Manchester United drew 2-2 with Barcelona in what was a terrific game of football at the Camp Nou in the first leg of our Europa League clash.
Marcus Rashford deserves to be given the man of the match award if he hasn’t been handed it by now. He inspired a promising performance from the Reds and I think a lot of fans will be coming away from Camp Nou tonight thinking we could have got the win.
There’s no point crying over spilled milk when we have a second leg to look forward to next week. Old Trafford is set to be rocking, but here are three observations from United’s 2-2 draw against Barcelona on Thursday night.
The Reds matched Barcelona
In terms of intensity and high pressing, as well as a number of statistical metrics, United matched Barcelona at Camp Nou. Neither team had any real control on the game and they both got as much as they gave in terms of chances created and chances conceded.
Both fans suffered nervy moments and times when they could have cleared the terrance. A frightening prospect from those heights.
United also went with a bit of a formation change. Wout Weghorst played in the number 10 role in behind Marcus Rashford, with Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes occupying the flanks. The Dutchman was an important presence in the midfield battle.
Overall I think United looked pretty dangerous in this shape but there is no denying that having Lisandro Martinez back for the second leg is a big plus.
Marcus Rashford has four goals in Europe this season
I feel like I am repeating myself at this rate, but there is no stopping Rashford at the moment. He is currently the best player in the world and it almost feels ridiculous to say that after watching a Europa League match.
Rashford was the most dangerous player on the pitch by a country mile and he provided a moment of magic to level things up and keep United in a strong position in the tie, especially when he forced home an own goal from Jules Kounde.
Rashford now has four goals to his name in European competition this season. It takes his tally to 14 goals in all competitions since the end of the World Cup.
The man in-form!
Silly mistakes costing us
I’m not going to sit here and complain too much. I’m happy with how United performed, but at the same time we can’t get away from the fact that sloppy defending cost us a win
For Marcos Alonso’s goal, the Reds were guilty of letting a man free at the back post which is not something you get away with very often at Camp Nou. The second goal came from a scrappy ball out from the back. Again, it was avoidable.
United will be better again at Old Trafford. I have no doubt about that.
Good analysis 👍