Manchester United were booted out of the UEFA Champions League as Barcelona handed them a 3-0 defeat at Camp Nou on Tuesday.
The visitors started the game on the front foot, with Marcus Rashford nearly beating Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the opening minute, only to be denied by the woodwork. A couple of minutes later, Manchester United came close again, but were failed to score thanks to Scott McTominay’s poor first touch.
A little while later, Barcelona thought they had won a penalty, when the referee penalised Fred for bringing Ivan Rakitic down inside the Manchester United box. But, upon consultation with the VAR, it became clear that the Brazilian had won the ball first.
However, it was ultimately Barcelona who went on to break the deadlock, in the 16th minute, when a mistake by Ashley Young allowed Lionel Messi to drift into space before slotting the ball into the bottom left corner. Four minutes later, the tie was effectively clinched as David de Gea made a mess of a routine save to allow Messi to double his and Barcelona’s tally on the night.
The Spaniard though, saved face towards the end of the first half, when he denied Sergi Roberto. But, the embarrassment was finally complete just after the hour mark, as Philippe Coutinho unleashed his trademark curler into the top right corner, something de Gea had no answer to.
Manchester United did come close to score a goal, only for Alexis Sanchez to be denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen on his return to Camp Nou. And so, the match ended 3-0, as the Red Devils bowed out of the UEFA Champions League. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
David de Gea: 4/10
3 – David de Gea has made three errors leading to opposition goals in all competitions this season – the only Premier League goalkeepers to have made more across all competitions in 2018-19 at club level are Asmir Begovic (5) and Jordan Pickford (4). Agonising. #FCBMUN pic.twitter.com/opnQREo1qK
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 16, 2019
In a season that has been one to forget, de Gea produced another hit-and-miss performance. While he could not have done anything to stop the first and third goals, his horrendous mistake allowed Messi to score his second and effectively end the tie. Did make a fine save to thwart Sergi Roberto, but in the end it barely saved face.
Victor Lindelof: 6/10
Initially it had appeared as if Phil Jones was to start as the right-back. But, it was Lindelof who was deployed in the position. Coming up against Coutinho and Jordi Alba, however, the Swede did his job well for the most part, rarely showing them on their strong side. The one instance he did fail, Coutinho ended up scoring. Nevertheless, it was a strong showing by Lindelof.
Chris Smalling: 7/10
The Manchester United star did struggle quite a bit on Tuesday. But, Smalling was far from being the culprit in their capitulation. The Englishman defended diligently against the threat of Luis Suarez, although it was the Uruguayan’s movement that pulled him out of position in the build-up to Messi’s first. Did not put much of a foot wrong otherwise.
Phil Jones: 6/10
Jones was turned relentlessly by Messi in the build-up to Barcelona’s first goal. But, it wasn’t an entirely disastrous outing, with the Englishman supporting Smalling well for the most part on the night. A decent enough performance.
Ashley Young: 2/10
Young had already been criticised to no end for his dreadful showing in the first leg. And, if possible, the veteran Englishman was even worse on Tuesday, with his terrible decision making practically gifting Barcelona the opening goal and sending Messi into acres of open space.
Young never quite managed to recover from the mistake as bar a block that stopped a goalbound effort, he struggled all throughout against Messi, Roberto and Nelson Semedo. By now, it is a wonder as to how he continues starting whenever available.
Scott McTominay: 6/10
Like in the first leg, McTominay was the best midfielder on show from Manchester United, although he too was far from being faultless. The Scot was presented with a golden opportunity to put his side in front early on, only for a poor first touch to see him squander it away. Pressed well in midfield, but had to pick the easy way out a lot of times when on the ball.
Fred started the game strongly, stringing together passes that created the early chances for Manchester United. But, once Barcelona found a footing in the game, he because a ball of nerves, which saw him lose the ball in dangerous areas. The Brazilian also struggled to screen the defence effectively, and this was a throwback to his days of struggle.
Paul Pogba: 5/10
Like Fred, Pogba seemed to be in fine touch early on, opening up the Barcelona defence. But, once the hosts scored their first, the Frenchman went into his shell – something he has been accused of previously as well – instead of helping Manchester United take control of the game. Another in his list of big game failures.
Jesse Lingard: 5/10
Lingard looked dangerous when he got on the ball, but those moments came few and far between. He did make four key passes, but went into the periphery as the game went on before eventually being substituted for Alexis Sanchez.
Marcus Rashford: 5/10
Rashford was at the end of the first chance of the game, but his rushed effort could only smash the crossbar after he had beaten Marc-Andre ter Stegen. While he looked dangerous with his movements thereafter, he never could manage to get another opportunity. One can only wonder what could have been if he had scored early on.
Anthony Martial: 4/10
Continuing the running theme since his return from injury, Martial was frustratingly ineffective in the final third, doing absolutely nothing of note on the night. The key number from his performance was the fact that he lost the ball an alarming eight times. Too static when off the ball, which only compounds the problems in attack.
Diogo Dalot: 6/10
A surprising replacement for Martial, with Solskjaer opting for a back five. Did not get in on the action a lot, although his rare crosses did get into dangerous areas. Only seeks to assert the questions over his shock omission from the starting lineup.
Romelu Lukaku: N/A
On for Rashford, Lukaku continued to be left frustrated, with Manchester United rarely seeing the ball.
Alexis Sanchez: N/A
It is quite damning that Sanchez was the only player who forced ter Stegen into a noteworthy save. But, he took his chance well, and will now hope to get back into contention to become a starter.