Manchester United player praised and teammate criticised by Spanish press after Barcelona defeat
It was a spirited performance from United who were able to stifle Barca’s play and forced Lionel Messi into one of his worst performances in recent memory, but ultimately the little Argentine only needed one moment to make the difference.
It was Messi’s sublime cross that set up Luis Suarez to head the ball off Luke Shaw and into the goal in the 13th minute.
It was the high and relentless pressing of United’s midfield that really put the Catalans off their usual slick passing game and Scott McTominay has come in for specific praise from sections of the Spanish media.
Manchester United vs Barcelona reaction
The Scottish midfielder was given the best player rating for an outfielder by Marca who were impressed by his physicality that helped nullify Barca’s midfield of Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Arthur.
El Mundo Deportivo also named him as United’s ‘best’ player and wrote: “His youth did not stop him dictating play and playing with authority and character.”
His midfield teammate, Paul Pogba, however, came in for some steep criticism.
O. Garcia of Marca concluded that Pogba epitomised United’s lack of bravery in attack and concentration in defence, writing “Pogba was a reflection of United at Old Trafford” while Diario Sport used the headline “Where was Pogba.”
El Mundo said the Frenchman vanished when the game got tough, after a bright start, and wrote: “Pogba was far from the focus. He was caught in that tumult of legs and chaos that is the game of United, before with Mourinho, but now also with Solskjaer. Pogba returned to where he used to be.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also earned his critics in Spain for the way he set up his side.
“Although American investors believe that it is the new Old Trafford Sir. He made a gross mistake from the opening whistle, with five in the back, a libero in front of both player and a Lukaku and Rashford, 55 meters from Ter Stegen’s goal.”