A week before the most anticipated Champions League duel between Manchester United and Barcelona, Manchester United defender, Chris Smalling, made a statement claiming he knows how to handle Messi, you laughed yeah??!! Even as a United fan, at that moment, I felt the urge to slap some sense into his head.
However, fast forward to the D-day, I have my hands in my mouth on the kind of performance Smalling pulled today. Although the results might state otherwise, we would all agree that Barcelona’s chief football maestro, Lionel Messi, was kept at bay for almost the entirety of the game. ‘Where did this Smalling come from??’, was the question on my lips. I believed he, Smalling, was possessed by an alien spirit as I have never seen him that charged up. Giving him even more credit, he was not only able to stop Messi, but also ensured Suarez wasn’t able to keep the ball at his feet for too long.
Well, taking nothing away from his brilliant performance tonight. This is just the first leg of the two-legged tie. As a United fan, I want to see a repeat of this top-notch performance next week.