Champions League – Barcelona vs Manchester United Brazilian played well and scored a great goal

Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho celebrate one of Barcelona's goals
Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho celebrate one of Barcelona’s goals EFE

Possibly the best Barcelona performance of the season saw the Blaugrana return to the semi-finals of the Champions League after beating Manchester United 3-0 at the Camp Nou, advancing 4-0 on aggregate.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring with a wonderful strike, before the Argentine grabbed his second, albeit with some questionable goalkeeping from David de Gea.

The most notable performance from a Barcelona perspective, however, will have been the way in which Philippe Coutinho linked with his teammates and capped a good performance with a fantastic goal.

Coutinho has improved in recent matches and he rewarded Ernesto Valverde for starting him with a fine display.

He combined well with his teammates, never stopped running, and he scored the third to quieten some of the discontent that has surrounded at the Camp Nou.

At the most decisive stage of the season, Coutinho has arrived.

Messi proclaimed in August that Barcelona‘s intention this year was to win the Champions League and, in his first season as captain, that certainly looks like a possibility.

The title in LaLiga Santander has already been wrapped up, and they will face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final, yet Europe’s premier competition has eluded them in recent years, particularly at the quarter-final stage, but they are into the last four.

His first goal, Barcelona‘s opener, was such a blow for United as they struggled to mentally recover, as shown by De Gea‘s mistake for Messi‘s second minutes later.

Barcelona started the game very slowly and could have been punished in the opening minutes, yet United could not capitalise.

Marcus Rashford hit the crossbar after 35 seconds, while Scott McTominay had an opportunity one minutes later, though the Catalans woke up after those scares.

In the first two minutes at the Camp Nou, United did more than they had in 90 minutes at Old Trafford.

De Gea will never forget the night of April 16 as his error effectively ended the tie, with Messi‘s second giving Barcelona a 2-0 lead on the night, 3-0 on aggregate.

The Spanish international looked to prevent the Argentine’s shot, which was hit with next to no power, however he allowed the ball to squeeze under his body.

It is worth noting that De Gea made up for that mistake just before half-time as he saved Sergi Roberto‘s shot with his face from close range.

Paul Pogba was incredibly disappointing for United and his frustration with his own performance became evident as he began to try and foul Barcelona‘s midfielders.

Arthur was the first to be on the receiving end of three consecutive kicks from the Frenchman, and later Sergio Busquets was targeted by Pogba.

Real Madrid will hardly be excited about the prospect of signing the midfielder after his performances over the two legs.


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