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About Alan:

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2018/19 season.

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Shearer says: “Barcelona controlled the game against United.”

Latest insight from Premier League legend

I wasn’t too surprised with the result on Tuesday night when Spurs beat Manchester City in the opening leg of their encounter.

I still think City will advance from the tie as I feel they will be too strong in the return fixture at home next week.

All the talk after the game was about VAR and the penalty decision. Whether you like it or not, and I am not the biggest fan of VAR, nor did I think it was a penalty, that is the interpretation of the law now in European football.

The referees have been given a clear directive re: handballs. We saw it in the PSG vs Manchester United game and we saw it again this week.

At the end of the day, it is the same for both teams and the referee has been told to give them, so you have to accept it.

Some people were critical of Pep Guardiola’s team selection for the game. I have to say, I was a little surprised Leroy Sane did not start. Football is a game of fine margins though.

If Sergio Aguero’s penalty had of gone in, there would have been no talk about the line-up as they would have had the away goal and most likely got a positive result.

Tottenham had a game plan and they stuck with it. Harry Kane went off injured, which was a blow, but they didn’t seem to miss him after that.

What it has done is set up the second leg nicely. If Spurs get a goal at the Etihad Stadium, City will need at least three.

Although they are now going to be without Kane for potentially the rest of the season, Spurs fans should not be too despondent.

They proved they could keep on getting good results without him at earlier in the campaign. Son stepped up on Tuesday night with a superb goal and he will be the player they will be hoping can continue to play as well as he has been doing.

Barcelona controlled the game and were never under pressure

Manchester United have it all to do now heading into the second leg of their tie with Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the Champions League.

Barca controlled the game and never once looked under any pressure which will disappoint United fans, given they were at home.

Barcelona ‘keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen had very little to do throughout the evening as United just couldn’t seem to carve up any chances. I don’t actually think Barca were at their very best but they didn’t need to be. They were professional and got the job done.

At the start of this competition I felt like Barcelona were one of the teams which could go all the way and I fully expect them to progress now and they will be difficult to beat by any side left in the draw.

Liverpool are on course for the semi-final

It was job done for Liverpool the other night against Porto. That was the draw that everybody wanted and after keeping a clean sheet at Anfeld, it would be a massive surprise if Liverpool did not go through now.

Liverpool fans will be hoping their side can go one better than they did last season and they will have an excellent chance as they proved to be one of the best and most consistent teams in Europe.

Virgil van Dijk has everything you want in a centre-half

I don’t agree with the Player of the Season being voted before the end of the season. If I had to cast a vote now though, mine would go to Virgil van Dijk as he has been superb for Liverpool this season.

Van Dijk has everything you’d look for in a centre-half. He is composed on the ball, strong, pacey and seems to make all the right decisions.

He is exactly what Liverpool had been missing over the last few years so he is turning out to be some signing for them.

Sterling is maturing on and off the pitch

In reality it is a two-horse race for the Player of the Season award between van Dijk and Sterling. Everything about Sterling has improved on and off the pitch. He is maturing all the time.

His goals and assists are so impressive. He is the one player which has not been rested by Pep Guardiola which shows you how well he is playing and how much the manager rates him.

Although I believe it is between van Dijk and Sterling for the award, I think Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero, Sadio Mane and Eden Hazard all have to be in the conversation when it comes to naming the player of the season.

US Masters should be a cracker with top players in form

I am really looking forward to the US Masters over the next few days here In Georgia.

We got here on Tuesday night and the weather has over the last 24 hours has been glorious. I am really looking forward to it as I can’t remember a tournament where so many of the top players were in form.

I think we have an excellent chance of getting a European winner with the Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood all playing well.