Football Features

Every player rated as Barcelona edge out Man Utd in Champions League

By Steve Jennings

Published: 22:13, 10 April 2019

Barcelona edged past Manchester United with a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

Ernesto Valverde’s side will take a narrow lead back to the Nou Camp thanks to Luke Shaw’s early own goal.

Barcelona lacked their usual accuracy in possession but United failed to take advantage despite getting into some promising positions.

Here’s how every United and Barcelona player rated on the night.

Manchester United

David De Gea – 7 – Could do little about the opener. Made two typical saves with his feet from Coutinho and Jordi Alba, and dealt with a deflected Lionel Messi free-kick admirably.

Ashley Young – 4 – His crossing was frustratingly inconsistent. Struggled to keep up with Barcelona’s flying wing-back Alba defensively and never looked confident about taking on his marker.

Chris Smalling – 6 – Initially found it difficult to deal with Barcelona’s passes over the top but gradually settled into the game and didn’t give Luis Suarez much room to operate.

Victor Lindelof – 5 – Sloppy on the ball at times and was perhaps less involved than his centre-back partner.

Luke Shaw – 6 – Unfortunate with the own goal. Defended bravely afterwards, thwarting a Sergi Roberto chance with a crucial interception.

Scott McTominay – 7 – Aimed to put his mark on the game early on with some crunching tackles. Worked hard throughout and played a vital role in preventing Barcelona from controlling the midfield battle.

Fred – 7 – A quiet first half performance in central midfield. However, the Brazilian was given more room to make things happen in the second half and kept United ticking over with several useful recoveries.

Paul Pogba – 5 – Spread the ball around the pitch effectively but often tried to be too clever when approaching the final third, attempting flicks rather than simple passes.

Diogo Dalot – 4 – Started on the left wing and should have scored with a header that he inexplicably aimed back across the goal. Wasn’t involved enough before being substituted with 15 minutes to go.

Marcus Rashford – 5 – Took up some good positions but nothing quite fell for him. He could have connected to a couple of shots more cleanly, and he blasted a promising free-kick way over.

Romelu Lukaku – 5 – Was the first player hooked in the 68th minute after failing to see much of the ball. Often waited for the ball instead of dropping deep to collect it.

Substitutes

Jesse Lingard – 5 – A little rash and wasteful in his cameo performance.

Anthony Martial – N/A – Didn’t have much time to affect the game. Barely involved.

Andreas Pereira – N/A – A late arrival for Rashford,

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Barcelona

Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 6 – Uncertain with his taking and punching but his defenders were always able to trust him with the ball at his feet. No difficult saves of note to make.

Nelson Semedo – 6 – His pace allowed him to get away from Shaw on occasion and get out of trouble at the back. Could have got his head up quicker in the final third.

Gerard Pique – 7 – Composed at the back and prevented Lukaku from having an effect on the game, resulting in United failing to land a single shot on target.

Clement Lenglet – 6 – The least comfortable of Barcelona’s defenders on the ball but partnered Pique with resilience for the majority of the game.

Jordi Alba – 6 – Should have blocked more of Young’s crosses but ensured the United full-back never ran beyond him. Got Barcelona up the pitch with his positioning alone.

Sergio Busquets – 5 – Caught out defensively three times in the first half and was arguably lucky to avoid two yellow cards. Not his usual cool self in possession but it was his clever pass that initially led to the opener.

Arthur – 6 – The calmest central player in a sometimes frantic midfield battle in the first half but Valverde noticed he was being slightly overrun after the break and took him off with 25 minutes to go.

Ivan Rakitic – 6 – Didn’t find the room to join attacks often enough. His crucial contribution came in the final 10 minutes when his coolness on the ball calmed things down for the visitors.

Philippe Coutinho – 6 – Looked dangerous in fits and starts, like a microcosm of his Barcelona career to date. Made some dangerous runs at the back post but there does seem to be a problem with confidence.

Lionel Messi – 7 – Pinged a perfect pass onto the head of Luis Suarez for the opener. Kept the ball unerringly until a knock to the nose took the wind out of his sails somewhat. Less accurate after the break.

Luis Suarez – 7 – His header back across goal – into the corridor of uncertainty – for the opener was intuitive considering how little time he had to think. Should have put Barcelona 2-0 up but blasted a huge chance wide.

Substitutes

Arturo Vidal – 4 – A crazy first five minutes on the pitch saw Vidal commit some silly fouls and receive a yellow card. Completed a bizarre cameo with some strange, almost costly, marking at the death.

Sergi Roberto – 5 – Found an opening but was stopped by Shaw. Didn’t do much else.

Carlos Alena – N/A – The stoppage time arrival didn’t touch the ball.

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