'Messi always gets us out of trouble' - Valverde

Carrie Guzman
April 17, 2019

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.

The Argentine footballer Messi scored the first goal for Barcelona in the 16th minute.

But despite some late pressure from United, the La Liga giants comfortably negotiated the final few minutes without fuss as they closed out a 3-0 win on the night to progress to the semi-finals 4-0 on aggregate.

Having taken a 1-0 advantage from the first leg in Manchester, Barcelona took command in just 20 minutes in thanks to a brace from their captain, the second of which owed much to a howler from David de Gea.

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90 - Ninety per cent of Manchester United's Champions League goals this season have come away from home.

They made an enterprising start as Marcus Rashford struck the top of the crossbar in the first few seconds but were thoroughly second best after five-time Ballon d'Or victor Messi opened the scoring after 16 minutes.

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"With the quality they've got, the front three they've got, players to put on like [Ousmane] Dembele, Malcom, I wouldn't bet against them even though I don't bet", he said.

Messi then flew in and grabbed the loose ball ahead of a sliding Young.

It seemed it may not be the Catalans' night when referee Felix Brych consulted VAR and changed his mind after initially awarding a penalty when Ivan Rakitic went sprawling under Fred's challenge.

The second was simpler. Instead, De Gea let it squirm under his body for 2-0.

Sergi Roberto at the far post only for De Gea to redeem himself with a fantastic save.

"Messi is an exceptional talent, him and Cristiano (Ronaldo) have been the best players in the world in the last decade". Barca's less so, especially in recent years where they have had to take a back seat to fierce rivals Real Madrid's trailblazing antics in Europe.

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