Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

'Messi always gets us out of trouble' - Valverde

'Messi always gets us out of trouble' - Valverde

With the first match ending 1-0 for the Catalan's, the second match at the Camp Nou was business as usual. "We know that we can turn things around".

"Messi always gets us out of trouble and we're not going to apologise for having him", Valverde told a news conference.

United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer meanwhile backed Barca to conquer the continent again.

22 - Barcelona's Lionel Messi has scored 22 goals in 31 Champions League games against English opponents, more than any other player in the competition.

He said: "We did well to get here and you could see the difference between the two teams". United were brilliant for eight minutes and could have been ahead within 30 seconds as Rashford raced onto a curving Paul Pogba pass and toed away a shot, which Marc-Andre ter Stegen bravely left to graze his own crossbar.

Manchester United are teetering on the brink of Champions League elimination with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side now trailing on aggregate by quite a margin.

Jesse Lingard's 79th-minute shot from distance was a rare second-half highlight for United, while the introduction of former Barca star Alexis Sanchez for Lingard a minute later brought a round of applause from the home fans as they recognized the arrival of a former player. Then Messi stepped into the space, beat Young to the lose ball, nutmegged Fred, cut inside and powered home a ideal left-footed shot into the far bottom corner, where De Gea could only collect it from.

Manchester United are now in sixth place in the Premier League table and two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with five games left to play this season. I wouldn't lie if I said we do a super special preparation.

In a previous era United were able to attract the world's best talents but, despite their track record of spending big in recent years, that may no longer be the case.

"Cristiano increased our chances of winning the Champions League but football isn't math", Allegri added.

"You can prepare as much as you like, if you give him space and time around the goal he'll create and score goals, he's a fantastic player".

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