Barcelona’s European campaign ended with the defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Barcelona led at the end of the first half, but United rallied to win the game 2-1.
Table of contents
Manchester United Match Preview with Predicted Lineup and Squad List
Xavi started off with an unusual tactic, playing Roberto as a false winger on the left. However, it did not appear to be fruitful, as Barcelona only had one shot on target in the first half despite having 59% of the ball.
Casemiro found Bruno in a dangerous situation in the third minute, but Ter Stegen came to the rescue, displaying his good form. 12 minutes later, Bruno Fernandez fouled Alejandro Balde and the French referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Lewandowski successfully put that past De Gea in the 18th minute, giving Barcelona a pivotal lead in this crucial fixture.
The game progressed alone, with Barcelona handling the majority of the ball but posing no threat to United’s defense. Then, De Gea made a blunder in the closing minutes of the first half, passing the ball back to Barcelona. However, much to De Gea’s relief and Xavi’s concern, Roberto and Kessie were unable to capitalize on the situation as Lisandro and Casemiro blocked their way.
Teams headed into half time with Barcelona leading 1-0 in the theater of dreams.
Ten Hag replaced Werghost with Anthony early in the second half. Soon after, Kessie’s poor clearance allowed Bruno to create a threat right in front of the Barça goal, which Fred successfully converted, settling the score.
Barcelona did not appear to be at ease after conceding that goal. United were posing a significant threat to Barcelona’s defense, while Ter Stegen and our back four were doing everything they could to keep us in the game.
In the 70th minute, Xavi made his first substitution, replacing Roberto with Ferran. Three minutes later, the Brazilian winger, Anthony scored past Ter Stegen to make it 2-1.
With the urgency he had, Xavi replaced Raphinha and Araujo with Fati and Alonso, respectively, in the next ten minutes. These changes were insufficient, as Lewandowski missed a sitter in the final minutes of the game. Even if he had scored, the play would have been ineffective due to offside.
This is the first time we have failed to advance to the Round of 16 in a European competition since 1998/99. That illustrates how far we have fallen.
As we can see, the entire momentum shifted in United’s favor following Ten Hag’s changes in the second half. Furthermore, it was another night that reflected our ineffectiveness in the opposition’s front third as well as our frail mentality. If we are to reconquer our spot in European competitions, we must address both of these issues.
Now that our European presence in 2022/23 is gone, we can solely focus on our domestic success. What do you think? Will Barcelona be able to hold onto their lead?
What did you think was the reason for Barcelona’s Loss?
Comment your answers down below!