Messi’s two goals, second coming from huge De Gea error and a brilliant third curled into the top corner to by striker Phillip Coutinho sealed Manchester United dreams for a Champions League victory to save their sagging fortunes in the Premier League. If VAR had confirmed a penalty for Barca following a rough challenge from Fred, the goals would have been four, making the aggregate score 4-0 after a 1-0 advantage in the first leg.
Summing it up for Barca is a professional comment from Gerard Ryan:
He said:“So many times over the years he’s produced moments that defy belief and again tonight. That turn that left Phil Jones (yes I know…Phil Jones but it could have been anyone) for dead. I’ve watched it three times now and I still don’t know how he did it. Masterful.
“Got a few things I’m working through on my bucket list (mostly sporting) and just realised one of them should be getting to see Messi playing live before he retires. Pele was marvelous, Best, magical, always thought Cruyff was the best…then Maradona came along but Messi? Got to be the greatest ever.
In another trilling encounter at Turin, impressive Ajax with a repeated performance in ball possession of 52 per cent against, Juventus which trailed with 48 per cent at home, secured a wonderful 2-1 victory, making it 3-2 on aggregate. With goals from Ronaldo for Juve and an immediate equalizer from Ajax and then a 67th minute goal from Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax) who headed from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner with an assist by Lasse Schöne with a cross following a corner.