Lionel Messi’s masterclass performance was enough to see his side in the semifinal for the first time in three years.
It was yet another remarkable display by Barcelona’s talisman Lionel Messi. Messi once again at his best and destroying Manchester United’s defense. The Argentinian completely bossed United’s defense as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side was thrashed out of Champions League 4-0 on aggregate. Not only United was ousted by Barcelona but it was former Manchester United’s poster boy Cristiano Ronaldo also exiting from the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010. After the game, Lionel Messi reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from the Champions League as Juventus lost Ajax.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus were sent crashing out on Tuesday night after Dutch giants Ajax produced a wonderful second-half display to win 2-1 in Turin, going through 3-2 on aggregate. While the Portuguese netted in both legs of the tie, he was unable to prevent the Italian champions from exiting early once again and prolonging their Champions League agony.
The Old Lady have now not won the competition since they toppled Ajax in Rome in 1996. Messi, on the other hand, was at his brilliant best once again as Barcelona overcame Manchester United 3-0 at the Nou Camp to take their place in the semi-final. The Argentina superstar bagged twice in the first half to settle the tie after they had already won the first leg in Manchester 1-0. Messi and Ronaldo are still by far the two best players in the world and with five Ballon d’Or wins apiece, are both in the conversion to be considered the greatest of all time.
Speaking about Ronaldo’s exit from the Champions League for the first time in four years, Messi insisted that the teams at this stage of the competition are “complicated” to play against. When he was told that Juventus had been knocked out, Messi replied: “That tells you everything, any team is complicated, be it, Liverpool or Porto, there are those who deserve, the best, and everything is going to be complicated.” Messi and Barcelona though are still on for another Treble after seemingly having already sewn up the La Liga title and with a Copa del Rey final against Valencia to play. Next up in the Champions League they will take on the winners of Liverpool and Porto who play their second leg today. Another Champions League trophy for Messi would be his fifth with the Catalans, which would put him level with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Perhaps Messi is right. Messi knows better than anyone that the quality of the team in Champions League is increasing each season. Last year Barcelona were defeated 3-0 by Roma and this season they were unable to score against Lyon in the away leg.