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Barcelona edge out Man Utd, Ajax peg back Juventus

Barcelona edge out Man Utd, Ajax peg back Juventus

Barcelona will take a 1-0 lead over Manchester United into next week’s second leg of their Champions League quarter-final after a 12th-minute Luke Shaw own goal gave them victory at Old Trafford yesterday.

Sergio Busquets found Lionel Messi with a clever ball into the area and the Argentine carved out space on the left to deliver a lofted cross to Luis Suarez at the back post.

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The Uruguayan’s header deflected off the shoulder of a scrambling Shaw and beat David De Gea to give the visitors the lead and although the linesman initially flagged for offside, the goal was given after a VAR video review.

United’s best chance of the first half fell to Diogo Dalot but the Portuguese made a mess of a fine Marcus Rashford cross, heading harmlessly across the goal from close-range.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team had struggled to get a foothold in the game during the opening 45 minutes but they were much improved after the break, applying plenty of pressure without creating any clear chances.

Barcelona could have added a second had Suarez not fired into the side-netting from a promising position after a clever through ball from Nelson Semedo.

Barcelona have not lost at home in the Champions League since 2013.

In the other match played yesterday, Cristiano Ronaldo produced yet another quality goal to help Juventus to a 1-1 draw at Ajax Amsterdam in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie on Wednesday.

Juventus took the lead on the stroke of halftime as Portuguese forward Ronaldo began an attacking move inside his own half before sprinting down field and diving to head in a clever chip from Joao Cancelo.

Ajax equalised 30 seconds into the second half after Cancelo lost control of the ball to allow David Neres to run down the left wing, cut inside and curl the ball past Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

The result leaves the Serie A side in a strong position to advance to the semifinals in next week’s return leg in Turin. However, they will be mindful of Ajax’s 4-1 away win over Real Madrid in the last round that eliminated the holders 5-3 on aggregate.

 

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