Champions League: Twitter reacts as Chris Smalling leaves Lionel Messi with a bloody nose
Barcelona will return home happy after their away win against Manchester United at Old Trafford, which was their first ever victory in that stadium. An own goal from Luke Shaw made the difference, although the gaol was due to the combined efforts of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez. Once the Catalan giants took the lead, both teams were unable to add to the goal tally.
The game itself did not go at all like it was anticipated. Both teams failed to dominate the game with both sides only creating half chances.
Manchester United replied strongly after going a goal down with a lot of pressing and resistance but their passing and movement in the final third passing and movements let them down. Ernesto Valverde and his side were extra cautious and did not want to let go of the lead they had.
Defeating Barcelona in the Nou Camp is going to be an herculean task but the Red Devils will take great heart from the fact that they already overturned a two goal deficit to beat Paris Saint-Germain in their own home under the tutelage of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It will be a mammoth task in a week's time and United can't afford to be as scrappy in the final third as they were today.
Lionel Messi was obviously the centre of attention in the match, considering the Barcelona talisman is having another historic season but the Argentine had a night to forget in front of goal.
But when Chris Smalling's shoulders clashed with Messi's face, it resulted in a bloody nose for the Argentinian. Prior to the match, Smalling got a lot of attention for his comments, when he said, "Bring it on!" in the pre match conference.
After the match, the veteran centre-back reflected on the match and said:
"For a large spell were pressed quite high and made it difficult for them. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get the goal. From half time we really got at them and caused them so many problems ... We knew we had to bring that intensity that they’re not used to every week."
Fans have since taken to Twitter to express their feelings regarding Smalling's challenge on Leo Messi.