‘We have a winning mentality now’ – Varane on United’s improvement under Ten Hag

Manchester United produced a second-half comeback to defeat Barcelona and advance to the last-16 of the Europa League on a thrilling night at Old Trafford.

With the tie between two of European football’s heavyweights in the balance following a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp last week, Robert Lewandowski fired Barcelona into the lead after converting a controversial penalty – despite a hand from David de Gea.

But Erik ten Hag made a crucial change at half time – replacing Wout Weghorst with Antony – and United improved immediately, with Fred firing in the equaliser from a smart touch shortly after the break.

And it was Antony who struck on 73 minutes to turn the tie around for United, with the Brazilian finishing a first-time shot into the corner to take the roof off Old Trafford.

Follow all the reaction as Manchester United defeat Barcelona in the Europa League play-offs:


FT Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)



Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:56


Full-time: Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)

90+5 mins: What a match, what a tie, what a result for Manchester United. They’ve comeback from behind to defeat Barcelona and storm into the Europa League last-16.

It was a magnificent second half performance from the home side and they were rewarded with goals from Fred and Antony. United have been the better side over two legs and they go through 4-3 on aggregate.

Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:54


Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)

90+3 mins: Off the line! Torres is played into space on the right wing once again. He slips the ball into the box for Lewandowski who beats De Gea with a dainty shot.

His effort is heading in but for Raphael Varane who gets back and scoops it off the line!

Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:53


Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)

90+2 mins: Ferran Torres is given the ball over on the right wing and takes the ball to the byline before lifting a lovely cross into the middle.

There are three Barca players waiting in the middle but none can control the header and it bounces away.

Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:51


Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)

90 mins: Five minutes of added time to play at Old Trafford. Can Man Utd see out this game or is there a way back for Barcelona?

Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:49


Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)

88 mins: Erik ten Hag must think his team can see this one out now. Marcus Rashford has been taken off with Scott McTominay brought on to shore up the midfield.

Two minutes of the 90 left to go.

Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:46


Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)

85 mins: There’s a rue smile on the referee’s face as Robert Lewandowski gets around Lisandro Martinez before being dragged to the deck by a cynical Casemiro.

The Man Utd midfielder knows it’s a yellow card offence and nods as he’s put in the book.

Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:44


Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)

82 mins: Ronald Araujo goes off for Barca with Marcos Alonso brought on. It’s a defender for defender swap but Alonso is more attacking minded.

Barcelona need to pull something out of the bag here. Time is running away from them.

Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:40


Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)

79 mins: Raphinha has gone off for Barcelona with Ansu Fati brought on. This has been another brilliant game and there’s still 10 minutes or so left to play.

Alejandro Garnacho fouls Jules Kounde on Barcelona’s right wing and earns himself a yellow card. Ferran Torres whips the set piece into the middle but Raphael Varane gets highest and nods it away.

Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:36


Man Utd 2-1 Barcelona (4-3 agg)

76 mins: Rather bizarrely this is the same scoring sequence as the first leg. Barcelona took the lead before United equalised and took the lead.

The Spainsh side earned themselves an equaliser last week, can they do so again tonight?

Michael Jones23 February 2023 21:34

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