Manchester United and Barcelona played out an unforgettable 2-2 draw in the Europa League on Thursday evening, setting up a mouthwatering decider at Old Trafford next week.
Both sides came from behind as they had to settle for an even ending but Erik ten Hag’s men will be feeling like it was a missed opportunity after conceding an equaliser with just 15 minutes to go.
Going into the first game, Barcelona were favourites to qualify for the next round but after that performance, you must wonder if United have a better chance now.
Speaking after the game, manager Xavi Hernandez reserved special praise for the Old Trafford club, claiming they are ‘coming back’.
"Both teams are on the same level"
"This could be a Champions League quarter-final, semi-final, or final in the future"
Xavi gives his reaction after a tough match for his Barcelona side 🔵🔴#UEL | 🎙️ @TheDesKelly pic.twitter.com/I99byPoLYl
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 16, 2023
“We played, today, against a top team in Europe,” Xavi told BT Sport, as seen above. “I think Manchester (United) is coming back and today they showed their best version. We competed really well and we need to be proud. Now, we need to compete well in Old Trafford.”
Quizzed further on the quality of both sides, Xavi admitted that Barcelona and United are on similar levels.
“Yes, I think both teams are, more or less, in the same moment, in the same position, that we are coming back,” he said. “I said to Ten Hag now congratulations because he’s doing very well. They are Manchester United.”