Romelu Lukaku calls for Manchester United ‘arrogance’ against Barcelona in second leg

Manchester United's Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku (R) has a shot by Barcelona's Spanish defender Gerard Pique during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarterfinal football match between Manchester United and Barcelona at Old Trafford. (AFP)
Updated 11 April 2019
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Romelu Lukaku calls for Manchester United ‘arrogance’ against Barcelona in second leg

  • Luke Shaw own goal gives Barcelona slight advantage going into second leg
  • United rallied after that early setback and unsettled Ernesto Valverde's side

MANCHESTER: Romelu Lukaku called on Manchester United to play with "arrogance and confidence" against Barcelona as they seek to overturn a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side face an uphill battle at the Camp Nou next week after Luke Shaw's own goal gave Barca a 1-0 win in Wednesday's match at Old Trafford.
United rallied after that early setback and unsettled Ernesto Valverde's side, giving Lukaku and his teammates confidence of a memorable turnaround in Spain next Tuesday.
"We have to believe and have the desire and more quality than today," said the Belgium striker. "Be better on the ball and then you never know what can happen in football.
"I don't think we played with the same arrogance and confidence on the ball (early on). Second half we tried and the first 20 minutes of the second half we were there.
"It's something we have to do for the whole 90 minutes over there and not concede a goal and score early."
That approach worked well at Paris Saint-Germain last month as United made Champions League history by becoming the first side to progress after losing the first leg at home by two or more goals.
The Parc des Princes triumph was the highlight of a topsy-turvy campaign for the Old Trafford giants, but even during the difficult Jose Mourinho era they managed to seal a last-gasp 2-1 comeback win at Juventus.
Asked if those two matches will play on Barcelona's mind, Lukaku said: "Yeah, but I don't think they will look at us. We have to look at ourselves, get a result and give our all, run as much as we can."
Wednesday saw United fail to muster a shot on target for the first time in a Champions League match since 2005, but there was some promising build-up play.
"Definitely (they are beatable)," Lukaku added. "On the day you can score from one chance and that's what they did today.
"There was a lack of concentration and they scored a goal and from that moment on we tried to control, but I think over there we have to do a better job and stay focused a bit more, we know they have players who make late runs.
"For us we have to go with the desire, be focused and when the chance comes, we have to score."


Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 3 min 48 sec ago
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Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

  • Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute
  • For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on

CAIRO: Baghdad Bounedjah’s early goal propelled Algeria to a first Africa Cup of Nations title in 29 years after a fiery 1-0 victory over Sadio Mane’s Senegal in Friday’s final in Cairo.

Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute when his deflected shot looped over Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, and it proved enough for the 1990 champions to lift the trophy on foreign soil for the first time.

For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on as coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of the 2002 runners-up, again fell short in the final.

It was the first title-decider to feature two African coaches since 1998, with Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi completing a whirlwind 12 months at the helm after inheriting a side that failed to make it out of the group stage two years ago.

With defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for Senegal, Salif Sane deputised at the back and Ismaila Sarr was recalled in attack, while Belmadi kept faith in the same side that overcame Nigeria with an injury-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.

Senegal had understandably feared the absence of Napoli star Koulibaly, banned after two bookings in the knockout rounds, although the towering Sane was desperately unlucky as Algeria grabbed the lead with scarcely a minute played.

As Bounedjah took aim from 20 yards his effort smacked off Sane and arced high into the air before dropping underneath the crossbar and beyond a static Gomis, sparking delirious celebrations from both players and fans, some of whom arrived for the final on military planes provided by the Algerian government.

It was the first time Gomis had conceded in almost 400 minutes in Egypt having replaced the injured Edouard Mendy ahead of Senegal’s final group game.

Henri Saivet, who missed a penalty in the 1-0 victory over Tunisia, tried to catch Rais Mbohli out with a free-kick while Mbaye Niang fizzed a powerful drive just over as Senegal gradually showed signs of life before the half ended with both sets of players embroiled in a scuffle as they headed for the tunnel.

Senegal thought they had won a penalty on the hour when Cameroonian referee Alioum Alioum pointed to the spot for a suspected handball by Adlene Guedioura, but the official reversed his decision after a VAR review.

Niang rounded an advancing Mbohli after a searching ball through from Cheikhou Kouyate but the forward sliced wide of the target from a tough angle, with the Algeria ‘keeper then acrobatically tipping over a rasping drive from Youssouf Sabaly.

The Desert Foxes started to look jaded as Senegal brought on fresh legs in Krepin Diatta and Mbaye Diagne, but Youcef Belaili nearly made it 2-0 when his cross brushed the head of a defender and skimmed the roof of the net.

Sarr blazed over on the volley as Algeria clung on to their advantage in the closing minutes, the final whistle greeted by an outpouring of raw emotion as the North Africans emerged worthy winners of the expanded 24-team event.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman telephoned Algeria’s interim president Abdelkader Bensalah to congratulate him on Algeria’s African Cup of Nations win, with Bensalah thanking the king for his phone call.