Europa League: Barcelona – Manchester United 1st leg ended in draw

Jules Kounde own goal cost Barcelona a draw against European rival Manchester United in the epic Europa League round of 16 first leg. Follow for more Football Odds news here!

Barcelona maintained their unbeaten streak in all six of their home games against EPL giant Manchester United (W3 D3), and with an average goal of 3.2 goals per game. While the English side have scored in each of their last 19 away games across all European competitions. 

Manchester United Boss Erik Ten Hag is frustrated after referees denied his side a clear penalty and insisted that they scored more than two points if the right call was given. The Legendary Dutchman complained that Barcelona had escaped the possible red card clearance and a penalty after Jules Kounde scuffled over Marcus Rashford near the edge and addressed that the atmosphere might have affected the referee. 

“It was 2-1, a clear foul on Marcus Rashford and a penalty,” Ten Hag expressed. ‘If it’s in the box or just outside the box, it’s definitely a red card. I asked the referee: why? He said it was outside the box and there was no foul. The referee and the linesman were in a good position and if not there is the VAR. It’s not good. It’s a really bad decision. Maybe they were impressed by the pressure that Barcelona put on them but they can’t be  at the highest level.”

Both sides failed to register a goal in the first half – the thick atmosphere in Camp Nou was very obvious as the fans were chanting loudly to boost their home side for a much needed victory in the first leg of the Europa League. Barcelona and Manchester United performed great defense in the first half, Jordi Alba and Raphael Varane both received yellow cards in the first. Despite having more possession in the first 45 minutes of this intense matchup, the United’s goalkeeper and Casemiro’s great output on defense sterilized Barca’s chance.

In the second half, Marcos Alonso found the back of the net with an assist from Raphina who won the corner and delivered an impressive curling shot towards the back post. Alonso did a def header and beat De Gea and bounced the ball into the net. However, two minutes later, United answered back as Marcus Rashford made an instant reply for the Red Devils. Fred charges through the middle before initiating a connection with Rashford as the England forward kicks a low shot on the angle to escape Ter Stegen to equalize the score. 

Seven minutes later, Jules Kounde cost the home side a score with an own goal and it completely turned things around for Barcelona. Rashford made an immediate defense and won a corner, allowing himself to drive towards the box, teasing the ball then leading to a mini scramble near the goal before the ball bounces off Kounde and hits the net. Rashford successfully scored another goal with an own goal committed by a Barcelona defender. 

Jules Kounde did an immediate redemption from his mistake and made an incredible assist to Raphina for an equalizer. Kounde intercepted the pass and found Raphina who crossed into the six-yard box and bounced it at the bottom corner before touching the back of the net for a 2-2 equalizer.

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