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Lionel Messi’s first-half double inspired Barcelona into their first Champions League semi-final since 2015 as Manchester United were knocked out of Europe after a 3-0 loss at the Nou Camp and a 4-0 loss on aggregate.

Two costly mistakes resulted in our downfall. Ashley Young made matters worse for himself and his mistake saw Messi open the scoring for Barcelona. A mistake which saw David de Gea let the ball slip beneath his body to give the diminutive Argentine his second.

Then, in the second half, Philippe Coutinho put the final nail in the coffin by scoring an absolute cracker from outside of the box.

Manchester United Player Ratings

David De Gea- 3/10

His mistake gave Messi his second and by the time he denied Sergi Roberto, the game had already been killed. Very poor from arguably the best goalkeeper in the world.

De gea of Manchester United

Phil Jones- 4/10

Jones endured a tough night, with Messi making a mockery of him during one Barcelona move.

Chris Smalling- 4/10

Gave acres of space to Messi for the first goal. Just like Jones, Smalling also had a terrible night.

Victor Lindelof- 4/10

Lindelof was switched to right-back to accommodate Jones but the Swede neither offered defensive solidity nor attacking flair.

Ashley Young- 1/10

It was his mistake that led to United’s downfall. Riddled with errors throughout the game, Young proved why we are in dire need of a right-back. Shocking!

Scott McTominay- 5/10

Had to chance to level the tie but he failed. Showed great energy and desire to compete with the Barcelona players but often emerged out second best.

Fred- 4/10

Made an encouraging start to the game but his confidence went all low after Barcelona’s first goal. Worked very hard for our team but with limited outcome.

Paul Pogba- 3/10

Started brightly and played Rashford through to hit the crossbar inside the first minute. But he faded very quickly and rarely made an impact in the game.

Jesse Lingard- 3/10

Showed good energy and link up play in the opening minutes of the game but faded as soon as Barcelona opened the scoring.

Anthony Martial- 3/10

Martial looked lively in the opening stages of the game as he tried pinning Roberto back every time he got the ball. Didn’t do much after we went behind.

Marcus Rashford- 4/10

Squandered two golden chances at 0-0 and those misses from Rashford came back to haunt us.

Substitutes

Diogo Dalot- 3/10

Should have had an assist had Ter Stegen not kept out Sanchez’s header.

Romelu Lukaku- 3/10

Tried to make a difference but couldn’t.

Read more: Man United enter race to sign 22-year-old Brazilian hotshot starring for current club

Alexis Sanchez- 3/10

Nearly scored from Dalot’s cross.

Extremely disappointed with the team’s performance, here’s how some of our fans reacted on Twitter.

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Man Utd to look at alternatives after refusing to sign this £68.24m star

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Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United look at alternatives for Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United are looking at alternatives for Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes. (h/t Manchester Evening News)

Fernandes has been linked with a move to the Red Devils since last summer and appeared to be in a strong position to sign the player in the January transfer window.

But the club now seem to have backed out of a deal citing Sporting’s sudden increase in the player’s valuation to £68.24 million.

With the clubs appearing to be unable to agree on a fee, United are considering Leicester City’s James Maddison and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish as alternatives.

Bruno Fernandes

A better fit!

Both Maddison and Grealish have been critical to their team’s fortunes this season at different ends of the table. It can be argued that either of them would represent a better fit for the United midfield than Fernandes.

Maddison has been one of the Leicester’s stars as they push for Champions League qualification whereas Villa would be 4 points worse off at 19th if not for Grealish’s goals.

Both the players have experience of playing in the English top-flight and will not need a bedding-in period.

Fernandes does have better numbers than either of the player. But then Grealish and Maddison have performed at a higher level in the English Premier League.

Paying over the odds will not help United in the long term. It sets a precedent with other clubs likely to hold them for ransom.

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The 2-0 loss to Liverpool highlighted the gulf in quality that now exists between United and the Premier League elite.

A massive rebuild is required in the coming windows as the Red Devils look to close the gap to their arch-rivals. Rather than overspending on foreign players who present an element of risk, United can look at domestic alternatives. As Liverpool have shown of late, there is quality available if you are willing to look for it.

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Man United keen to reinforce midfield with this 24-year-old La Liga ace

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Manchester United are keen on signing Marcos Llorente

Manchester United are keen on reinforcing their midfield by signing Spanish midfielder Marcos Llorente. (h/t Manchester Evening News)

The 24-year-old who plays for Atletico Madrid has impressed at the Wanda Metropolitano following his move from city rivals Real Madrid.

Llorente has made 17 appearances for Atletico this season , with a majority of them coming off the bench.(h/t Whoscored)

Marcos Llorente

Having started just 3 La Liga matches this season, a loan move to United could be of interest to both parties.

The Red Devils are currently short of players in midfield after the injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

Llorente is an assured passer of the ball and can play in central midfield in both a defensive and a holding role.

He is also an aggressive ball winner and will add much-needed energy in the United midfield. At 6 feet tall, Llorente is also an imposing presence who can deal with the physical aspect of the Premier League.

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The Spaniard came through the Real Madrid academy and has made 22 appearances for the Los Blancos.

He was a part of the Real Madrid squad that won the UEFA Champions League in 2018.

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Man United veteran agrees to move to Serie A side for £1.3million in January

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United skipper Ashley Young agrees to move to Inter Milan

Inter Milan have agreed on the transfer of Manchester United captain Ashley Young for £1.3million in the January transfer window. (h/t Guardian)

The 34-year-old will undergo a medical on Friday prior to signing an 18-month deal with the Italian giants.

Young will join up with former United teammates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez as Antonio Conte’s side aim to win their first Serie A in 10 years.

Ashley Young
Ashley Young

Antonio Conte has been a long term admirer of Young and even tried to sign him when he was at Chelsea. United were initially reluctant to sanction the player’s move in the middle of the season.

With the player keen on the switch and the prospect of losing him on a free in the summer seem to have convinced the United hierarchy to cash in on the veteran in the January transfer window.

Young joined United in the summer of 2011 and has gone on to make 261 appearances for the English giants.

The veteran, who started off as a winger has predominantly played at full-back for United the previous few seasons.

He took over as captain from Antonio Valencia at the beginning of this season

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United are 5th in the league, 5 points off Chelsea in fourth ahead of the match against arch-rivals Liverpool at Anfield.

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Man Utd agree on contract terms with midfielder who could be signed for £51m

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Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes. (h/t Sun)

The player has reportedly agreed on a Manchester United contract until 2025 worth £5milion-a-year ahead of a £51m transfer in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has played 25 times for Sporting this season and has scored 13 goals and 10 assists. (h/t Whoscored)

Bruno Fernandes

United were to make their first formal offer for the player. It is being reported now that the deal has already been agreed upon. (h/t Sun)

It’s claimed that Fernandes has been offered a deal nearing £100,000-a-week at United.

The signing of the Sporting skipper should provide the United midfield with numbers and an attacking impetus.

The midfielder has an £85million release clause in his contract but Old Trafford bosses have been working to drive the price down. The club were also open to offering two players to bring the price down. (h/t Sun)

Fernandes was part of the Portuguese squad that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019.

He has won 19 caps for the Portuguese national side and has scored 2 goals since making his debut in 2017.

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United next play Manchester City in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semifinals at the Etihad on Wednesday.

The Red Devils trail 3-1 from the first leg as they aim to get to their first final under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

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