After a sensational first leg at the Camp Nou, two of Europe’s greatest football teams meet again at Old Trafford in a crucial clash that will decide which side progresses to the next round of the competition. Perhaps this game isn’t receiving the attention it would have done five years ago, as these clubs now find themselves in the Europa League – the second tier of European competition – but this fixture between two historic giants is still well worth watching.
The first leg saw Barcelona take an early lead through Marcos Alonso, who headed home from Raphinha’s corner at the back post and sent the ball past De Gea to send the Blaugrana wild. That euphoria didn’t last all too long though, as Marcus Rashford was played through on goal by Fred before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner to level the score.
United could sense a result on the cards, and took the lead less than ten minutes later after Jules Kounde sent the ball into his own net after Marcus Rashford’s corner. Barcelona would later equalise, with Casemiro’s loose pass intercepted by Kounde, who played in Raphinha on the right flank. The Brazilian sent a cross into the box, which ended up trickling in at the far post after Lewandowski’s presence misled David De Gea.
That result means that the two sides head to the Theatre of Dreams on Thursday evening with nothing to separate them – though United will look to take advantage of a lively Old Trafford atmosphere. I can’t see any changes being made to United’s side, and I think Erik Ten Hag will continue to deploy Wout Weghorst in midfield – even if the Dutchman didn’t set the world on fire in the first leg. I don’t anticipate any changes to Barcelona’s lineup either, as it clearly worked well at the Camp Nou.
Kick-off for this game is at 8pm UK, and we’ll bring you live text commentary on Twitter from 7pm.