‘We nullified them:’ Smalling, Man Utd confident after 1-0 loss to Barca

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Barcelona scored a goal, then absorbed foul after foul while allowing Manchester United’s home crowd very little to enjoy in Wednesday’s first leg of a UEFA Champions League tie.

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay was happy to be down just a goal against Lionel Messi and company, but admitted frustration at his side not being able to find the back of the net in the 1-0 loss.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 0-1 Barca ]

“We have to do more in front of goal, score more goals. It’s a big second leg to go. It’s only half time. We are Manchester United and you can never write us off.”

As for the defense, outspoken United back Chris Smalling was bullish on his team’s evening.

“The whole team, we nullified them,” Smalling said. “I think there was only one other save for David De Gea. We knew we had to bring that intensity that they’re not used to.”

Not sure Smalling understands what nullified means, though United was very physical and both teams brought plenty of anger to the tackles, but the swagger is back at Manchester United.

Or at least the players’ willingness to express it in public.