Chris Smalling says 'intensity' to blame for leaving Lionel Messi injured

Chris Smalling says 'intensity' to blame for leaving Lionel Messi injured

- Champions League clash between Man United and Barcelona ended up in a defeat for the hosts

- Luke Shaw's own goal separated the two sides after the leg of their quarterfinal clash at Old Trafford

- Smalling was tasked with the responsibility of manning Messi who he left with a bloodied nose after a nasty challenge

Chris Smalling has lauded Manchester United's physical intensity that kept Barcelona at bay during the first leg of their Champions League quarter finals clash played at Old Trafford.

Luke Shaw's first half own goal off Luis Suarez's header was the difference as the visitors earned a 1-0 victory away from home.

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Barcelona's dangerman Lionel Messi was kept at an arm's length through the match, with United's physicality typified by Smalling's challenge on the Argentinian that left him with a bloodied nose.

"I think it [the challenge] came when we were right on the front foot," he told BT Sport. We had to bring the intensity they’re not used to every week and there’s a lot to play for in second leg."

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Meanwhile, the Red Devils has everything to play for ahead of the second leg in a week's time at Camp Nou.

They will be hoping to stage another comeback as they did against Paris Saint-Germain in March in the round of 16 of the competition. earlier reported that Luke Shaw's own goal handed Barcelona 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The England left back deflected Luis Suarez's header into his side's net just after 12 minutes of action after Lionel Messi directs a cross into the Red Devils' danger zone.

Both sides file out for the second leg of the meeting at Camp Nou next week as they hope to reach the last four stage of the competition. ( -> We have updated to serve you better.

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