Barcelona and Man United share honours in thrilling first leg

UEL Barcelona and Man United share honours in thrilling first leg

Ifeanyi Ufomadu 20:48 - 16.02.2023

Raphinha scored a late equaliser as Barcelona and Manchester United played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona played out a 2-2 draw with Manchester United and have Raphinha to thank for keeping them in the tie as his late equaliser set up the prospect of an exciting second leg at Old Trafford.

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After a goalless first half, Marcos Alonso put the hosts in front but the in-form Marcus Rashford equalised almost instantly. 

An unfortunate Jules Kounde own goal put United in front but Raphinha leveled to set up a tasty second leg.

How it happened

Barcelona had great momentum coming into this tie and it was evident in the way they started the game with confidence.

Robert Lewandowski forced David de Gea into a smart save early on to perhaps give the United goalkeeper a taste of what was to come.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen made an excellent save to deny Marcus Rashford as the Red Devils started to find their rhythm. However, despite both sides going close before the interval, neither team was able to break the deadlock.

The second half started in electric fashion as Jadon Sancho went close for United and Raphinha's 25-yard effort flew narrowly wide of De Gea's post.

The deadlock was finally broken and it was Barcelona who found the breakthrough through a surprise inclusion in the starting lineup, Marcos Alonso. 

Marcos Alonso celebrates after opening the scoring against Manchester United

He made United pay for missed chances through a fine header that flew into the corner.

Rashford ensured the visitors were back on level terms within two minutes, fizzing an angled shot past ter Stegen at his near post,

Rashford then turned creator, sending a low cross into the box that Jules Kounde diverted into his own net.

Barcelona looked shaken and in a state of panic after that goal but the hosts got an equaliser against the run of play as Raphinha saw a whipped cross creep in at the far post.

De Gea was forced into several impressive stops late on but ultimately both sides will head into the second leg at Old Trafford knowing it is still a very open tie.

Player of the match - Marcus Rashford

Rashford scored a brilliant goal and set up another with some excellent skill to underline his importance to this Manchester United side. 

The England international is in the form of his life right now and he will take some stopping. He took his goal brilliantly as he always does. United have relied on him heavily this season and he has delivered.

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