Barcelona vs. Manchester United score: Messi, Suarez push Barca to first leg win at Old Trafford
Barca didn't play the sharpest of matches but still got a fine result
Barcelona went to Manchester United and got a favorable 1-0 win on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal thanks to an own goal from Luke Shaw 12 minutes in. Barcelona didn't threaten much at all in this one and failed to test David de Gea much on several set pieces, but the away goal makes Ernesto Valverde's team the strong favorite to advance in next week's second leg. United, meanwhile, did next to nothing in attack. Accuracy was way off and the team now has to dig deep to pull off another away shocker, as it did in the last round against PSG. Here's what you need to know and see:
⚽ Barcelona - Luke Shaw own goal (12')
Lionel Messi set up the lone goal off a fantastic run into the box. He was fed with a beautiful ball from Sergio Busquets and then Messi turned and went far post with a cross to Luis Suarez. The striker's header hit off the arm of Shaw for the game's only goal. Take a look:
Player of the game
Gerard Pique: The former Manchester United man was Barca's best player on the night. He was quick to close down attackers, made a couple key clearances and was one of the reasons why United failed to produce a single shot on goal. United never came remotely close to scoring, and Pique's massive performance was a big reason why.
Most telling statistic
Barcelona only had six shots in the entire game. Consider that last time out against one of the world's best defenses in Atletico Madrid, Barca had 21 shots. The strategy was obviously to score more, but this result was just fine as the Spanish side wasn't afraid to sit on the ball, play patiently and let the game come to them.
Key coaching decision
Starting Nelson Semede at right back for Barcelona. Valverde knew his speed down the right would give Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw trouble, and the Portuguese defender looked really confident and calm. He didn't get forward as much as he used to, but with Barca playing a bit conservatively he did just enough. His passing was crisp and he made a couple important stops on United counters.
What the result means
Great result for Barca. They return home with an away goal and a clear advantage. A draw at home will be enough for them to go through. As for United, it really isn't that bad of a result. Remember, United lost at home to PSG 2-0 last round in the first leg, and the Red Devils managed to come back on the road to knock out Mbappe and company. So this tie is still very much open, but they may need a hot start like they had in Paris.
The return leg is on Tuesday at Camp Nou at 3 p.m. and will air on fuboTV (Try for free).
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