'United have something special at the end of matches' – Valverde urges caution ahead of Champions League game

The Blaugrana boss warned his team before the quarter-final clash in Europe’s premier club competition

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverede has urged caution as his side prepare to face Manchester United in the Champions League, who he says ‘have something special at the end of matches’.

Barcelona hold a 1-0 lead after the first leg at Old Trafford before facing the Red Devils at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

United advanced to the quarter-finals by overturning a 2-0 first leg deficit against PSG in the round of 16. They won that tie through a controversial penalty awarded by VAR and converted by Marcus Rashford in stoppage time.

Valverde was asked at a press conference whether Ousmane Dembele will feature in Tuesday’s game after the winger returned from injury at the weekend.

“It will be important who starts, but also those that finish the game, because Manchester United have something special at the end of matches,” the 55-year-old responded.

“Manchester United have won three of four [Champions League] away games this season, and we have to be careful. The first leg result is not definitive.”

Valverde was asked what he feared about Barcelona’s opponents, and responded:

“Their spirit – also the power and pace they have in their side. If you give them space, they’re quick and efficient.

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“We respect what they have done, what they are and the history they have behind them.”

Lionel Messi will return to action for Barcelona after sitting out at the weekend as a result of a clash with Chris Smalling.

Barcelona’s talisman has not scored in 12 Champions League, but Valverde wasn’t worried by that, or his clubs recent struggles at this stage of the competition.

The Blaugrana have been eliminated in the quarter-finals in three successive seasons.

“That means [Messi’s] closer to scoring, then. It’s fine to focus on statstics but they focus a lot on the past, not on the future.

“There’s no fear, just tremendous excitement.

“We’re here, ready to try and get through, recognizing that we are playing a great opponent and anything could happen.”

Barcelona are nine points clear with six games remaining in La Liga, and face Valencia in the Copa Del Rey final on May 24.

Beating United on Tuesday would take them further along the path to a treble, a feat they previously accomplished in 2009 and 2015.