Barcelona show fight against Man United at Camp Nou. Thursday’s Europa League match between Barcelona and Manchester United is attended by 90,255 spectators despite the south stand being reduced in size. A portion of the home that Laszlo Kubala constructed has been dismantled and packed up like Lego bricks, removed from the continent’s largest stadium, which will soon be abandoned and demolished in its entirety, probably spending its last night in Europe. They hope not, but if so, this is a good course of action.
Barcelona show fight against Man United at Camp Nou
The shout when defender Ronald Araujo tackles Jadon Sancho; Marcos Alonso looking to the sky in honour of his father, who also played here; Gavi sliding over the field with grass in his face; The dread caused by United forward Marcus Rashford’s frequent running. As the midfielder Pedri pulls up hurt, all hope is lost. The din as Raphinha’s cross somehow enters the back of the net, Robert Lewandowski not touching the ball but guiding it there as if using “The Force.” The whistles when Raphinha is pulled off the field, unwillingly and fuming on the bench, lashing out immediately and apologising later. Don’t apologise, his manager, Xavi, urges. Insult me if you must; you just care about winning.
Barcelona don’t; it ends 2-2. With the final whistle, though, referee Maurizio Mariani is stuck in the centre. One manager in each ear: Xavi to his left and Erik ten Hag to his right. One says, “We could have won; there should be a penalty.” And similarly, the other. The Barcelona manager compares penalties to cathedrals, which makes perfect sense in Spanish. Massive and prominent, these structures cannot be missed. The Manchester United boss suggests that the referee may have felt the strain of this venue, which Barcelona may also find favourable.