UEFA Champions League: Barcelona disunites Manchester United as Ajax stun Juventus

SPORT

Lionel Messi sent Barcelona into the semi-finals of the Champions league after scoring a brace against  Manchester United in Camp Nou on Tuesday night

Early into the game, Barcelona held firm after Manchester United pressurized, but Lionel Messi ended any possible hopes for the English side with two early goals.

Messi scored the opening goal for Barcelona in the 16th minute after a brilliant solo effort; he won the ball, went past a defender before curling a shot into the far corner.

Four minutes later, Messi made it 2-0, with Man U goalkeeper David de Gea to blame. The Spain goalkeeper allowed Messi’s tame shot on goal slip underneath him and into the net.

Phillipe Coutinho made it 3-0 in the 61st minute after a long range curling strike, which is his best performance so far since joining from Liverpool over a year ago.

Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer two decades ago at Barcelona’s stadium (Nou Camp) completed one of the heroic comebacks in the history of football after he scored Man U’s 2nd injury-time goal to lift the 1999 Champions League final.

But after United’s promising start where Marcus Rashford hit the crossbar, it was Messi who proved that sentimental memories have nothing compared to when he is in top form. He has scored ten goals so far in the Champions League and 45 goals in 42 appearances in total.

Barcelona will face either Liverpool or FC Porto in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Ajax knocked out Juventus, winning 2-1 in Turin to reach the semi-finals. This is the first time Ajax will be reaching this stage since 1997, ending Cristiano Ronaldo’s hopes of winning a fourth straight title.

Having knocked out Real Madrid in the knockout stages, Ajax were not scared of either Ronaldo or Juventus, dominating much of the game and later advancing 3-2 on aggregate.

Ajax Stunned Juventus in Turin

Despite going one goal down in the first half after C.Ronaldo’s header, they were not bothered as Donny van de Beek levelled not long after and in the second half, 19 year old captain Matthijs de Ligt scored the winner.

This is the first time since 2010 that Ronaldo will fail to reach the Semi-finals. Juventus signed Cristiano Ronaldo early this season with the hope of getting their hands on the Champions league, which they’ve waited to win for 23 years.

Ronaldo has been living up to expectations after scoring a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid to ensure his team progresses into the quarter final, and also ensured he registered both goals for Juventus against Ajax.

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