Lionel Messi’s brilliance guided Barcelona to a clinical 3-0 win over underwhelming Manchester United at Camp Nou. Messi scored a brace to deny any comeback from The Red Devils in the first half. Brazilian Phillipe Coutinho scored a screamer to seal the deal for the Catalan giants with an overall aggregate of 4-0.
In the few initial minutes of the game, Barcelona were on the backfoot with United strikers creating back to back chances breaking opposition defence, but then the little magician decided to take matters into his own hands and he scored a classic ‘Leo Messi’ goal in the 16th minute.
The Argentine didn’t take much time to score another as in the 20th minute United goalkeeper David de Gea blunder gifted Messi his second goal of the night. With the brace, Messi maintained his dominance on most goals in Champions League 2018-19 charts with 10.
After the match, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauded Messi for his two goals.
“Messi and Cristiano (Ronaldo) have been the best players in the world for the past decade,” Solskjaer said. “And he showed why we think that and why he has won so many titles. If you give him space and timing around the goal he will create chances and score.”
Philippe Coutinho had his best game for Barcelona since joining them last year. He scored the goal of the match in the 61st minute with a curler from a long range.
Solskjaer analysed the difference between the two teams and claimed Barcelona’s finishing was far better than the United players.
“We started well in the first 15 minutes and I thought, ‘We’ve got something here,'” Solskjaer said. “But then they scored twice in four minutes. … You could see the difference between the teams tonight. The quality of their finishing was absolutely outstanding,” Solskjaer concluded.