3 reasons why Man United lost to Barcelona
Manchester United were thoroughly outplayed by FC Barcelona at Camp Nou on Tuesday in the second leg of their quarterfinal clash in the UEFA Champions League, to lose 0-3. Lionel Messi bagged a brace and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho scored a worldly goal to seal the deal for La Blaugrana.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men lacked desire and heart and no wonder their shoulders drooped after Messi's second goal. We pick our three reasons why they lost on Tuesday.
1) Lack of precision in front of goal
Manchester United had no one else to blame but themselves for their loss against Barcelona in the second leg of their quarterfinal clash in the UEFA Champions League. Marcus Rashford missed a sitter in the opening seconds of the game and later, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial created chances but there was no one to take them.
Manchester United's lack of precision in front of goal hurt them badly as Lionel Messi soon seized a slight opportunity and rammed home a beauty. The Red Devils needed to look within themselves for the confidence and exuberance needed in front of goal.
2) Fullback worries
Luke Shaw missed the game due to suspension and his place was taken on the left wing by ageing warhorse Ashley Young. He was critical to United's loss and was solely responsible for giving the ball away to Lionel Messi for Barcelona's first goal. Young was shoddy in defence and equally pathetic when he made overlapping runs.
Manchester United need to stop giving contract extensions as if they are lollies and think long and hard before they make such decisions. Ashley Young's best is in the past and he needs to move on from Old Trafford.
Victor Lindelof, who shifted to right-back from Phil Jones, displayed a far better showing despite not being a fullback by nature.
3) Strange substitutions
The biggest shock received by Manchester United fans was when Romelu Lukaku did not start in the playing XI and had to sit on the bench for a long time to accommodate Jesse Lingard. Later on, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer substituted Anthony Martial, who was having a decent game for Diogo Dalot while Lingard stayed on for a bit longer before making way for Alexis Sanchez.
Solskjaer's team selection raised quite a few eyebrows, with Phil Jones starting at right-back (although Victor Lindelof moved to that position later on). Martial being substituted was the final nail in the coffin.