By Wayne Lumbasi
A breathlessly entertaining clash between Barcelona and Manchester United ended 2-2 at Camp Nou on Thursday to set up a tantalising second leg in their Europa League knockout playoff.
Barcelona took the lead early in the second half through Marcos Alonso, but a swift reaction from Marcus Rashford and Jules Kounde’s own goal put the Red Devils ahead. Raphinha’s fizzed cross then sailed through the far post to drag Barça level in the 76th minute.
A CLASSIC AT THE CAMP NOU! 🍿— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 16, 2023
Manchester United and Barcelona have everything to play for next week 👀 pic.twitter.com/JKlrqrpVqY
With the away goals rule abolished, this matchup remains wide open ahead of next Thursday’s second leg at Old Trafford.
Currently, Barcelona lead the La Liga table with 56 points in 21 outings, eight points clear of arch rivals Real Madrid. The Catalan club were relegated to the Europa League for a second year in a row after finishing third below Bayern Munich and Inter in their Champions League group.
💭 Erik gave #MUTV his thoughts on Thursday's end-to-end encounter with Barcelona…#MUFC || #UEL— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 17, 2023
Manchester United on the other hand, are third in the English Premier League with 46 points after 23 matches, just five behind league leaders Manchester City and second placed Arsenal. For Erik Ten Hag , Europa League remains a key title aspect.