Football

Jordi Alba: We were conservative due to dangerous Man United attack

Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba admitted his side were wary of Manchester United's "dangerous attack" during their 1-0 Champions League quarter-final, first-leg win at Old Trafford yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The La Liga champions eschewed their traditional attacking approach for a more measured game plan as a Luke Shaw own-goal in the 12th minute gave the away win.

Explaining his side's approach, Alba told Spanish media: "We were very good without creating as many chances as usual.

"But we had to ensure we were defensively solid and not leave our defence exposed against such a dangerous attack.

"We had plenty of possession and we were effective with it, and no matter what way you look at it, this is a very good result.

"We know this is an opponent who can make the semi-finals and we know what happened last year, but we will face the return leg with confidence."

Despite not having lost a Champions League tie at the Nou Camp in six years, fellow defender Gerard Pique said Barcelona would heed the warning from United's last European away match.

The Red Devils overturned a 2-0 deficit at Old Trafford to defeat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in the last 16, progressing on away goals.

Said former United defender Pique: "We have seen the situation with United against PSG in the previous round.

"They had a bigger advantage and look what happened...

"Defensively we are in the best form of the season."

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde, meanwhile, said that star man Lionel Messi will be examined today after suffering a "significant bruise" from a clash with United defender Chris Smalling which left him bleeding from the nose.

Football