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I’m expecting big thing from Messi ahead Man Utd clash – Valverde



Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, has said he is expecting big things from Lionel Messi, in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Manchester United.

The LaLiga leaders head to Old Trafford for the first leg of their quarter-final tie, looking for a result that will keep their treble challenge alive.

Messi has scored 22 Champions League goals against English teams, more than any other player in the history of the competition.

However, he has not managed a single goal in any of his last 11 quarter-final outings.

However, Valverde is confident Messi will be primed to impress against a team he has twice scored against in the final of this competition, in 2009 and 2011.

“Messi is the player he is. I understand that all managers and players look for a way to stop him.

“We know sometimes there are ways to neutralise players. We’ll see if it’s possible. We expect a lot from Leo and he normally delivers,” Valverde told a news conference on Tuesday.


Barcelona to face Chelsea in July




Barcelona have announced they will be facing Chelsea in July, as well as former captain Andres Iniesta’s Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

The club said they will visit Japan as part of their preparations for next season.

The La Liga leaders will meet Chelsea on July 23 at Saitama Stadium in Tokyo before travelling to Kobe on July 27 for the game against Vissel, where they will play against their former captain Iniesta and fellow former Barca players David Villa and Sergi Samper.

Both friendlies are being organised by Barca’s main sponsor Rakuten, the Japanese retailer.

Barca have spent their last two pre-seasons in the United States competing in the International Champions Cup.

They have not visited Asia for pre-season since 2013, when they played in Thailand and Malaysia.

They have not played in Japan since winning the 2015 Club World Cup, beating River Plate 3-0 in Yokohama.

Barcelona are nine points clear at the top of La Liga with six games to go.

They have also reached the Copa del Rey final as well as the semi-finals of the Champions League.

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Man Utd vs Barcelona: Pogba’s expression caught on camera after Messi’s goal




Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba looked ‘shocked’ after Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi scored a superb individual strike in the 16th minute during the Red Devils’ 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final second leg tie at Camp Nou.

Messi netted twice and set up Philippe Coutinho for the third goal, as Barcelona qualified for the semi-final on a 4-0 aggregate.

The Argentine international skipped past midfielder, Fred, before curling a stinging shot into the bottom corner to extend Barca’s aggregate lead.

Immediately after Messi’s first goal, Pogba was spotted by a camera and the France international was stunned by the Barca number 10 goal.

Pogba’s performance was subject to criticism with former Man United captain, Gary Neville launching a fierce rant at the 26-year-old.

“Pogba is now playing a little bit as he did pre-Solskjaer under Jose Mourinho,” Neville told beinSPORTS.

“I thought tonight he was really poor, rolling the ball over his foot all the time and playing for himself.

“He wasn’t popping it off and moving and he just didn’t look interested at times.

“He is a great player and he can be a great player but he got to get that focus back.”

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Barcelona mock Manchester United after 3-0 victory




Barcelona used the chants sang by Manchester United fans against them, following their 3-0 win on Tuesday night.

The Red Devils travelled to Spain with a 1-0 deficit and were thrashed at the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi scored twice before setting up Philippe Coutinho for the third.

United fans had sang “Ole is at the Wheel” – their version of Waterfall by the Stone Roses – since he replaced Jose Mourinho in December.

After the match at the Nou Camp, the Spanish club’s media team didn’t miss their big chance.

Straight after the 3-0 victory which carries them through the semi-final, Barca posted an image of their two-goal talisman with the caption: “Messi at the wheel”.

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