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Barcelona vs Manchester United result, score, highlights and analysis as Europa League thriller ends 2-2



Marcus Rashford said Manchester United’s thrilling 2-2 draw at Barcelona “felt like a loss” and suggested he should have been awarded a penalty after equalling his best ever goals tally in a season by launching a stirring second-half comeback in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 playoffs.

Top scorer Rashford burst onto a Fred pass and lashed a fierce shot beyond Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to take his total for the season to 22 goals and draw United level two minutes after Marcos Alonso had headed the hosts in front.

Rashford’s cross then caused chaos for a third goal within 10 minutes early in the second half, confusing Jules Kounde to deflect Bruno Fernandes’ flick beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make it 2-1 to the Nou Camp visitors.

United were on course for their first victory in the fixture in Spain at the sixth attempt, only for former Leeds United playmaker Raphina’s curling right-wing cross after 76 minutes to evade a crowd of players and level the scores.

“It feels like a loss,” Rashford told BT Sport after a game in which Barcelona head coach Xavi and United counterpart Erik ten Hag were both aggrieved with the match officials.

The England international was denied a penalty after appearing to be clipped by Kounde and visiting midfielder Fred was adjudged not to have committed an offence when a VAR check inspected his potential handball inside the box.

“In the moment, I don’t get why the linesman or the referee thinks I’m going down there,” said Rashford, while Ten Hag claimed that Kounde should have been dismissed if the incident had been deemed to have taken place outside of the box. “His leg hits mine – it’s clear.”

Robert Lewandowski was denied by David de Gea in the best early chance of the game, and Ter Stegen kept Wout Weghorst’s finish out after the United targetman broke clear on goal before the break.

In a tense encounter containing 18 attempts on goal apiece, United midfielder Casemiro almost gave Barcelona the final say when he inexplicably turned his attempted clearance onto a post.

The teams will meet again at Old Trafford on February 23, when away goals will not count towards the outcome of the tie.

Resurgent heavyweights deliver drama

The two in-form clubs in Europe produced further evidence of their recent resurgences as they met for the first time outside of the Champions League since the 1991 European Cup Winners’ Cup final.

United head coach Ten Hag had discussed the “reset” both sides needed after a fairly spectacular fall from being considered regular contenders for the Champions League, and this was a game worthy of a later stage of any club competition.

Lewandowski had De Gea’s brave goalkeeping to curse when he almost put Barca ahead, but Weghorst will rue his miss the most of the first-half opportunities in a game that was only missing goals until Alonso — who responded emotionally here following the death of his former Barcelona player father, Marcos, last week — beat Fred to a corner to open the scoring.

That caused an entertaining game to explode into life as an already-absorbing exchange of lightning attacks produced the goals it had threatened.

“The first half was probably a bit in favour of them,” Rashford said after scoring for a 14th time in his last 16 games.

“We stayed calm and composed and tried to take chances when they came. Maybe because we were a goal behind, we were searching for the chances that little bit more.”

Ter Stegen will inevitably be questioned for conceding at his near post from Rashford’s rasping strike. “It was difficult to find an angle from there so I just made my mind up and tried to get as clean a contact as I could,” said the striker.

The visitors return to Premier League action on Sunday at home to Leicester City, when they will hope to close the current five-point gap on joint-leaders Manchester City and Arsenal.

La Liga leaders ‘should be proud’

Barcelona’s 11-game winning run in all competitions came to an end in front of more than 90,000 people at the Camp Nou, and they demonstrated the qualities that have taken them eight points clear at the top of La Liga under Xavi’s guidance.

The club legend, who was part of the team who beat United in the 2009 and 2011 UEFA Champions League finals, is well on the way to securing a long-awaited league title for Barca, as well as plotting a path back to contention in Europe.

“It was a tough game with a lot of passion, intensity and rhythm,” he said afterwards. “We should be proud.

