MANCHESTER, April 11: Manchester United have another monumental task on their hands in the Champions League after Luke Shaw’s own goal gave Barcelona a 1-0 quarter-final, first leg lead at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Shaw turned Luis Suarez’s header into his own net after just 12 minutes and despite being far from their best, Barca comfortably held out to edge towards a first Champions League semi-final in four years.
United produced one of the European Cup’s finest ever comebacks from a 2-0 first-leg defeat at home to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.
However, on the ground where manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer completed another famous fightback to win the competition as a player in 1999, United must repeat the trick at the Camp Nou in six days’ time.
Much has been made of Suarez’s Champions League goal drought on the road and while the Uruguayan has still not officially netted an away goal in the competition since September 2015, he had a huge hand in Barca’s winner.
Lionel Messi drifted in behind the United defence and his cross hung up to the back post was headed goalwards by Suarez, the ball flicking off Shaw on its way past David de Gea.
An errant offside flag briefly threatened to spoil Suarez’s delight. However, the goal was quickly given on a VAR review and the former Liverpool striker took extra glee at having the last laugh with a fist pump in front of the Stretford End.
The early goal should have settled the Spanish champions into their stride as their dominance of possession touched close to 90 percent in the opening stages.
Yet, they offered United plenty of encouragement with Sergio Busquets in particular off the pace. (AFP)