Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Barcelona triumph to knock Man United out of Champions League quarter finals

Two early goals from Lionel Messi helped to secure Barcelona's victory

Manchester United's English defender Phil Jones leaves after the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Barcelona and Manchester United at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. AFP
Manchester United's English defender Phil Jones leaves after the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Barcelona and Manchester United at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. AFP

Manchester United have crashed out of the Champions League after three goals from Barcelona secured them a place in the semi-finals.

Lionel Messi scored two early goals to send Barcelona through with a comfortable 3-0 win on Tuesday.

Barcelona withstood some early pressure from United before Messi ended any hopes of a comeback for the Premier League side as the hosts advanced 4-0 on aggregate.

Messi opened the scoring with a brilliant solo effort in the 16th minute after he won possession of the ball, ghosted past a defender and curled a shot into the far corner.

The second came just four minutes later, although he was helped by a huge error from David de Gea that time.

The Argentina forward only managed a tame shot on goal but the Spain goalkeeper let it slip underneath him and into the net.

Philippe Coutinho added a third goal with a superb curling strike from long range in the 61st minute to cap arguably the best performance by the former Liverpool player since joining Barcelona just over a year ago.

Twenty years ago at Barcelona's stadium, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer completed one of the most memorable comebacks in soccer history when he scored the English team's second injury-time goal to stun Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.

But after a promising start when Marcus Rashford hit the crossbar, Messi showed that sentimental memories mean very little when he is playing at his best.

The goals ended his bizarre scoring drought in Champions League quarter-finals of 12 matches going back to 2013.

They took his tournament-leading tally to 10 this season. In total he has 45 goals in 42 games through all competitions.

Updated: April 17, 2019 02:06 AM

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