“We could have won it with our chances at the end. Both teams are more or less in the same position of coming back [to being a force in Europe]. We showed our very best performance – it was a very, very good performance from both teams.”

Having ended the game by making his feelings clear to the refereeing team, it was no surprise when Xavi played down Raphinha’s apparent irritation at being substituted.

“I say to the players, always, that they have to be angry in a positive way,” explained Xavi. “The problem is if they don’t have that attitude on the pitch.”

The only real note of concern for Xavi was an issue for Pedri that forced the youngster to be substituted, with the club promptly announcing that he had suffered an injury to his right thigh.

Barca host relegation-threatened Cadiz at the Camp Nou on Sunday, by which time Real Madrid will have had the chance to reduce their eight-point deficit when they face Atletico Madrid at home.

The Sporting News followed the match live and provided live score updates and commentary.

MORE: Barcelona vs Man United history: Head-to-head matches, last meeting, team records ahead of Europa League clash

Barcelona vs Manchester United final score

  1H 2H Final
Man United 0 2 2
Barcelona 0 2 2


Barcelona – Alonso (49), Raphinha (76)

Man United – Rashford (53), Kounde own-goal (59)

Barcelona vs Man United live updates, highlights from Europa League

Full-time: Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United

A thrilling first leg ends 2-2 as Manchester United hold the runaway Liga champions in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 16 playoff!

Thanks for following our live coverage. We’ll have a report and analysis coming up at the top of this page shortly.

88 mins: Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United

This is a nerve-shredding finish to the game. Casemiro, inexplicably, fires the ball against a post with a chance to clear his lines following a Barca free-kick.

Ansu Fati then shoots over the crossbar.

85 mins: Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United

Breathless stuff! A VAR check decides Barcelona will not receive a penalty after Sergi Roberto’s header possibly hits Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s arm after Ansu Fati chips a free-kick from a promising central position into United’s penalty area.

80 mins: Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United

Raphinha almost heads Barcelona ahead! Luke Shaw makes a mess of a header from a route-one Marc-Andre ter Stegen clearance.

The second scorer for Barca goes past him and flicks in a header which the advancing David de Gea tips away alertly.

78 mins: Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United

76 mins: GOAL – Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United (Raphinha)

We’re all-square again in this thriller!

Raphinha, who has been a menace all night, curls in a cross from outside the penalty area on the right. Robert Lewandowski looks to have applied the finishing touch in the middle of a crowded penalty area after the ball bounces beyond David de Gea, but replays show he didn’t get anything on it. 2-2!

*Available in UK:

72 mins: Barcelona 1-2 Manchester United

Tyrell Malacia holds off Raphinha by pushing him in the chest, receiving a booking for his trouble.

70 mins: Barcelona 1-2 Manchester United

It’s worth mentioning that Marcos Alonso’s father, who was also called Marcos, passed away last week.

Alonso senior also played for the club, so there is an immense poignancy to his son scoring at the Camp Nou tonight.

68 mins: Barcelona 1-2 Manchester United

Xavi rings the changes for Barca: Ansu Fati, Andreas Christensen and Alejandro Balde replace Marcos Alonso, Jordi Alba and Franck Kessie.

64 mins: Barcelona 1-2 Manchester United

Erik ten Hag is gesturing wildly on the touchline. It could be that Marcus Rashford appeal that he’s perturbed about. Alternatively, the tension of the occasion might just be getting to him.

63 mins: Barcelona 1-2 Manchester United

Marcus Rashford gives Barcelona’s defence problems with another inspired run, reaching the penalty area before hurtling to the floor.

He wants a penalty but isn’t getting one.

59 mins: GOAL – Barcelona 1-2 Manchester United (Jules Kounde own-goal)

United turn it around! Shaw sends a corner Rashford’s way, and the scorer sets off inside the penalty area on the right, taking a chance on firing in a low cross along the goalmouth.

Fernandes gambles too, applying a flick to send it back in Rashford’s direction. The unfortunate Jules Kounde sees the danger deflect off his chest and in!

