MANCHESTER UNITED face the task of keeping Barcelona maestro Lionel Messi quiet in their bid to take the advantage in their Champion’s League quarterfinal home tie and push for a place in the final four of the compeition.
What can Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s men do to nullify the world’s most decisive footballer? WWN Sport runs through the options:
Man-marking can be an effective tactic and indeed the key to stifling the world’s greatest player could be the time honoured man-marking role.
If Ander Herrera is fit, the attack dog-like United midfielder could join his 10 other teammates in man-marking Lionel Messi. Swamping Messi with 11 players constantly tracking him at all times could be the key to only losing this tie by a solitary goal or 3.
2) Just tell Messi the game has been unexpectedly called off
“Nah, honestly it has. Mad stuff, I know. Don’t look it up online or anything, but it’s true. Anyway, see you here same time tomorrow for the actual rescheduled match” – Solksjaer could say, intercepting Messi as he departs Barcelona’s bus as his team arrives at Old Trafford.
To make it more convincing Solksjaer could deploy Paul Pogba in the crucial “awww, what? The match is called off? So unfair” acting role.
While kidnapping a person’s family and threatening to only grant their release in the event of United winning their tie against Barcelona may be frowned upon, this deep level tactical ploy has to be considered a legitimate option for Solksjaer.
Look, time is ticking, and it’s not like United have many fucking options. So don’t start criticising these legitimate, well thought out suggestions that don’t carry with them the possibility of serious jail time.
4) Cut the power to the VAR officials’ camera feed and go to town on the fucker
If the VAR referees can’t see United’s players repeatedly body slamming Messi into turf and individually breaking each one of his talent-filled toes, did it really happen?
5) Grab the match ball, state ‘this is unfair’, refuse to play on and sulk off home
If it’s good enough for 10-year-old kids who are getting their asses kicked, then it’s good enough for Man United surely? Similarly screaming ‘next goal wins’ in the milliseconds before an unlikely United strike hits the net could seal a victory. There’s nothing in the Champions League’s rules to state you can’t do this.