MANCHESTER – The Catalans seized the advantage in their Champions League quarter-final tie by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford with a narrow win of 1-0.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique praised his side for shutting out Manchester United offensive team as an early own goal by Luke Shaw, who deflected in a header from Luis Suarez, decided a tight first leg and gave Barca their first victory at Old Trafford in five attempts in European competition.
Midfielder Sergio Busquets added: “It was a big blow, he has a scar and he bled a lot, it was obviously uncomfortable for him but he put on a brave face and played as best as he could, as he always does.”
United had far more attempts than the runaway La Liga leaders but they could not muster a single shot on target, and visiting goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was never tested.
Barca have failed to reach the Champions League semi-finals since 2015 yet the win at Old Trafford sets them up well for next Tuesday’s second leg at the Nou Camp, where they are unbeaten in their last 30 matches in Europe’s elite competition. Pique, however, said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could not be written off after their remarkable turnaround against Paris St Germain in the last-16, in which they overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit by winning 3-1 in the French capital.