There are plenty of talking points in the aftermath of Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou, with Erik ten Hag’s men impressing in the scintillating affair.
The round-of-32 Europa League play-off round will be completed next week when Barcelona make the trip to Old Trafford and the Catalan giants could be without as many as four star players for the game.
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was quick to praise United after the game, claiming the Reds are ‘coming back’ after the sides shared the spoils.
Speaking after the game, Ten Hag delivered his verdict on the afternoon and was adamant the referee’s performance had a big impact on the outcome.
With United leading 2-1, Marcus Rashford looked to be through on goal but the 25-year-old was taken out by Barcelona defender Jules Kounde. No action was taken by the referee or his assistants in the VAR room – something Ten Hag disagreed with after the game, claiming Kounde should have been sent off even if the challenge could not have resulted in a penalty.
"Refereeing had a big influence on the game, it was a clear foul on Rashford"
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 16, 2023
“I think the refereeing had a big influence in this game,” Ten Hag told BT Sport, as seen above.
“I think it was a clear foul on Rahsy. You can discuss if it was in or outside the box. (If it’s out) Okay, then it’s a red card because he was one on one with the keeper.
“It’s a big influence, not only in this game but in this round. It can’t be, referees can’t make such mistakes.”
Considering Barcelona equalised not long after this incident, you can understand why Ten Hag would be feeling aggrieved after the game. Nevertheless, United will be feeling secure in their position going into the second leg.