No one satisfied after Barcelona-United draw
Barcelona and Manchester United’s Europa League match came to a 2-2 draw that left everyone on both sides disappointed and unsatisfied.
Barcelona and Manchester United played at Camp Nou on Thursday in a Europa League clash that ended in a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the knockout round. Both teams were left feeling as if they’d lost while both slamming the referee for his decisions during the match.
United and Barcelona criticize referees after Europa League draw
Barcelona manager Xavi was not happy after the match ended in a draw, not only because of the result, but also because of what he considered poor calls by the official. After the game, Xavi said he was upset that Barcelona was not given a penalty against United for a handball by Fred.
“They didn’t give it to us in Milan for the Champions League and tonight either,” said Xavi. “I don’t know what we must do to be given a penalty kick because of a hand. It was so clear. Even more so, when they go and check and they keep saying no. It’s incredible.”
United was equally frustrated with the referee. United had a 2-1 lead, but forward Marcus Rashford went down under a challenge from Barcelona defender Jules Kounde, which the referee did not acknowledge. United manager Erik ten Hag was clearly frustrated and ended up shouting at the referee and was booked by the officials for his actions.
“If I make a point that has a big influence on this game and at this ground, at 2-1, it was a clear foul on Marcus Rashford,” said Ten Hag. “We can discuss if it’s inside the box or outside the box, but definitely, it’s a red card. I asked the referee why. So he said it was outside the box and it was no foul. And the linesman and referee were in a very good position to see and I think we had VAR. I think it’s not good, it was a really bad decision. I can’t understand.”
“Maybe they were pressed by the pressure Barca made,” ten Hag continued. “It’s a big influence, not only on this game but in this round, and referees can’t make such mistakes.”
Rashford himself was frustrated that the referee did not give a flag after he collided with Kounde, saying he didn’t understand why the official thought he was going down.
“I have touched it past him, my foot is in front of the ball and he hits my leg,” said Rashford. “It’s clear contact and was 100 percent a foul.”
Manchester United and Barcelona draw leaves no one happy
Barcelona is undefeated in their last 17 games in all competitions with 14 wins and three draws, their best run under manager Xavi. While Xavi was pleased with the performance of his players, he was not at all satisfied that the game ended in a tie. He acknowledged that they played against one of “the best teams in Europe” and that he was pleased with how his players performed against them.
“I’m not so satisfied with a draw because we’re Barca,” said Xavi. “We don’t like to get draws.”
“But we competed against a rival with a spectacular level in Europe. We were at the same intensity, equal to them in many ways at some points,” he said. “And I liked the rush at the end, because in the past, we would go down mentally when we were behind. And the result in this case, was a great reaction and we could have even won the game in the end. I’m proud because we gave it our all today.”
United’s Marcus Rashford, who scored the goal that tied the game 1-1 in the 52nd minute, expressed similar sentiments, and also added that he thinks United deserved the win.
“It feels like a loss,” Rashford said. “We felt in control of the outcome after scoring two goals in quick succession but we just couldn’t hold on. We were searching for chances more after half-time and I felt like we were going for it a bit more, especially after going behind.”
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