*Available in UK:

58 mins: Barcelona 1-1 Manchester United

Wout Weghorst is back to do defensive duties, heading a Raphinha delivery from a set piece behind. Barcelona then fail to create any danger with the corner.

54 mins: Barcelona 1-1 Manchester United

That was a scintillating strike from Rashford, bursting on to a perceptive Fred pass into the penalty area on the right, taking a touch and lashing a shot from a tight angle past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Questions will be asked about the goalkeeper there, having been beaten at his near post. United deserve to be level, though.

53 mins: GOAL – Barcelona 1-1 Manchester United (Marcus Rashford)

The man of the moment equalises with his 14th goal in his last 16 matches!

49 mins: GOAL – Barcelona 1-0 Manchester United (Marcos Alonso)

Barcelona are ahead! This is a little cruel on United, who almost went ahead a moment earlier when some slack defending gave Jadon Sancho free aim at the far post from a right-wing cross.

Sancho sent his shot wide, and Marcos Alonso punishes him fully by beating Fred to a corner from Barca’s right at the far post and nodding his team in front!

*Available in UK:

48 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

A huge roar goes up after Barcelona have the best early chance of the half! Raphinha takes aim from outside the penalty area on the left, slashing a shot just wide of the far post.

47 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

The cameras having been showing legendary Manchester United head coach Sir Alex Ferguson up in the stands, who guided the club to the Champions League title here with a last-gasp win against Bayern Munich in 1999.

United have never beaten Barcelona in Spain, mind.

46 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

We’re back in business, with Robert Lewandowski and Aaron Wan Bissaka ending up in a heap on the floor after challenging at the back post for a cross that was headed away before either of them could get there by Raphael Varane.

Half-time: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

“We spoke about big chances and being clinical when they take them,” United legend Paul Scholes tells BT Sport of that superb chance for Wout Weghorst from a Bruno Fernandes through-ball.

“That is a big chance. I still think United will get more of them.”

Half-time: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Barring a goal, that was as entertaining a half as you’d expect between two teams in the hottest form in Europe and at the right ends of La Liga and the Premier League.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen and David de Gea have bailed their sides out in the face of several bright attacking moments at either end, the United goalkeeper keeping Robert Lewandowski’s fierce effort out before Wout Weghorst was denied with the best chance of the half after breaking clear.

Marcus Rashford also saw a goal-bound shot well-saved by Ter Stegen and Jordi Alba has been a persistent source of danger on the flank for the hosts. More in the second half, please!

44 min: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

The newly-introduced Sergi Roberto doesn’t provide a great advertisement for his right to start more games, spurning a crossing chance from a decent position with United backtracking.

41 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Bad news for Barca: with no-one around him, Pedri goes down clutching his upper leg and has to be replaced by Sergi Roberto.

The youngster had been at the centre of a couple of his side’s most dangerous moments.

38 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

It’s seven shots apiece in this half now – a reflection of how well United have come back into this game after Robert Lewandowski had the best early chance.

36 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Now David de Gea is back in action at the other end! Aaron Wan-Bissaka carelessly gives the ball to Jordi Alba in a dangerous position, who’s trying to pull the trigger when his marker and the United goalkeeper combine to thwart him, appealing for an infringement in vain.

34 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Marc-Andre ter Stegen saves Barcelona from going behind! Marcus Rashford latches on to a lofted pass inside the penalty area on the left and, from a tight angle, shows the confidence he’s currently playing with by opening up his body and steering a curling shot towards the far post.

The goalkeeper is off his line and leaps into action to apply a vital fingertip to the ball, arcing it wide.

32 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

United have now had two fine opportunities from crosses in quick succession. Casemiro couldn’t convert an inviting delivery from the left, and now Varane can only head well over the crossbar from a corner from the right.

