Barca triumphs historically at Old Trafford, the intrigue remains
Barca want this Champions and Old Trafford witnessed it. First with football and then with a lot of collective sacrifice. The azulgranas imposed their sporting superiority from the start, but the English did not give up and pulled pride and physical to try to equalize the score in a second half marked by the exchange of blows and virtues of two historical teams in European competition.
Barça won for the first time in their history at Old Trafford with a goal from Suárez, which UEFA later rectified to give Shaw who was the last to touch the ball before it went beyond the goal line. A bit that gave tranquility but did not end with the hopes of the Red Devils who were left with no resources to match the match and put the fear in the body to Barcelona at times.
Two different approaches
The scripts were fulfilled perfectly. Solskjaer met expectations.
Offensive raids that gave numerical superiority in the possession, but contributed little danger to the area of David De Gea. And with Barça overturned in attack without losing their positional and association play, the prize came in the 12th minute. Cou leaked to Messi and the Argentine put a measured ball to Suarez who nodded, but Shaw played before.
Some boos that did not make a dent in a striker who signed one of his best matches of the season. Stretching the team, holding the ball and playing with a lot of head. Only the goal would have been the icing on his night.
The score kept the script of the game, but United wanted to take advantage of Barca’s mistakes. He did not get the most out of them, but the controls, touches and safety passes began to put in check the hegemony of the Barça game with losses near the area of Ter Stegen. Busquets, Jordi Alba and Lenglet were on the ropes at different times given the pressure of the English.
In the equator the possession spoke for itself, 85% for the Catalans and 15% for the English, who proposed very little football and based a possible comeback in the aerial and vertical game. A superiority that Leo Messi led but that went out in the second half. The Norwegian coach had said hours not to be “unstoppable”. What nobody imagined is that they intended to stop the captain almost breaking his nose. The image of the Argentine lying on the ground bleeding after Smalling’s clash while waiting for the ball on his back was the snapshot of the first half. A fault that was neither pointed nor penalized.
The pride of English football.
Solskjaer awoke the pride of his players in the dressing room and Barça began to suffer in the second half. He lost almost all the physical, aerial and dispute duels against human towers accustomed to the Premier’s game. United took a step forward and locked Barça in their field, while the men of Ernesto Valverde tried to recover the script of the game through possession.
After the break in Barcelona, Arturo Vidal, who was included in Barcelona, exacerbated the Catalonian extras, but rather made sure the rival did not break through the field.
A new change in the score was not recorded and the guests were greeted with success at Old Trafford, something they had not achieved.
United had two victories and two draws against Barcelona before the game, but won only two of the last 15 matches with the Spaniards, with only three draws in the last six. Today their statistics continue.