Published on March 16th, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta0
European Winners and Losers: Messi magic and misery for Manchester United
While Leo Messi put on another superhuman performance, a meek Manchester United dropped out of the Champions League without a fight
Two goals, one assist, and another night in which the Argentinean descended from another planet to show us mere humans how this sport is played. Simply, Leo Messi. The Chelsea defenders could do nothing to stop his acceleration, struggling to keep up with the combination of class, power and speed that are mixed into this unbelievable, alien-like ‘human being’, who clearly has transcendental powers.
Lionel Messi's @ChampionsLeague record…
The best ever? 🐐 pic.twitter.com/3lCAfi9Uy1
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) March 14, 2018
Delivering when it mattered most. A goal that could be worth the whole season for the former Manchester City striker, who showed his worth in the biggest game of the season so far for the Giallorossi, firing home when he had the chance and unlocking another round in this incredible Champions League campaign for Roma, silencing his critics along the way.
First time in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Check. Victory at Old Trafford. Check. Unbelievable. For a disappointing United, there is an incredible Sevilla, with Vincenzo Montella getting his team to defend when needed and then strike when possible. This is why football is such a unique game.
We've played at Anfield, Bernabéu, Camp Nou, the Etihad and Juventus Stadium…
We were crowned champions in three of those stadiums and have won finals against 3⃣ of our 7⃣ possible opponents for the quarter-finals of the @ChampionsLeague 👀
Good night Sevillistas!🌛 pic.twitter.com/YFZgq2g8O2
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) March 15, 2018
Another five goals smashed past the opponents, a total aggregate of 8-1 to get rid of Lokomotiv Moscow. Diego Simeone’s men would be worthy of Champions League football, they are by far the best side in the Europa League, and demonstrated it once again. The Rojiblancos want to go all the way, the others are warned.
Unacceptable. Manchester United could not afford to be knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla, and certainly not without showing up on the pitch. Yes, you can lose being unfortunate, but not without performing. Not at Old Trafford, not after spending all that money, not without ever trying to win the game. Incredibly disappointing, and perhaps the best symbol of the Portuguese’s current state. He needs to revamp his career, and needs to do it quickly.
“I sat in this chair with Porto – Man Utd out. I sat in this chair with Real Madrid – Man Utd out. I don't think this is something new for the club."
You have to see this Jose Mourinho line to believe it… 😳 pic.twitter.com/v5PamtxgNe
— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) March 13, 2018
Yes, of course, Lionel Messi being Lionel Messi is unstoppable for any keeper. But most will agree the Belgian wasn’t exactly impeccable on the two goals that the Argentinian genius put past him. If you’re a goalkeeper of a top club trying to get a result at the Nou Camp, you simply cannot afford mistakes or your team is out of the game from the beginning. And that’s what happened: Chelsea definitely deserved more up front, at times dominated possession and showed great attacking flair, but Courtois should have stopped those shots. If not, it’s too easy for someone like Messi.
Playing in Rome is never easy, but with the advantage of the first leg, everyone expected much more from the Ukrainians. Paulo Fonseca’s men had no shots on target against Roma, who calmly slotted home the opener and then managed the rest of the time, as Shakhtar went down to ten men and even had one of their players, Facundo Ferreyra, pushing over a ball boy. Not the kindest of things.
Roberto Mancini crashing out of the Europa League so soon was completely unexpected. The Russian club on paper had more talent than Leipzig, who proved their worth again, and after killing Napoli they did the same with Zenit. Not good enough, at all, as one of the favourites for the final victory is already out of the Europa League.