Manchester United have held Barcelona to a thrilling draw in the first leg of the Europa League playoffs at Camp Nou.
Barcelona found their way down the lanes of Europa League football after an abysmal and shocking performance in the Champions League group stages.
After falling to Bayern Munich home and away and failing to get the better of Inter Milan, they finished third in their group and ended up in the Europa League playoffs.
Manchester United lost the top spot in their Europa League group to a Spanish opponent Real Sociedad on the dearth on away goals rule.
Barcelona made two changes to the side that won against Villarreal in their last League game. Christensen makes way for Marcos Alonso while Jordi Alba came in for Balde.
Casemiro returned to Manchester United’s starting lineup after missing two games, starting ahead of Marcel Sabitzer.
Barcelona: Marc-Ander ter Stegen; Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Marcos Alonso, Jordi Alba; Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Franck Kessie; Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Gavi
Manchester United: David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia; Casemiro, Fred; Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford; Wout Weghorst.
It was a highly-anticipated game between the two sides, who were undergoing a major rebuild under Xavi Hernandez and Erik Ten Hag, respectively.
The two sides have clashed 13 times with Manchester United winning 3 times, drawing 4, and losing 6.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have won all their last five fixtures against Manchester United.
Barcelona leverage on home support to held sway over the game and gave United no chance going into the game
from the start.
While Xavi’s men dominated proceedings, Manchester United looked more threatening with speedy counterattacks when with the ball.
Wout Weghorst missed a clear-cut chance that would have put the Red Devils in the lead with Ter Stegen denying the Burnley loanee.
Despite playing second fiddle to the home side, it was another masterclass from Erik Ten Hag, holding off the Catalans while maintaining attacking threats throughout the first half. The first half ended goalless.
The second half got to a fiery start as both sides press for an opener. A fast-paced and speedy attack by both sides left both sides vulnerable at the back.
In just 19 minutes into the second half, three goals were flung into the net with Manchester United taking the lead.
All three goals came in a space of 9 minutes. Alonso opened the scoring for Barcelona with a header from a corner kick in the 50th minute.
Marcus Rashford equalised for Manchester United three minutes later, firing from inside the box to make it 1-1.
6 minutes later, a goal-mouth scramble in the Barcelona box saw Kounde score an own goal, giving United the lead.
After the Red Devils’ 2-1 lead, both sides seemed to match each other with attacking threats firing 15 attempts.
After a seemingly muscular and more competitive 17 minutes, Former Leeds and Premier League star Raphinha found the equaliser for Barcelona in the 76th minute before being subbed off by Xavi Hernandez.
The match ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw as Manchester United survived a late push by Barcelona for a winner.