Electric second half sees Barcelona draw with Manchester United in Europa League first leg

Barcelona and Manchester United will head to Old Trafford next Thursday at a stalemate, following a pulsating first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie.

After a quiet opening 30 minutes, the Premier League side has big chances for Jadon Sancho, Wout Weghorst and Marcus Rashford in quick succession before half time, with the former firing wide and Marc-Andre ter Stegen saving from the latter two.

It remained goalless at the interval, but Barcelona came out firing in the second half and took an early lead. Raphinha’s deep corner was headed towards goal by Marcos Alonso, and the ball flew past fellow countryman David De Gea in goal. The defender dedicated the goal to his father, who passed away last week.

Having taken the lead, Barca head coach Xavi Hernandez would have been furious to have seen it evaporate just three minutes later. Fred played through Rashford, and the English international fired home his 14th goal in 16 matches at ter Stegen’s near post.

The German would have been disappointed to concede in that fashion, and the ball was in his goal again just five minutes later. Rashford’s low cross was flicked on by Bruno Fernandes, and the ball cannoned off Jules Kounde and into the back of the net. The own goal was the Frenchman’s second in a matter of weeks, having also scored into his own net against Real Betis at the start of February.

Barcelona rallied after that, and got a deserved equaliser after 77 minutes. Raphinha cut in from the right flank and drilled a cross into the box, which evaded everyone and nestled into the bottom corner of De Gea’s goal.

Barcelona came close to grabbing a winner, with De Gea saving from Ansu Fati in the dying stages. However, it finished level ahead of the second leg in Manchester next week, where Xavi’s side will look to continue their European adventure.

Image via Getty

Tags Barcelona Europa League Jules Kounde Manchester United Marcos Alonso Marcus Rashford Raphinha

1 Comment

  1. i think our barca corch made a mistake for not starting balde and christensen next time he must trust all his prayers and he must teech them how to kil the game

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