Manchester United staged a thrilling comeback to defeat Barcelona 2-1 at Old Trafford on Thursday and progress to the Europa League round of 16 with a 4-3 aggregate victory.
Following a memorable first leg which ended in a 2-2 draw, Man United fell behind in the tie and on the night as Robert Lewandowski’s 18th-minute penalty beat David de Gea after Bruno Fernandes was adjudged to have fouled Alejandro Balde in the box for a soft spot kick.
However, the hosts were revitalized following the half-time break and the introduction of Antony in place of Wout Weghorst. They equalized in the 47th minute through a fine finish from the impressive Fred, before sending the fired-up Old Trafford crowd into raptures when fellow Brazilian Antony guided home a classy finish in the 72nd minute.
The victory marks Man United’s first over Barcelona since the Champions League semifinals of 2008 and is a significant achievement for manager Erik ten Hag in his debut season at the club.
Next up for United is the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday, as they look to make it a memorable week.
Meanwhile, Barcelona must now focus on their pursuit of LaLiga glory, having exited both the Champions League and Europa League at the first hurdle under Xavi Hernandez this season.
The draw for the Europa League round of 16 will take place at 11 a.m. GMT (6 a.m. ET) on Friday, with Man United set to face one of the seeded teams who advanced directly to the round after winning their groups.