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Three things we learned from Barcelona’s win over Manchester United

An own goal sealed an away victory

Manchester United v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: First Leg Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Suarez can’t catch a break in the Champions League

Luis Suarez headed to Old Trafford in great form domestically but without a goal in this season’s Champions League and having not scored away from home in Europe since 2015.

However, the Uruguayan took just 12 minutes to open the scoring on Wednesday, heading a Lionel Messi cross past David de Gea from a tight angle. Except he didn’t quite.

Nope, those fine people at UEFA decided it was actually an own goal by Luke Shaw, and so Suarez is left still waiting to open his Champions League account this season.

It’s a tough call for Suarez on what was his 50th Champions League appearance, but he will fancy his chances of getting on the scoresheet in next week’s second leg at the Camp Nou.

Busquets form will worry Valverde

Sergio Busquets said before the quarter-final clash that he’d always wanted to play at Old Trafford, but it’s highly unlikely he will look back at his performance with much fondness.

It’s no exaggeration to say the midfielder can consider himself fortunate not to have seen red and could have been been given his marching orders as early as the 17th minute.

Manchester United v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: First Leg Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

He was fortunate not to have been booked after three minutes for a late challenge on Scott McTominay and then saw yellow for pulling back Paul Pogba.

That wasn’t Busquets’s last foul of the night either, and he also appeared to get away with a handball that left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer questioning the consistency of the officials.

The United boss was asked if Busquets was lucky to stay on the pitch and compared the offence to Tuesday’s match between Tottenham and Manchester City when Danny Rose saw yellow.

“Yes. Why does Danny Rose get a yellow card? It is that consistency,” he said.

”But there is nothing we can do about it. We are where we are. [Busquets] will play against us over there.”

Source | BBC Sport

Busquets did produce a lovely lofted ball to Lionel Messi to set up the only goal of the game, but otherwise it was his errors that stood out at Old Trafford.

Champions League rivals won’t fear Barcelona

Barcelona are in great shape to progress to the semi-finals after a 1-0 win at Old Trafford, and they also picked up their first away win in the knockout stages since 2015.

However, it was not a performance that will strike fear into the hearts of their rivals for this season’s Champions League, even though they did beat the Red Devils despite being well below their best.

Ernesto Valverde’s side started well and went ahead but then they slowed right down and their play became sloppy and disjointed.

Manchester United came back into the game but lacked the quality in the final third to make Barcelona pay. The stats show they didn’t manage a shot on target in the entire 90 minutes and Barca’s defence deserve credit for their display.

Manchester United v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: First Leg Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gerard Pique and Nelson Semedo both impressed at the back, but Jordi Alba, Busquets, Rakitic and Arthur were far from their best.

Lionel Messi also had a rare quiet night, with reports suggesting he was playing with a broken nose after getting one in the face from Smalling. Certainly the whack appeared to affect him, and he was unable to produce his usual magic.

Barcelona will be big favourites to progress to the last four now and a likely meeting with Liverpool, but on this evidence the Reds won’t fear taking on the Spanish champions.

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