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Messi blamed me for Smalling elbowing him when Barcelona played Man Utd – McTominay

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The midfielder told the story of how he almost missed out on getting the Barcelona star’s shirt after a collision with Chris Smalling

Scott McTominay says Lionel Messi mistakenly blamed him for elbowing the Barcelona star during a Champions League clash with Manchester United.

The Catalan giants beat United 4-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals in 2019, with Messi netting twice in the second leg.

In the first leg, Messi was in a collision with Red Devils defender Chris Smalling, ending with the Barca captain receiving an elbow to the face.

What did McTominay say?

When McTominay sent United goalkeeper Sergio Romero to ask Messi for his shirt, he was reluctant because he thought it was the Scotland international who gave him a bloody nose. 

Asked who he thinks the best player in the world is, McTominay told ESPN : “Messi, 100 per cent. Yeah, Messi, Messi. I got his shirt, you know?

“So, whenever we played against him for Barcelona [in 2019], Chris Smalling elbowed him and he’s got blood coming out of his nose. And he thought it was me.

“Because I said to Sergio Romero: ‘Please can you ask Messi to get his shirt?’.

“Sergio comes back in and said: ‘Oh, he thinks you were the one who elbowed him on the halfway line’. I said: ‘No, no, no, no – tell him it wasn’t me, so make sure I get that shirt because that’s going in my bedroom’. So he knows it wasn’t me now.

“Sorry Chrissy, but he was the one who roughed him up a bit.”

How did the Champions League tie play out?

United set up a last-eight tie with the Spanish side after coming from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round.

Barca won 1-0 at Old Trafford through a Luke Shaw own goal before securing a 3-0 victory at Camp Nou.

The Blaugrana almost made it to the final as they beat Liverpool 3-0 in the first leg of the semi-final, only for Jurgen Klopp’s men to bounce back with a 4-0 home victory.

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