Lionel Messi News: "They woke up the beast" remarks United legend on Messi's performance
What's the story?
Manchester United were handed a footballing lesson by Barcelona in the mid-week UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg with Lionel Messi scoring a scintillating brace to ensure the Spanish champions progressed 4-0 on aggregate. As reported by MEN, 2008 Champions League winner and United legend Rio Ferdinand felt that Messi's performance was too good for United to handle.
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Manchester United had put up some fight in the Champions League quarter-final first leg, dominating for large sections of the game to go down to Barcelona only by a solitary own goal at Old Trafford.
Close marking by Scott McTominay and Chris Smalling had largely kept Lionel Messi at bay, with Smalling going on to injure Messi with an elbow in the face as both players went for a high ball. The facial injury caused Messi some discomfort for the rest of the game as the Argentine ace was clearly seen to be struggling with some breathing problems.
The heart of the matter
Rio Ferdinand has had bitter experiences facing Messi, having lost to the mercurial genius both in the 2008-09 and the 2010-11 UEFA CHampions League finals. He had this to say about United's performance:
"I’ve said it before: Chris Smalling smashed him in the first game,It’s probably the worst thing that could have happened over that first game, to smash him, because they woke the beast up and he said: ‘Listen, I’ll put a clinic on here today and make sure you know about me’.
He went on to say that Messi can rarely be stopped when he in this kind of form
""And that’s what he did. A player of this ability, of this stature, sometimes you’ve just got to say he was too good and tonight that was the case. Just to be here, there’s going to be people in this stadium - Man United fans - disappointed but they’re going to be able to say: ‘I was there to see Messi perform at that level’."
The Red Devils face Everton away this Sunday in the Premier League. With just five games left in the season and United, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal all within striking distance of a top four spot, every game is must-win for Solskjaer and company.