Manchester United produce a stunning comeback to knock Barcelona out

By Real11 - Feb 24 2023 283 Views


 High Flying United knock Barcelona out of the Europa League

Manchester United produced a splendid fight back to defeat Barcelona 2-1 at Old Trafford on Thursday and go through to Europa League Round of 16 4-3 on aggregate. 

After an unforgettable first leg ended 2-2 at Camp Nou, Man United fell behind in the tie and on the night when Robert Lewandowski converted one from the spot after Bruno Fernandes had pulled Alejandre Balde in the box. 

Barcelona held onto the slender lead going into the halftime but following the 15 mins team talk we witnessed a rejuvenated United side, raring to get back into the game. The hosts soon equalised in the 47th minute through a composed finish from Fred and then sent the overwrought Old Trafford crowd berserk when fellow Brazilian Antony guided home a fine finish in the 72nd 

The win was Man Utd’s first over Barcelona since the Champions League semi finals of 2008 which added another feather to Erik Ten Hag’s cap in his debut season at the club. 

United will now look to conclude the week on a high as they face Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley in London on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, Barcelona are left to focus on their hunt to win LaLiga after having now fallen at the initial hurdles in both Champions League and Europa League under Xavi Hernandez this season. 

The Europa League draw for the round of 16 will be made at 11 a.m. GMT (6 a.m. ET) on Friday. Man United will face one of the seeded teams who will go past the playoff round after winning their groups.

"The belief of the team is always there," Fernandes told BT Sport. "The belief of the fans, they push us through difficult moments.

"We have made great comebacks, the club is made also by that. In the past we have done a lot like this result."

Both sides have shown drastic improvements under their new coaches this season, with the quality of the football in the first leg testament to that and setting the tie up nicely for the return fixture at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’

United made a bright start with skipper Fernandes denied by a sharp Marc Andre ter Stegen save after being picked out by Casemiro. 

Then came the moment that had Old Trafford united in utter disbelief as referee Clement Turpin pointed to the spot, a decision Fernandes couldn't believe. De Gea got a hand to Lewandowski's penalty but was unable to claw it away.

The Polish striker has now scored 25 goals in 30 appearances across all competitions this season for the Spanish Giants this season, the 12th consecutive campaign in which he has found the back of the net 25 or more times at club level. 

United failed to create any more chances for the remainder of the first half and were thankful for the two goal saving challenges from Casemiro to keep the score at 1-0. 

But whatever coach Erik Ten Had said at the break had an instant effect as Bruno found Fred to level.

De Gea made yet another world class save to tip over a Jules Kounde header but United were now firmly in control and went in the lead through an excellent finish from Antony. 

The Utd boss was once again spot on with his substitutions as the introduction of Antony and Garnacho certainly paid dividends. Substitutions have made a major difference for the Red Devils this season. 19 goals have been scored by replacements across all competition, the most by any side from the big five European leagues in 2022-23

The hosts survived a few nervy moments but saw out the victory to put an end to a five-game winless run against Barcelona.   

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