Prime News Ghana

Barcelona and Manchester United contest thrilling draw

By Vincent Ashitey
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Manchester United were unable to return from the site of one of their most famous nights with a victory, but a sparkling Marcus Rashford display helped them earn a terrific 2-2 draw at Barcelona in the first leg of their Europa League playoff.

The Red Devils were back at the Nou Camp, where they won the Champions League in 1999, and although the result might not mean as much, this is another game that will live long in the memory.

The chances flowed right from the first minute, with Robert Lewandowski having an early sighter for the hosts, although his fierce drive was pushed away by David de Gea, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied Wout Weghorst at the other end.

The goalkeeper then made an even better save to deny Marcus Rashford and the visitors started to wrestle control of the momentum, but they were unable to find a breakthrough before half-time, although Jordi Alba came to scoring for Barcelona with a shot that was saved.

Jadon Sancho wasted a golden opening after the interval, skewing wide of the near post when in acres of space, and United were made to pay minutes later when Marcus Alonso headed the hosts in front.

Rashford ensured the visitors were back on level terms within two minutes though, thundering a fierce shot past ter Stegen at his near post, before he turned creator, fizzing a low cross into the box that Jules Kounde diverted into his own net.

The hosts were all over the place and looked at risk of conceding every time they were asked to defend, but they still carried a threat going forward and got an equaliser out of nowhere when Raphinha’s whipped cross crept in at the far post.

That proved to be the final decisive blow, although Casemiro did rattle his own post in a heart-stopping moment late on.