& # 39; Chris Smalling hit him the first game … he woke the beast up & # 39 ;: Rio Ferdinand says that Lionel Messi had a point to prove against Manchester United after he got blood in the first leg
Rio Ferdinand has suggested that Chris Smalling is partly responsible on Tuesday-evening for Lionel Messi's beautiful two-goal display against Manchester United.
Messi was a good figure when United was comfortably beaten 3-0 at the Nou Camp, with Barcelona entering the semi-final of the Champions League thanks to a 4-0 win.
Messi was slightly subdued six days earlier in the first leg when he left Old Trafford with cuts after being cleaved by defender Smalling.
Lionel Messi (left) scored twice and Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-0 on Tuesday
Messi came face to face with United defender Chris Smalling for the second time in six days
Rio Ferdinand suggested that Messi might have been inspired by last week's confrontation with Smalling
Former United center back Ferdinand believes that Messi may have used that clash to motivate Smalling and Co.
& # 39; He just comes to life that he really does. One of the best live performances I've ever seen, & Ferdinand told BT Sport. & # 39; Smalling hit him in the first game, it's probably the worst that could have happened. He woke up the beast.
& # 39; A player with this ability, sometimes you just have to say he is too good. Just to be here … there will be people in this stadium who can say, "I was there to see Messi."
Ferdinand added: & # 39; It was a revenge mission in the second leg, he set up a clinic. People may say that this Barca team is not as good as their former teams, but with him in the team, they can beat anyone. & # 39;
Former Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho added to Messi's brace with a dipping long-range battle as Barca crossed in the final four,
They will play Liverpool or Porto in the semi-final. Liverpool will take a 2-0 lead on the first post to Portugal on Wednesday-evening.
In the first match of the Champions League quarter-final last week, Smalling Messi & # 39; s face struck
Messi showed his blood during the Barcelona 1-0 win over Old Trafford last week