An own goal from Luke Shaw saw Barcelona record a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
United arguably shaded the match against an off-colour Barca, but the Spanish champions did enough to secure a narrow advantage ahead of the return fixture at Camp Nou next week.
Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera both missed out for United, meaning that there were spots in midfield for Scott McTominay and Fred. There was also a position in the XI for Diogo Dalot, who started as a wing-back.
As for Barca, Ousmane Dembele was only fit enough for the bench, so Philippe Coutinho once again joined Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the final third. Elsewhere, Nelson Semedo and Arthur were preferred to Sergi Roberto and Arturo Vidal, while Gerard Pique faced his former club.
It was actually the first meeting between the two teams since the 2011 Champions League final, when the Spanish giants triumphed courtesy of a 3-1 win in the English capital.
United had the first shot of the match in the fourth minute, but Marcus Rashford’s free kick was always moving wide of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s post.
Barca were having so much of the ball early on, though, and took the lead when Luis Suarez’s header from a Messi cross hit Shaw before dropping into the back of the net.
The opener had initially been ruled offside, but was eventually given following a VAR check, with a Shaw own goal being credited as the Catalan giants got their name on the scoresheet.
United pressed for a leveller in the final moments, but Barca kept their clean sheet intact to ensure that they would take an advantage into the second leg next week.
In Wednesday’s other quater-final fixture Cristiano Ronaldo returned from injury to score his 125th Champions League goal but Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw by impressive Ajax in the first leg of their quarter-final in Amsterdam.
After beating holders Real Madrid in the previous round, Ajax again took the game to one of Europe’s giants and more than deserved the superb equaliser scored by David Neres less than a minute after half-time.
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