherwise.
Sergi Roberto: 7
Made some outstanding runs into the opposition half with the ball and initiated the attack in case of the first goal. Defended pretty well also.
Gerard Pique: 8
A solid performance from probably the best centre back in Spain, if not Europe, on the night. Did not give an inch of space to the United strikers to take a free shot at goal.
Clement Lenglet: 7
Partnered Pique well in the defence. Made sure to avert the danger with some excellent tackles.
Jordi Alba: 7.5
Ran up and down the pitch with great vigour and consistency. Threatened the opposition with his smart balls into the box and laid off the assist for Coutinho’s goal. His backtracking was spot on too.
Sergio Busquets: 6.5
Looked a little fatigued in the second half after having a perfect first half. Kept playing on the shoulders of Fred and Pogba throughout the match.
It was a treat to watch him get the better of Pogba on several occasions throughout the night. Took a few knocks as well but kept his composure intact.
Ivan Rakitic: 6
Looked a bit shaky on occasions in midfield. His passing was accurate though.
Philippe Coutinho: 8
His classy footwork caused many problems for his old foes from the Premier League. Scored a world-class goal to seal the win for his side in the crucial tie.
Lionel Messi: 9
When it’s Messi at Nou Camp, one can guarantee devastation for the opposition. The little magician owned Phil Jones and Smalling with his outrageous skills and deceived them now and then. Notched up a brace with a bit of help from De Gea, but that does not take away one bit of credit from the Barcelona skipper as he led them into the semi-final of the Champions League.
Luis Suarez: 6
Had a decent first half followed by a sedate second half. Could not make most of the chances that fell to him. Picked up a yellow card towards the end of the match.
Nelson Semedo: 6
Did well for his short spell on the pitch.
Arturo Vidal: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
Ousmane Dembele: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
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