Messi with the help of Coutinho sent Barcelona to Champions League semi-finals

Barcelona entered the 2nd leg of Champions League quarter-finals against Manchester United with only 1 goal advantage, which they managed to turn into 4 goals on the wings of Messi and Coutinho.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona controls the ball
BARCELONA, SPAIN – APRIL 16: Lionel Messi of Barcelona controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at Camp Nou on April 16, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

After an impressive comeback in the 1/8 finals of the Champions League against Paris Saint Germain, Manchester United ran out of steam and failed to repeat their success against the Spanish giants, Barcelona.

Travelling back in time to April 10th, when the teams met at Old Trafford, it was the unfortunate own goal from Luke Shaw that sent Barcelona into a lead only 12 minutes into the fixture. Other than that, we did not see any other goals scored for the remaining 78 minutes, despite a total of 15 goal attempts from both sides.

Ending the first leg at home 1 goal behind was not optimal for the Red Devils, however, hope was still there after their impressive performance in the 1/8 finals against PSG when they, after losing the home leg 0:2 won in Paris with an incredible score of 1:3, which sent them into quarter-finals. With that in mind, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his men travelled to Barcelona confident that they can defeat one of the best teams in the world on their own ground.

Manchester United stepped on the pitch with their heads held high and full of confidence that they can defeat Barcelona, and they meant it. The Red Devils started off the match aggressively, and It did not take Rashford long to get a proper chance to score the opening goal, however, it was ter Stegen, who stood at the right place and managed to deflect the shot which prevented United from getting into a lead only 30 seconds into the match. While this was one of the best chances of the match, the first few minutes did not lack goal scoring opportunities. It was a very open start of the fixture, with both teams having their fair share of chances.

In the end, it was Messi who managed to score the opener in the 16th minute, to which he added 2nd goal only 4 minutes later due to a mistake from De Gea, who was unfortunate to see the ball slip from his hands and into the net. The match continued with a dominant performance from Barcelona, who sealed the deal with a screamer from Coutinho, who sent the ball into the top right corner from outside the penalty area.

With a 4 goal aggregate lead and only 30 minutes to go, it was clear that Barcelona were going to advance into the next stage, and that it was the end of the road for Manchester United.

All in all, it was a great match worthy of being called the Champions League match. Teams did their best, however just like in any match, there can be only one winner, and this time it was Barcelona, who will hope this year is the year they will repeat their success from 2015 when they last lifted the CL trophy. But first, they need to go through the semi-finals, where they will meet with either Porto or Liverpool for a chance to appear in the finals in Madrid on June 1st.

After an impressive show and two goals against Manchester United, Messi is now officially the leading goal scorer in the Champions League with 10 goals, to which he added 3 assists. Being 4 goals above Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Messi has more or less earned himself the title of the best scorer of 2018/19 Champions League tournament.

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