Watch all the key plays as Man United hosts Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.

By Avi Creditor
April 10, 2019

Barcelona won for the first time in five chances at Old Trafford, riding an early own goal to an unconvincing win over Manchester United in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.

When Luke Shaw inadvertently turned in a Luis Suarez header in the 12th minute, it looked like it'd be a long day at the office for Man United, but the hosts settled into the game and carried the run of play for much of the second half, only to fall short. Still, the result gives Man United hope of pulling off another road triumph in this competition, with a spot in the semifinals on the line.

As expected, Barcelona had the better of the possession in the early minutes, earning a couple of corner kicks that yielded little. Man United broke forward on a third-minute counter that resulted in a free kick, after Sergio Busquets's dangerous sliding challenge on Scott McTominay. On the set piece, Marcus Rashford whipped a curling chance just wide of the far upper 90, a warning shot that didn't force Marc-Andre ter Stegen into action.

Rashford nearly broke through in the eight minute as well after a perfect through ball from Paul Pogba, but ter Stegen read it all the way and raced off his line to beat Rashford to the ball and cut out the opportunity.

Barcelona opened the scoring soon after, and it came from a familiar nemesis for Man United. Lionel Messi picked out Suarez at the far post after his own heavy touch took him out of a goal-scoring opportunity, and the ex-Liverpool star headed in from a tight angle. The offside flag initially and erroneously went up, as Philippe Coutinho tried–and missed–on his attempt to head it on on the line, but VAR rightly awarded the away goal in the 13th minute. It wound up going down as an own goal, with Shaw getting a slight touch on Suarez's header to turn it in the goal.

Barcelona endured a scare at the half-hour mark, when Chris Smalling delivered a flying elbow to Messi's face on an aerial challenge. Messi was tended to by the club medics for a while as he bled from his nose and eye, but he ultimately returned to the match after being cleaned up.

Barcelona nearly went up 2-0 through Coutinho in the 36th minute. Suarez held off Smalling inside the Man United box, with the ball sitting up for Coutinho to strike from 16 yards. David De Gea made a tremendous kick save to keep it out, though, keeping the deficit at 1-0.

Man United put Barcelona on its back foot in the second half, enjoying more of the ball and more control of the run of play while limiting the visitors' opportunities. The Red Devils didn't do much with their own, though. Rashford had perhaps the best of the bunch in the opening 15 minutes after the restart, but his mishit volley went well wide of the mark when he had a clear shooting lane.

All that hard work from Man United was nearly undone by Suarez in the 65th minute. The Uruguayan ran onto a great ball from Nelson Semedo, but he put his shot from a right-sided angle into the side netting, failing to convert the opportunity.

Messi was given a chance to add to Barcelona's lead in the 82nd minute after a foul in a dangerous area, but his attempt to sneak his shot under the wall only had De Gea wrong-footed for a moment, and the goalkeeper recovered to make the save, preserving the 1-0 scoreline.

Here were the lineups for both sides:

The second leg will take place at Barcelona's Camp Nou on Tuesday, April 16. The winner will face either Liverpool or Porto in the semifinals. Liverpool earned a 2-0 win in their first leg on Tuesday.

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Eagle (-2)
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