Pundits react to ‘throwback classic’ as magnificent Man Utd draw 2-2 with Barcelona at the Camp Nou

Marcus Rashford lit up the Nou Camp as Manchester United and Barcelona played out an enthralling 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Europa League knockout play-off. 

Pundits have described the matchup between the two European giants as an ‘all-time classic,’ in a game that was end-to-end throughout and could have gone either way.

United will be confident that they can defeat the Catalans at Old Trafford next week, especially if Rashford can perform like he did tonight.

Former England international Rob Green hailed the performance of the Red Devils, suggesting they have what it takes to progress to the next stage of the competition.

As reported by BBC Sport, he said: “If Uefa wanted an advert for the Europa League play-off games then this was it. It had absolutely everything and it was two massive teams going toe-to-toe.

“For Manchester United you can point to one man, Marcus Rashford was probably the difference between the two teams. Raphinha hit back for Barcelona. But it is all to play for in the return leg.

“I think they will have seen enough to say they can improve on that performance. Barcelona I am not sure, they look good at times, but they don’t have that cutting edge, they aren’t going to destroy you.

“Manchester United know that now, and they will be encouraged. Barcelona might have to double and triple up on Marcus Rashford who just seems like he knows he can make the difference.”

Hargreaves and Scholes heap praise on United

Indeed, these global giants, who fought for Champions League glory in the 2009 and 2011 finals, put on a mouthwatering display that was impossible to take your eyes off. 

Former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves was in attendance for the match and he thinks that the Red Devils are ‘the real deal’ once again, after putting in a barnstorming performance, despite failing to win the game.

Speaking to BT Sport, he said: “If anyone was wondering if Manchester United are the real deal or not that just shows.

“They came here and went toe-to-toe with Barcelona. They could have easily won the game.”

As Hargreaves says, there aren’t many teams who come to the Camp Nou and play on the front foot like United did tonight. They were dynamic in the way they played, and every player put in admirable performances.

Red Devils legend Paul Scholes echoed the Welshman’s sentiments, saying that the matchup was incredible to watch from start to finish

Scholes said: “What a game to watch. So exciting. There just wasn’t a breath taken. It was a bit of a throwback really. This game is perfectly set up for next Thursday.”

With the second let set for next week, United will be desperate to put in a similar performance and this time claim the victory at Old Trafford. That game definitely isn’t one to miss.

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Author: editor

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