28 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Golden chance for Wout Weghorst! The targetman breaks free of the Barcelona defences but can’t prod his finish beyond the advancing Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who gets a leg to the attempted finish and diverts it away.

United should be ahead and have Barca on the ropes!

26 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

United almost score! Aaron Wan-Bissaka rumbles industriously down the right and does well to pick out a short pass to Jadon Sancho inside, who bobbles a shot towards the far post.

The effort takes a touch off Frenkie de Jong, almost diverting it beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s reach. The goalkeeper looks relieved as it goes behind for a corner.

24 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Marcus Rashford looks poised to make one of those long runs the length of a half he’s specialised in this season.

The in-form United forward is frequently the furthest of their players up the pitch, looking to seize on his pace when the chance is there.

David de Gea produces a strong punch to alleviate the danger as a corner from Barcelona’s left swings under his crossbar.

22 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Jules Kounde rolls a pass to Marc-Andre ter Stegen straight behind, generously giving Manchester United a chance to swing in a corner.

Luke Shaw can’t make the most of it.

18 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Lovely play from Pedri, who collects a chip from Gavi inside the penalty area on the left and fires an instinctive volley over the crossbar in balletic fashion.

That came as a consequence of a mix-up between Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw.

15 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Barca have had almost 60% of the possession in the opening 15 minutes and the only shot on target through that Robert Lewandowski effort that produced an excellent save from David de Gea.

United might have expected this sort of start against opponents eight points clear at the top of La Liga.

13 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

The freekick proves an anticlimax. Marcos Alonso – familiar to the visitors from his long spell at Chelsea – beats the leaping wall and, comfortably, the crossbar.

11 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Barca have a free-kick in a position the home fans are audibly excited by just outside United’s penalty area after Fred takes Gavi down with a clumsy challenge.

9 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Robert Lewandowski is getting on the ball more now. This time he supplies Jordi Alba to send in a cross that United deal with.

8 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

An excellent save by David de Gea keeps Manchester United level!

Gavi finds Robert Lewandowski inside the penalty area on the left with an angled pass. The hotshot is alert to it, shifting the ball forward and crashing in an angled shot that De Gea beats away. You’d be a brave man to get in the way of that shot, as the Spaniard did successfully.

6 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

United have done the better work in the earliest stages, aside from that Raphinha break. Wan-Bissaka tries to create trouble just outside the penalty area on the right, and an offside flag goes up.

4 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Raphinha shows his skills for the first time, beating Sancho with a spin and shuffling the ball past the attempted tackle of Casemiro.

The livewire then enters the penalty area on the right and runs the ball out of play.

2 mins: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

Now Barcelona regroup from that early United attack and keep the ball for a while. Robert Lewandowski is playing against United for the first time tonight.

1 min: Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United

United, in white and attacking from right to left, make a bright start! Fred almost finds Bruno Fernandes with a cross into the six-yard box after scampering down the right, gritting his teeth at seeing the delivery narrowly miss his teammate.

5 mins from kickoff: The teams are about to emerge! “You’re looking forward to it – you’re hoping you can come here and achieve something,” ex-United midfielder Paul Scholes tells BT Sport of how the visiting players will be feeling.

20 mins from kickoff: Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 13 home games in Europe against English clubs, winning nine of them.

Their last defeat against an English club here was against in Liverpool in February 2007, when they were beaten 2-1.

40 mins from kickoff: Here’s confirmation of that Manchester United lineup as they try to win against Barcelona in Spain for the first time, having attempted to do so on five previous occasions.

60 mins from kickoff: Team news! Casemiro returns from suspension for Marcel Sabitzer – himself serving a ban – in United’s lineup, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Raphael Varane replaced Diogo Dalot and Harry Maguire at the back.

Barcelona make two changes, both in defence: Marcos Alonso and Jordi Alba are in for Andreas Christensen and Alejandro Balde.

80 mins from kickoff: Don’t forget to follow our dedicated football channels on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest football updates, stats and analysis.

They’re your essential companions to the beautiful game.

