Advantage Barcelona as Luke Shaw own-goal beats Manchester United


Barcelona will take a one-goal lead into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie with Manchester United thanks to Luke Shaw’s first half own goal.

The Spanish giants went ahead early in the first half after Luis Suarez’s header took enough of a deflection from Shaw’s shoulder to wrongfoot David De Gea, although the goal was not confirmed without the assistance of VAR after Suarez was initially flagged offside.

Despite having scored an impressive 121 goals in all competitions this season, Barcelona found themselves under the cosh in the opening stages as Manchester United looked to take advantage of sloppy defender from the Catalan side.

Sergio Busquets had the vast majority of a capacity Old Trafford crowd calling for a yellow card against the Barcelona defender for his late tackle on Scott McTominay, but the 30-year-old escaped without punishment.

If Barcelona were to beat, it would be their own complacency at fault. Marcus Rashford struck a freekick sweetly but lacked accuracy when he was handed the opportunity to score; Marc- André ter Stegen was also forced into a long clearance after Paul Pogba split the defence with a through-ball for Rashford.

But the Spanish visitors responded to a brief spell of pressure by catching United on the break and opening the scoring on twelve minutes. Lionel Messi struggled to control inside the penalty area before picking out Suarez at the far-post.

The former Liverpool striker headed against Shaw and took a large enough deflection to wrong-foot De Gea and cross the line. Celebrations seemed premature as the flag was raised for offside, however, after confirmation from VAR, the goal was awarded.

Luis Suarez’s header deflected off Luke Shaw to give Barcelona the lead. Credit: FC Barcelona / Twitter

Having been convicted of scoring an own goal, Shaw was booked eight minutes later for a cynical foul on Messi – meaning the left-back will miss the second leg in Barcelona.

United responded well to Barcelona’s goal and seemed the more likely to score, offering more in attack in comparison to Barca’s reliance on Messi and Suarez.

Diogo Dalot found enough space on the left-flank to cut-back to Pogba, the United skipper delivered a cross into the penalty area, although it was marginally out of reach for Romelu Lukaku to connect with.

The hosts had strong claims for a penalty turned away by Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi when McTominay was downed, but the contact from Gerard Pique was minimal.

As the pace of the game quickened, both sides came marginally close to finding the net in the closing stages of the first half.

Victor Lindelöf’s trailing foot allowed Suarez to run onto a long pass forward. The tricky forward held the ball up before sliding it to Philippe Coutinho, but the former Liverpool playmaker had a strong effort saved by De Gea’s legs.

United then came agonisingly close when Rashford picked out Dalot unmarked at the far-post, although the defender lost his composure and could not keep his header on-target as United had to settle for a 1-0 deficit at the interval.

The hosts continued to press their visitors in the second half and had numerous chances to convert during a spell of severe dominance.

Dalot’s quick reactions allowed the wing-back to gain possession from Nélson Semedo, he shifted the ball forward towards Rashford, but Pique made an excellent tackle to deny the young forward.

With momentum firmly in their sails, United continue to press and had arguably their best chance to convert when Ashley Young’s cross was headed down to Rashford by Pogba, but the England international spooned his effort from twelve yards.

Barcelona were handed an excellent opportunity to double their lead when Rablot slid the ball between Dalot and Shaw, although Suarez was only able to shoot into the side netting.

Messi and Jordi Alba linked up well to create space on the left. The latter had his effort saved comfortably by De Gea but it did not matter too much as United failed to get back into the game and head to Barcelona having to chase a one-goal deficit.


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When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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