Chris Smalling Cleans Out Lionel Messi, Leaving Him Full Of Blood

Lionel Messi was left in a heap on the Old Trafford pitch by Chris Smalling after the Manchester United defender left the Barcelona forward with a bloody nose after half an hour of their game.

Before Barcelona's Champions League quarter final first leg away against Manchester United a lot of the talk was about United centre back Chris Smalling and how he might deal with Lionel Messi.

Trying to work out how to deal with the La Liga champions' top scorer of all time is a difficult task for any side that come up against him but Smalling doesn't always have the best reputation.

Speaking ahead of the game the former Fulham defender said, "It's something to relish, this season I've been lucky enough to face (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Kylian) Mbappe, they're all challenges I relish and the players relish. I say bring it on."

Strong and encouraging words from the Englishman but the worry was always going to be that Messi would bloody his nose in the match.

However in the first half it was actually Smalling who would bloody the nose of the five time Ballon d'Or winner, though he did it in a much more literal way:

Of course it wasn't all one way traffic to Smalling as Barcelona opened the scoring earlier in the first half through Luis Suarez's header and it was of course assisted by Messi.

The latter stages of the first 45 minutes saw United get more and more into the game but their highlight was Smalling proving that Messi is human, he bleeds the same as the rest of us.

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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