100 mins from kickoff: Future Wales and Manchester City head coach Mark Hughes – now in charge at League Two side Bradford City – scored twice when these teams last met outside of the Champions League, in the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup final in Rotterdam.

Ronald Koeman, who would go on to manage teams include Barca and his native Netherlands scored a consolation for the losers. While we’ve time before kickoff, let’s take a look at the highlights!

120 mins from kickoff: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ coverage of Barcelona and Manchester United’s return to European action this season!

Games with the feel of a final rarely come around in the UEFA Europa League in February. Rather than contesting a trophy, though – as these teams did in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals – this game will decide whose European season ends.

The winners after the return game at Old Trafford on February 23 will go through to the Europa League Round of 16 and be among the favourites to win it, with Barca flying at the top of La Liga and a much-improved United only five points behind joint Premier League leaders Manchester City and Arsenal.

Barcelona vs Man United predicted lineups

Barcelona’s key injury absence is captain Sergio Busquets, as he joins Ousmane Dembele on the sidelines, due to an ankle problem.

Xavi is likely to stick with Franck Kessie as Busquets’ replacement, with Spanish pair Jordi Alba and Ansu Fati also pushing for a recall.

Barcelona starting XI (4-3-3): Ter Stegen (GK) — Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Alba — Pedri, De Jong, Kessie — Fati, Lewandowski, Gavi

Barcelona subs: Pena (GK), Balde, Raphinha, Torres, Alonso, Roberto, Garcia, Torre, Alarcon

Ten Hag is battling against a growing injury list at United with Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay and Antony joining Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek on the sidelines.

Argentina international Lisandro Martinez is suspended but Casemiro is available despite a domestic ban.

Man United starting XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea (GK) — Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Shaw — Casemiro, Sabitzer — Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho — Weghorst

Man United subs: Heaton (GK), Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Fred, Malacia, Pellestri, Elanga, Iqbal, Mainoo

What time is Barcelona vs Man United kickoff?

This Europa League clash kicks off at the iconic Camp Nou in Barcelona on Thursday, February 16 at 6:45 p.m. local time.

Here’s how that time translates across some of the major territories:

  Date Kickoff time
USA Thu, Feb. 16 12:45 ET
Canada Thu, Feb. 16 12:45 ET
UK Thu, Feb. 16 17:45 GMT
Australia Fri, Feb. 17 04:45 AEDT*
India Thu, Feb. 16 23:15 IST
Hong Kong Fri, Feb. 17 01:45 HKT*
Malaysia Fri, Feb. 17 01:45 MYT*
Singapore Fri, Feb. 17 01:45 SGT*
New Zealand Fri, Feb. 17 06:45 NZDT*

* Game kicks off on Friday, February 17 in these time zones.

How to watch Man United vs. Barcelona

Here’s how to watch all of the action from this match in some of the major territories:

  TV Channel Streaming
Australia  — Stan Sport
Canada  — DAZN
Hong Kong  —  —
India  Sony TEN 2 Sony LIV, JioTV
Malaysia  beIN Sports 3 beIN Sports Connect, sooka
New Zealand  — Spark Sport
Singapore  beIN Sports 3 beIN Sports Connect, StarHub TV+
UK  BT Sport 2 BT Sport site/app
USA TUDN Paramount+,
ViX+, TUDN app

Australia: Fans can watch every match from the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Conference League with all the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport.

Canada: Every Champions League and Europa League match in Canada can be streamed exclusively on DAZN

UK: The UEFA Europa League is carried by BT Sport’s TV and streaming platforms.

USA: Fans in the USA can watch the Europa League in English (CBS and Paramount+) and Spanish (Univision, TUDN, UniMas, ViX and ViX+). This match will be shown on TUDN and subscription service Paramount+ and ViX+.

When matches are televised on CBS or Univision TV channels, those same channels are streamed on fuboTV, which is available on a free trial for new users.

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