By Mac Izu Nelson
Today’s football review takes a look at 3 things we learned from football of the last two days.
1. Barcelona Progress:
Down 2-1 after last week’s loss at Bilbao, Barca took a while to get going but went up 1-0 on 35 minutes thanks to a magical goal from Luis Suarez.
MSN were once again at their brilliant best as a quick pass from Messi allowed Neymar to run to the byline and float a cross to Suarez, who hit the shot on the volley, putting Barcelona a goal up.
Neymar won and then converted a penalty to put Barcelona two goals.
Nerves were up when Athletic bilbao drew one back thanks to a headed effort from Enric Saborit but those nerves were calmed when once again, and for the third time in a row, Leonel Messi scored from a free kick.
The result means that Barcelona progress to the quarterfinals of the Copa Del Rey.
2. Manchester United place one foot in Carling Cup final:
It was a hard fought 2-0 victory for United at Old Trafford but it was well deserved.
After prolonged moments of pressure, United went a goal up in the second half when a headed effort by Henrikh Mkhitaryan was diverted into the net by Juan Mata sparking jubilant scenes.
Marouane Fellaini came on to help United see through the final moments of the game and was rewarded for his industry when he attacked a Matteo Darmian cross with a looping header.
3. Liverpool Thoroughly Outplayed at St Mary’s:
The loss of Henderson is taking its toll on a normally sprightly Liverpool side who looked hapless and languorous in this game compared to the Saints.
Nathan Redmond was a constant thorn in the side of Liverpool’s defenders and it was no surprise that he had already gone close on two occasions before putting the Saints a goal up early in the first half.
The Saints continued to be the more purposeful of the two teams and could have won by a wider margin had it not been for resolute shot stopping by the Liverpool goalkeeper Karius and poor finishing by Southampton’s attackers.
After the game, Claude Puel, the Southampton managers rued the inability of his players to put the game to bed in this first leg but also lauded them for the effort on display.
On to the second leg then, which takes place in 2 weeks.