Barca playing ‘best football in several years’ – ten Hag

Manchester United travel to the Camp Nou this evening to take on Barcelona in the headline match of the Europa League play-off round.

To reach this stage Erik ten Hag’s side finished second on goal difference to Real Sociedad in Group E while Barcelona fell out of the Champions League after a disappointing campaign saw them finish third in Group C. The winner of this two-legged affair will progress to the last-16 where the Europa League group stage winners re-enter the competition.

This eagerly awaited clash comes at a good time for both teams. When this draw was announced the odds of a United victory seemed slim but the Red Devils have been in fantastic form – mainly thanks to Marcus Rashford – and are unbeaten in their last six games across all competitions. They’ll come into the match with confidence following a 2-0 victory over Leeds last time out and will hope to upset the currently La Liga leaders.

For their part, Barcelona have been revived under boss, Xavi. They’re on a six league game winning run – unbeaten in 12 – and sit 11 points clear of Real Madrid at the peak of the Spanish top-flight. This fixture is also a repeat of the 2011 Champions League final where Lionel Messi inspired Barca to a comfortable 3-1 victory but can the Spanish giants repeat that result without him tonight?

Follow all the action from the Camp Nou as Barcelona play host to Manchester United:


Second half: Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd

There’s been no further changes from Barcelona as the hosts restart the game. Manchester United also start the second half with the same XI on the pitch.

Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:51


HT Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd

The Red Devils have won each of their last five matches in Europe; only once before have they won six games consecutively in European competition (won first six games in the 1965-66 European Cup season).

Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:46


HT Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd

Marcus Rashford is back to his best and thriving under Erik ten Hag. Rashford is averaging a goal every 121 minutes under ten Hag; his best minutes-per-goal ratio under any Man Utd manager in his career (21 goals in 2541 minutes).

Can he get on the scoresheet in the second half?

Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:43


HT Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd




Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:40


Half-time: Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd

45+2 mins: Erik ten Hag will be relatively pleased. It isn’t easy to come to Barcelona and compete with the La Liga leaders but United have given as good as they’ve received so far.

Rashford and Weghorst both had chances stopped by Ter Stegen and Lewandowski has been denied by De Gea. This is a brilliant and exciting contest but there’s no goals to reflect that.

All to play for in the second half.

Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:35


Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd

45 mins: Two minutes of added time to play at the end of the first half.

Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:33


Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd

43 mins: There’s been a few heavy tackles put in tonight and now Raphael Varane is punished for taking Robert Lewandowski out from behind. The Man Utd defender is shown a yellow card.

Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:31


Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd

40 mins: This has been a beltin’ match-up so far with both teams creating great chances. Barcelona are forced into an early change though as Pedri has taken a knock and needs to go off.

He’s replaced by Sergio Roberto.

Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:29


Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd

37 mins: Save! Aaron Wan-Bissaka makes another mistake as he lets Luke Shaw’s square pass run across his body. Jordi Alba sprints up the pitch and nicks the ball before taking it into the box.

He shoots just as Wan-Bissaka recovers to making a sliding tackle and take the pace out of the shot. Still, it’s heading towards the near post but David De Gea is on hand to push it wide.

Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:25


Barcelona 0-0 Man Utd

34 mins: Save! Ter Stegen comes to the rescue again. Jadon Sancho weaves inside from the left before sliding the ball to Marcus Rashford.

He knocks the ball into the box, opens up his body and curls one towards the far post. The shot is going in but the Barcelona goalkeeper leaps across and palms the ball to safety!

Massive save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Michael Jones16 February 2023 18:22

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