United knocks Barcelona out of Europa League, Di María guides Juventus onward

United knocks Barcelona out of Europa League, Di María guides Juventus onward
Fred and Antony celebrate a United party

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The clash between Manchester United and Barcelona in the Europa League intermediate round was finally won by Erik ten Hag’s men. They followed up last week’s 2-2 at Camp Nou with a 2-1 home win, which was enough to advance to the eighth finals.

Bruno Fernandes could have put United ahead after only a few minutes, but he hit the leg of Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen in a promising position. Fifteen minutes later, the captain drew attention to himself again, this time with a foul on Alejandro Baldé. The penalty kick that followed was taken by Robert Lewandowski: 0-1.

Barcelona, which was missing Ousmane Dembélé and young Gavi and Pedri due to injuries, did not have to face United too much in the first half, but had to pull out all the stops after halftime after the equalizer came on the board very quickly. Fernandes played a hard wide pass to Fred, who lost sight of Frenkie de Jong and had the corner to pick out: 1-1.

Frenkie de Jong dodges a tackle from Fred

United, with Antony for Wout Weghorst in the second half, wanted to push forward and put Barcelona with their backs against the wall. Things got equally unfriendly when De Jong was on the ground after a tackle and Fernandes shot the ball hard into the Orange international’s stomach.

United fans held their breath when Jules Koundé’s header forced goalkeeper David de Gea into a clever save, but went wild in the 73rd minute after Antony’s 2-1. The former Ajax player, who only sporadically lives up to his €100 million price tag, slotted the ball into the far corner after several blocked shots.

Hat-trick Di María for Juventus

Juventus, Sporting Portugal and Bayer Leverkusen also managed to qualify for the Europa League’s eighth finals, even though they had a less comfortable starting position.

Angél Di María

Juventus had fallen short of 1-1 at home against FC Nantes, but got off to a flying start in France thanks to an early goal from Angél di María, who curled the ball into the far corner from the tip of the penalty area in eye-catching fashion.

In the 20th minute, Micolas Pallois, sitting on the ground, got the ball against the arm, Di María was allowed to make it 0-2 from 11 yards and the home team had to continue with ten men. The Italians played out the game with the handbrake on, but managed to add another goal, again through Di María: 0-3.

Sporting also wins away match

FC Midtjylland was close to an away win over Sporting Portugal last week, but still got a 1-1 draw in extra time. Then tormentor Sebastián Coates made it even better in the return game by scoring 0-1 in the 21st minute, a goal in which Jeremiah St. Juste also played a role.

Jeremiah St. Juste

After Paulinho was shown two yellow cards in quick succession toward the end of the first half and thus could seek the locker rooms, FC Midtjylland played a losing game that eventually ended 0-4.

Penalty kicks at Monaco-Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen had to make up for a 3-2 home defeat at AS Monaco and the German formation with Mitchel Bakker and Jeremie Frimpong among others in the ranks seemed to be succeeding convincingly. However, a late goal from substitute Breel Embolo helped the weak Monegasks to a 2-3 draw and thus an extension.

Although Monaco substitute Kevin Volland almost headbutted his old club, it turned to penalty kicks. Eliot Matazo, Monaco’s 21-year-old Belgian, hit the crossbar, unwittingly helping Leverkusen to a place in the next round.

Kayleigh Williams