FC Barcelona and Manchester United served up a thrilling 2-2 draw in the Europa League knockout playoffs that outranked anything seen in the Champions League this week.
The former European champions traded leads in a back-and-forth second half of their first-leg game at Camp Nou on Thursday.
Barcelona struck first in the 50th minute on defender Marcos Alonso’s header from a corner and levelled in the 76th when Raphinha’s cross from the right wing curled into the net untouched. United’s defence was distracted by Robert Lewandowski’s failed attempt to connect.
In between, Marcus Rashford showed just why Barca coach Xavi described him as one of the most dangerous forwards.
Rashford beat goalkeeper Marc-Andreter Stegen at his near post with a shot from a tight angle in the 53rd then created United’s go-ahead goal seven minutes later.
Receiving the ball at the touchline from a corner taken short, Rashford dribbled into the penalty area then fired a low cross that was flicked on by Bruno Fernandes and bounced up to ricochet into the net off Jules Kounde for an own goal.
“If you face No. 1 of Spain in an away game and you excel, you can see this as a positive,” United manager Erik ten Hag said.