Connect with us

Sports News

Barcelona and Man Utd Draw Thriller as Juventus Held in Europa League




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 were frustrated by Nantes in a 1-1 stalemate. The game at Camp Nou brought together the two European giants, who met in two Champions League finals in 2009 and 2011, and who are both in excellent form domestically. After a goalless first half, La Liga leaders Barcelona went ahead five minutes into the second half thanks to a header from Marcos Alonso, a corner.

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

The Premier League side took the lead just before the hour mark through a Jules Cunde own goal, but a Rafinha cross inside the last quarter of an hour to secure a draw for Barca before a crowd of over 90,000 Flew.

United boss Erik ten Haag told broadcaster BT Sport, “I think it was a great game. Two attacking teams, I think it was a Champions League game, even more.” “We have to finish it at Old Trafford.”

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez went on to complain that his team should have been awarded a penalty for the handball by Fred.

“It’s the evasion penalty,” Xavi said. “I don’t know why they don’t whistle for penalties for handballs anymore. It seems unbelievable to me. Incredible.”

Winning the Europa League could be Juventus’ best chance of returning to the Champions League next season after they were handed a 15-point deduction in Serie A.

The punishment, which the Italian Football Federation ruled was illegal transfer activity designed to artificially boost their accounts, left the Turin Giants 12 points behind the top four at home.

Against Nantes they looked on course for a comfortable win when Federico Chiesa lofted a through ball in front of goal for Dusan Vlahovic to open the scoring early on.

But French cup holders Nantes equalized on the break when Ludovic Blass finished emphatically.

A shot from Chiesa then hit the bottom of the bar and bounced down without the ball crossing the line, before hitting the post and turning away.

Nantes also escaped a VAR penalty check for a handball in injury time, with the referee leaving Juventus to work the comeback rather than awarding them a free-kick.

– Sevilla win, Roma lose –

Elsewhere, Monaco came from behind to win 3–2 against Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen, Axel Desassi scoring a 92nd-minute winner.

An own goal from Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecki put Monaco ahead early in the second half before second-half goals from Moussa Diaby and Florian Wirtz turned the game around.

However, the Principality side pulled one back before France defender Desassi’s strike saw Crepin Dutta pull them back.

Shakhtar Donetsk were a 2-1 winner against Rennes as the Ukrainian club played their first European game since selling star winger Mykhailo Mudrik to Chelsea.

Playing in the Polish capital Warsaw, Dmytro Kryskiewicz put Shakhtar ahead and Artem Bondarenko converted a penalty, before Karl Toko-Ekambi pulled one back for Rennes.

Jose Mourinho’s Roma lost 1-0 to Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg, with Argentine midfielder Nicolás Capaldo scoring a late winner.

Sevilla, the competition’s most successful club, beat PSV Eindhoven 3–0 in Spain as Youssef En-Nesri, Lucas Ocampos and Nemanja Gudelj all found the net.

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

The matches of the second stage will be played next Thursday in which the last 16 will be made and the eight teams will finish at the top of their group.

Fiorentina were the biggest winners in the Europa Conference League play-off first leg as they beat Braga 4–0 in Portugal.

Ciro Immobile led Lazio to a 1–0 win against CFR Cluj, while there were also first leg wins for Qarabag, Trabzonspor, AEK Larnaca, Partizan Belgrade and Ludogorets.

featured video of the day

Watch: 7-year-old girl dreams of playing international cricket

topics covered in this article