Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United: Raphinha keeps Europa League tie alive

Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United: Raphinha keeps Europa League tie alive

| Javier Ferrándiz

Alonso had give Barça the lead but a Rashford-inspired United turned the game around

Barcelona's European demons once again returned to haunt them as they came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Camp Nou in the Europa League on Thursday. 

Raphinha scored a late equaliser for Barca, which gave way to an onslaught on the visitor's goal, with the second leg to come next week at Old Trafford for a place in the round-of-16. 

Marcus Rashford and a Jules Kounde own goal had earlier cancelled out Marcos Alonso's header, with all four goals arriving in a crazy second half. 

In the first half, Barca had lost Pedri to a thigh injury, while a booking for Gavi means he will miss next week's return match in England through suspension. 

Xavi Hernandez surprised with the inclusion of Jordi Alba and Alonso in the side, with Alejandro Balde and Andreas Christensen left out. 

Barça were also missing the injured duo of Ousmane Dembele and Sergio Busquets, but Robert Lewandowski was available and he forced David de Gea into an early save. 

Despite ending goalless, the opening period was lively. Both teams had chances but the best fell to United striker Wout Weghorst, who was denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen when one on one. 

Ter Stegen also made another good save from Rashford, United's danger man throughout. 

The second half was a different story all together. 

Raphinha shaved the post from 25 yards before Jadon Sancho missed a good chance. Alonso then nodded Barça into the lead but United's reply was immediate, with Rashford beating Alonso to fire low past Ter Stegen for his 22nd goal of the season. 

That was all inside the first 10 minutes and United's tails were up -- especially Rashford's. He was the architect of the second goal, too, beating Raphinha after a short corner and crossing low. The delivery caused confusion and ended up going in off Kounde. 

Barca made a triple chance, with Christensen, Balde and Ansu Fati all coming on and the game swung in their direction. 

They levelled through Raphinha's cross, which Lewandowski could not quite touch, and then pushed for the winner. 

De Gea saved brilliantly after Raphinha latched on to Ter Stegen's pass and Fred was lucky not to give a penalty away for a handball. 

Ansu then shot wide and then at De Gea, with Casemiro hitting the inside of his own post as he tried to clear. 

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