Fan At It - Barcelona vs Manchester United

By Shawana Ebanks April 19, 2019

SportsMax's Shawana Ebanks gets the view of fans in Jamaica's second city of Montego Bay following the Champions League clash between Barcelona and Manchester United.

Related items

  • Valverde has high expectations for €224m trio De Jong, Griezmann and Neto at Barcelona Valverde has high expectations for €224m trio De Jong, Griezmann and Neto at Barcelona

    Ernesto Valverde is expecting a swift impact from €224million trio Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Neto at Barcelona.

    France star Griezmann became the LaLiga champions' third major signing of the close-season last Friday, after Barca paid his €120m release clause at Atletico Madrid.

    De Jong had agreed to a move to Camp Nou in January for an initial fee of €75m, having been courted by a number of Europe's top sides due to some standout displays for Champions League semi-finalists Ajax.

    Goalkeeper Neto was signed in June for €29m, with a further €9m to be paid in add-ons, as Jasper Cillessen went the other way to Valencia for €35m in total.

    Such an expensive outlay has led to big expectations for Griezmann and De Jong in particular, and Barca boss Valverde hopes to see them hit the ground running.

    "They are three important signings," he told Barca TV. "Of course, we expect a lot out of them, they have our fans excited and what we want them to do is get into the team dynamic and perform to their levels.

    "[De Jong] has last year and in recent years been playing at a high level, as did his whole team. We hope he can give us some fresh energy in midfield, which can only be good for us. We're building for the future and he has years ahead of him. He's a quality player. He has a little bit of our playing style in him.

    "[Griezmann] is a player who fills spaces quickly and is decisive near goal and we know how much a player like that is worth and what he gives you in return. We have high hopes for him because he is young but with experience and that leads us to expect him to perform right away.

    "Neto is an experienced player too, an insurance policy in goal, and we think he is an ideal complement to Marc-Andre ter Stegen."

    Valverde accepts the pressure is on Barca to challenge on all fronts once more, with last term's league title win overshadowed by a Copa del Rey final loss to Valencia and a humiliating Champions League semi-final exit to Liverpool.

    "We have challenges, just like any other year, and we also have the demand of having to win everything, to win all the time, to get our fans excited," he said.

    "There is nothing else for Barca except trying to win every competition we take part in, to win all our games and stay faithful to our style."

  • Greenwood could start Man United's Premier League opener against Chelsea, says Solskjaer Greenwood could start Man United's Premier League opener against Chelsea, says Solskjaer

    Mason Greenwood could start Manchester United's Premier League opener against Chelsea, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    Greenwood netted his first goal for the senior side on Wednesday, converting from Aaron Wan-Bissaka's cross to open the scoring in the 4-0 friendly defeat of Leeds United in Perth.

    The 17-year-old played three times in the league last season and made his first start in the 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City at Old Trafford on the final day.

    And although Solskjaer has plenty of attacking riches at his disposal, including Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and new signing Daniel James, he is prepared to consider using Greenwood when they face Frank Lampard's side on August 11.

    "He's got a chance of starting that one, definitely," he said. "He's more than capable and will always be there, in and around the box, creating chances. If he keeps going as he does... it's difficult to keep players out who perform well.

    "Of course, we've been delighted with the goal he scored. It's important for strikers to get that [first] goal, even though we always know he's capable of scoring goals and maybe that's a weight off his shoulders. I think his movement, his cleverness, he's going to be a very good player, the young boy.

    "He can play all front four positions, he can play 10, seven, 11, nine, he's a natural footballer. With his left foot coming in, he can play anywhere along the front line."

    Greenwood has earned rave reviews with his performances at youth level for United and is confident enough with both feet that he often takes penalties with his right and free-kicks with his left.

    "He's almost what you call 50-50, maybe 51-49 left-footed, and you see a talented boy there and he has every opportunity to make it as a Man United player," Solskjaer said.

    "Of course, it's also going to be about luck, stay clear of injuries, be professional and I'm sure he's going to grab his chance because he's got everything there for him."

    Further goals from Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial sealed a convincing win for United to follow on from the 2-0 victory over Perth Glory.

    "We scored four goals, created a lot more chances than in the last game, so very pleased with the workout," Solskjaer added to MUTV.

  • Manchester United rout Leeds in impressive pre-season display Manchester United rout Leeds in impressive pre-season display

    Manchester United thrashed Leeds United 4-0 in the final match of the Perth leg of their pre-season tour on Wednesday.

    Goals from Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial secured an impressive victory over their old rivals at Optus Stadium.

    United eased to a 2-0 win over Perth Glory in their first Australian friendly last week, but there was more to admire about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side as they dismantled their Championship opponents.

    Teenager Greenwood broke the deadlock before Rashford produced a smart turn and finish to double the lead before half-time after some fine work from Paul Pogba, who again performed well despite continued speculation over his future.

    United were without the ill David de Gea and Romelu Lukaku, who is carrying a knock, and made sure of the win when Jones headed in Andreas Pereira's corner in a second half that yielded 11 changes to the line-up.

    Martial buried the fourth from the penalty spot after Liam Cooper had brought down the lively Tahith Chong.

    United will now head to Singapore for an International Champions Cup meeting with Inter, who have reportedly prepared an offer of £60million plus bonuses to take Lukaku to San Siro.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.