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Barcelona In Control Of Champions League Quarter-Final

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde praised his side’s battling qualities after they beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford.

La Blaugrana now have an away goal advantage ahead of next week’s second leg at the Nou Camp, and the former Athletic Bilbao boss acknowledged that winning takes sacrifice.

“I am happy with the team’s performance tonight.

“We have suffered at times, but to be a champion, you have to suffer.”

The clash was far from a classic, but Valverde stated that he was happy to leave with a win, despite the tightness of the contest.

“This is our first win at Manchester United and we leave with a nice taste in the mouth – even though the end result was close.”

Skipper Lionel Messi suffered a bloodied nose after a robust first half challenge from Chris Smalling – making him doubtful for the weekend clash with Huesca – and Valverde was angered by the referee’s decision not to punish the England international.

“Messi will be examined by our medical staff this week, as he did bleed a lot.

“Smalling collided with Leo and now he is injured.”