Manchester United vs Barcelona Player Ratings

Manchester United came from behind to beat Barcelona 2-1 at Old Trafford with goals from Fred and Antony. United came back against the La Liga leaders just like they did in the first leg, after veteran striker Robert Lewandovski put the visitors in front from the penalty spot in the first half. The Reds will now face Real Betis in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16.

Manchester United vs Barcelona Match Summary:

Erik ten Hag made one change to the side, which drew 2-2 in Spain, with the returning Lisandro Martinez replacing Tyrell Malacia. The Red Devils began the game in an urgent manner, pressing Xavi’s side high up the pitch. The first chance of the game fell to Bruno Fernandes, who was found by Casemiro.

Fernandes one-on-one with Ter Stegen was unable to find the finish to give his side an early lead. Let off for Barcelona. For the majority of the first half, the Spanish side dominated the game and had the majority of the possession. Eventually, Barcelona got the goal they deserved although this was from a very controversial penalty decision.

Following a collision with Fernandes, Balde hit the ground dramatically and won his side a penalty. From 12-yards out Lewandovski put his side in front, although de Gea came very close to saving his effort. Xavi’s men should have been 2-0 up before the break, when de Gea gave possession away to Roberto. However, Casemiro came to the rescue and made a crucial block.

Second Half:

At the interval, ten Hag made some tactical changes and brought on Antony in place of Wout Weghorst. Just minutes into the second half and the Reds were level courtesy of a goal from Fred. Fernandes picked out Fred with a delightful pass and the Brazilian beat the keeper for power.

Immediately after the goal United came close to gaining the lead. Raphael Varane found Antony over the top of the Barcelona defence, but the winger made a mess of the opportunity. The introduction of Alejandro Garnacho and Diogo Dalot significantly affected the momentum in this European tie.

United were now much more direct and aggressive with the ball and were the superior side. However, it was de Gea who was called into action. Frankie de Jong found Jules Kounde in the box and de Gea made a fingertip save to keep his side in the game.

After some impressive work from Luke Shaw on the left flank, United eventually got the goal they deserved. Shaw kept the ball alive, Fernandes found Garnacho and the ball fell to Antony. Without any hesitation, the winger unleashed an accurate shot into the bottom left hand corner giving his side the lead for the first time in the match.

The Reds avoided a late scare, when Varane cleared Lewandovski’s effort off the line and advanced to the next stage of the Europa League. Ten Hag will now turn his sides attention to the cup final against Newcastle on Sunday.

Manchester United vs Barcelona Player Ratings

David de Gea 6/10

Unlucky with his effort to save Lewandovski’s penalty as he got a hand to it. Nearly gifted Barcelona a second just before half time with sloppy distribution. Made a great save to deny Kounde at 1-1.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka 7/10

Deservedly started ahead of Dalot and is likely to keep his place in the final. Impactful at both ends and was a bright spark in attack yet again. Came off for Dalot with 20 minutes left.

Raphael Varane 9/10

Perhaps his best game in red and white. Cool and composed as ever in a first half where many of the players had lost their heads. Put Antony one on one in the second half. Kept Lewandovski quiet throughout and was dominant aerially. Cleared off the line late on. A simply sublime display.

Lisandro Martinez 8/10

Another impressive performance from ‘the Butcher’. His passing range was excellent and was a brilliant tool to evade the first line of Barcelona pressure. Made numerous crucial interceptions, which lead to dangerous transitions.

Luke Shaw 7/10

Didn’t offer much going forward but was very good defensively. Both Torres and Raphinha didn’t have any impact on the game whatsoever. Involved in the build-up to the winner.

Casemiro 9/10

Was at the heart of everything United did right. Set up Fernandes early on and used his experience at crucial points in the match. Stood out in a midfield filled with world class players. Made two match-winning blocks just before half time.

Fred 10/10

A phenomenal performance from Fred. During his time at United he has had his critics, however he has continued to work on his game and his development under ten Hag has been incredible. Energetic from the first minute and nullified Busquets throughout the game. Made vital interceptions and his passing was exceptional. Got a goal with his weaker right foot and this was pivotal in the turnaround of momentum. Simply sensational.

Bruno Fernandes 8/10

Should have scored early on and was unfortunate to concede the penalty. Led the team magnificently and won free kicks in the closing stages of the game. Grabbed an important assist and showed great strength in the build up of the second goal. His performance perhaps went under the radar because of the great displays from Fred and Casemiro.

Jadon Sancho 6/10

Wasn’t as effective in the number ten role although his passing remained tidy. Made an instant impact in the second half when switched to the left flank. Taken off in the 67th minute.

Marcus Rashford 6/10

A quiet game considering the high standards he has placed upon himself in recent months. Was an isolated figure on the left flank in the first half. Much more involved when he was in a more central role, stretching the Barcelona back line late on. Came off with a knock.

Wout Weghorst 4/10

Wasn’t influential at all. His pressing came to nothing and he offers nothing in possession. Taken off at half time and United dramatically improved. Shouldn’t start the final.


Antony 8/10

Made an instant impact. Gave United more width and caused Barcelona problems. Took his chance well with an accurate finish.

Diogo Dalot 6/10

Added energy to the team. United became much more proactive in possession following his introduction.

Alejandro Garnacho 7/10

A superb cameo. Involved in the build up to the winner. Barcelona simply couldn’t contain him.

Scott McTominay 6/10

Came on late to protect the lead.

Manager 9/10

Perhaps picked the wrong lineup with some players not in there preferred position. United were second best in the first half but the manager recognised this and made the required tactical changes. The subs were perfect and came on at the right times. His in-game management was perfect.

Man of the Match: Fred

Author: Rajan Sangha

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