Barcelona, ​​Man Utd draw Europa League thriller

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Barcelona, ​​Man Utd draw Europa League thriller


Barcelona and Manchester United played out a thrilling 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie on Thursday, while Juventus Nantes was left disappointed at 1-1.

The game at the Camp Nou brought together two Europeans who met in two Champions Leagues in 2009 and 2011, and both have good conditions in the country.

After a goalless first half, La Liga leaders Barcelona went ahead five minutes into the second half thanks to Marcos Alonso’s header in the corner.

However, United grabbed the lead just three minutes later when Marcus Rashford beat Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at his near post to score his 13th goal in 15 games since the World Cup.

The Premier League side took the lead just before the hour mark through a Jules Kounde own goal, but Raphinha’s cross flew into the final quarter of the hour to give Barca a draw in front of the crowd is over 90,000.

“I think it’s a great game. You have two attackers, I think it’s a Champions League game, it’s better than that,” United manager Erik ten Hag told BT Sport. “We have to finish at Old Trafford.”

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was left to complain that his team should have had a penalty for Fred’s ball.

“It was a stolen penalty,” said Xavi. “I don’t know why they don’t whistle for penalty kicks now, it seems amazing to me.

Winning the Europa League could represent the best chance for Juventus to return to the Champions League next season after they were handed a 15-point deficit in Serie A.

That punishment, due to what the Italian Football Federation ordered was an illegal action designed to strengthen their accounts, left the Turin giants 12 points out of the top four at home.

Against Nantes they looked on course for a good win when Federico Chiesa nodded a ball across the face of the goal for Dusan Vlahovic to open the scoring early.

But French Cup holders Nantes equalized on the hour mark when Ludovic Blas ran in to finish strongly.

Chiesa’s shot hit the bottom of the bar and bounced down without the ball crossing the line, before hitting the post and rebounding off.

Nantes also missed a VAR penalty check for a ball deep in injury time, the referee awarded them a free kick and left Juventus with work to do in the comeback. .

Elsewhere, Monaco came from behind to win 3-2 against Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen, with Axel Disasi scoring the winner in the 92nd minute.

A goal from Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky put Monaco ahead only for second-half goals from Moussa Diaby and Florian Wirtz to turn the game around.

However, Krepin Diatta pulled the management team back before French defender Disasi’s strike.

Shakhtar Donetsk won 2-1 against Rennes as the Ukrainian club played their first game in Europe since selling star Mykhailo Mudryk to Chelsea.

Playing in the Polish capital of Warsaw, Dmytro Kryskiv put Shakhtar ahead with Artem Bondarenko scoring a penalty before Karl Toko-Ekambi pulled one back for Rennes.

Jose Mourinho’s Roma went down 1-0 to Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg with Argentina midfielder Nicolas Capaldo scoring a late winner.

Sevilla, the most successful club of the competition, beat PSV Eindhoven 3-0 in Spain as Youssef En-Nesyri, Lucas Ocampos and Nemanja Gudelj all scored.

Ajax drew 0-0 with Union Berlin, but Sebastian Coates scored deep into stoppage time to earn Sporting a 1-1 draw with Denmark’s Midtjylland in Lisbon.

The second legs will be held next Thursday and the last 16 will be available for the winner along with the eight teams that bested their groups.

Fiorentina were victorious in the first legs of the Europa Conference League play-offs as they defeated Braga 4-0 in Portugal.

Ciro Immobile gave Lazio a 1-0 win against CFR Cluj but there were also wins in the first leg for Qarabag, Trabzonspor, AEK Larnaca, Partizan Belgrade and Ludogorets.


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