Manchester United trio set to return vs Liverpool – Mirror Man United vs Liverpool Manchester United’s first game back after the international break is one they are unlikely to be looking forward to. The Red Devils have had a pretty dismal start to the 2019/20 Premier League campaign and head into the weekend’s action 12th […]
To set up this simulation, we used kick-off mode but didn’t select a team to control; we then selected the teams and watched the match play out by itself, to give us a unique prediction.
The AI difficulty was set to world class, with the line-up updated with the latest injuries and suspensions.
Manchester United set up in a 4-3-3 formation, with the line-up as follows: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic, Herrera, Pogba; Martial, Rashford, Lingard.
Barcelona also set up in a 4-3-3 formation, with their line-up as follows; Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Arthur; Coutinho, Suarez, Messi.
As you would expect, Barcelona dominated possession in the opening stages, calmly stroking the ball around, trying to find gaps in the United back line.
But despite the away side dominating with the ball, United looked relatively solid and were restricting the Catalan side to long range efforts, in what was becoming a strong defensive display.
In fact, the only chance of the entire first 45 minutes fell to Ivan Rakitic, but his effort from the edge of the area was easy enough to David De Gea to deal with.
United burst out of the traps in the second-half, as they looked to shock Ernesto Valverde’s side and catch them off guard – and they got the chance they had been looking for.
Jesse Lingard won the ball in midfield and drive forward into space and then sent a lovely through ball down the side of Clement Lenglet, looking for the run of Marcus Rashford, who was bearing down on goal.
However, the Frenchman got back at Rashford and the English forward screwed the ball wide under pressure, spurning a golden opportunity.
United would live to regret that moments later.
Lionel Messi found space on the edge of the area and sent a pass through the middle, trying to find Luis Suarez in the area. Luke Shaw read the pass well but his touch was too heavy and Suarez pounced on the loose ball, firing past De Gea to make it 1-0.
That goal seemed to kick United in to gear, pushing forward to find an equaliser and they could have had one in the 75th minute.
Rashford returned Lingard’s favour from earlier, playing him through on goal on Lenglet’s side, but when one-on-one with Ter Stegen, he skewed his effort wide for another chance wasted.