Manchester United Fans Sing "Viva Ronaldo" As Lionel Messi Leaves The Pitch

Lionel Messi wasn't at his scintillating best on Wednesday night. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner struggled to really grab a hold of the game, as a hefty bump from Chris Smalling in the first half left him in a heap on the floor.

Smalling barged Messi from behind with force, leaving the Barcelona man bleeding from his nose and eye. The 32-year-old suffered 'significant' bruising and manager Ernesto Valverde admitted that was far from comfortable after the collision:

"Messi wasn't so comfortable after the blow," he said after the game.

"We have to examine him tomorrow to see how he is. He was strong, but he has quite a significant bruise."

That being said, the Barcelona forward managed to pick out Luis Suarez with a perfectly weighted chip in the build up to Luke Shaw's unfortunate own goal, but other than that he rarely troubled David de Gea and Manchester United's back four.

But this moment involving Smalling grabbed all the headlines.

It was a shocking sight to see Messi in such a state, and as he was leaving the Old Trafford pitch to receive treatment, many failed to spot that Manchester United fans were aiming the chant "Viva Ronaldo" toward the Argentinian striker.

Back in October, when Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford with Juventus, fans began to chant "Viva Ronaldo" from the stands as he waved goodbye to those who stopped behind after full-time.

Despite leaving the club to join Real Madrid, a mutual affection between the player and fan is still very clear.

He did score a fair few goals for the club, mind.

Thoughts on Lionel Messi's performance against Manchester United, last night?

Let us know in the comments.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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