The opening leg of the by far most attractive Europa League knockout stage playoff matchup this year features Barcelona and Manchester United.
Due to Barca’s third-place finish in their Champions League group—behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan—and United’s second-place finish in their Europa League group—behind Real Sociedad—both teams met in the playoff round.
The match highlights the recent decline in both clubs’ fortunes, although this season has witnessed a domestic comeback for both clubs under Xavi and Erik ten Hag, respectively. While United is in the League Cup final and third in the Premier League, Barca is enjoying a strong season at the top of La Liga.
Without a doubt, Barcelona may be the finest team on the continent right now, even though they are currently playing in the Europa League. They are dominating the Spanish league and are aiming high in the Europa League. With Erik ten Hag, Manchester United has a capable manager for the first time. Under the guidance of the Dutch master, they are growing and aiming for a second Europa League victory in the last five years.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.