Manchester United’s Europa League play-off with Barcelona is still wide open after the sides played out a thrilling 2-2 draw tonight at Camp Nou.
Barcelona predictably dominated possession for large parts of the first half, although it was the Premier League side that created the better of the chances. Wout Weghorst fired straight at Marc-Andre Ter Stegen when clean through on goal while Marcus Rashford’s curling effort forced the Barca ‘keeper into a superb save.
The Catalan side would take the lead in the 50th minute when former Chelsea man Marcos Alonso headed home a corner at the back post. United equalised just two minutes later though, with on-fire attacker Marcus Rashford hammering a clinical finish past Ter Stegen at his near post.
Manchester United then took the lead just before the hour mark after some brilliant work from Rashford from a short corner forced Jules Kounde to bundle into his own net from a couple of yards out.
The La Liga leaders would make it 2-2 and set the second leg up perfectly on 76 minutes when the impressive Raphina’s pacey cross evaded everyone and nestled in the bottom corner.
Let’s find out how we rated the performance of Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United players…
De Gea 7
Made a decent stop at his near post to deny Lewandowski early on and showed good reflexes to deny Fati in the second half. Just never looks fully comfortable playing out from the back though.
Looked out of his depth both positionally and in possession at times, although to be fair to the 25-year-old he stuck to his task and got forward on occassion.
Marshalled the backline brilliantly and won some crucial headers late on when Barca bombarded United’s box with crosses
Continues to make a mockery of Jose Mourinho’s criticism of his football intelligence after another accomplished display at centre-back.
Colossal performance tonight against one of the best strikers in the world.
Even on a European stage playing out of position he puts in a great display.
What a player @LukeShaw23 👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/Eqi1qFWVxP
— Amy (@teamshaw_23) February 16, 2023
Did ok against Barca’s dangerman Raphinha – even if he did lose a couple of duels. Needs to improve in attacking areas which was epitomised late on when he panicked when clean through on goal.
Uncharacteristically lost possession in the build-up to Barca’s equaliser. However, he shielded his centre-backs brilliantly at times and although it’s cliche to say, he really does get the best out of those around him.
Manchester United are yet to lose a game when both Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes have started together. pic.twitter.com/mqoxqBUYKc
— َ (@FernandesZone) February 16, 2023
Frustrated in possession during the opening period, but was superb in the second and claimed a tidy assist for Rashford’s equaliser. A very, very lucky boy not to give away a late penalty for handball.
Played on the right and while his excellent ball across goal in the opening few minutes served as a statement of intent from United, the Portuguese playmaker always looks more effective when playing centrally.
Like so many of his teammates, he grew into the game as it went on. Still lacking sharpness though and you suspect United fans will need to be patient for a while longer before they see the winger performing to his full potential.
Surprisingly reprised the number 10 role he played for the last 15 minutes in Sunday’s victory at Leeds. Brought a massive work-rate and linked the play well – even if the 6ft 6in Dutchman is bizarrely poor in the air.
Didn’t have much of the ball in the first half, but looked razor-sharp when he did and forced Ter Stegen into a stunning stop. Continued his recent form in the second with a lethal near-post finish and it was his brilliant work from a short corner that led to Kounde’s own goal. The only blot on the 25-year-old’s copybook was when he wildly lashed at a match-winning chance late on.
Marcus Rashford has played 16 games since returning from the World Cup.
He’s scored in 13 of them 👉😤 pic.twitter.com/VmqGhdSfYE
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 16, 2023
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