Barcelona and Manchester United played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in their UEFA Europa League knockout round playoff first leg.
While disappointed after netting the opener, Barcelona still extended their unbeaten run to 17 consecutive matches.
Equally impressive was the sight of a packed-out Camp Nou, and this helped Barcelona start the stronger, with Robert Lewandowski forcing David de Gea into a smart save early on.
As for United, the in-form Marcus Rashford was clearly Barcelona’s main target and found himself heavily marked in the opening minutes.
The Red Devils’ tails were up thereafter, and the German stopper produced further acrobatics to block Rashford’s inventive effort, but the hosts would regain centre stage on the brink of HT, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka forced into a goal-saving block from Jordi Alba.
But shortly after Jadon Sancho’s inexplicable miss and Raphinha’s whistling 25-yard effort, it was ex-Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso who headed Barcelona into the lead.
The hosts’ euphoria was short-lived, and they were still celebrating a knockdown when Marcus Rashford landed an instant counter-blow on 53 minutes, with the England international squeezing his effort past Ter Stegen to level the tie and equal his highest-ever scoring tally for a season.
That second blow appeared to have winded the hosts, but they remarkably recovered through Raphinha’s cross-cum-shot as the game entered its final stages.
Ultimately, both sides can reflect on missed chances, but neutral fans certainly won’t complain, with this encounter surely going down as one of the all-time Europa League classics ahead of next week’s second leg at Old Trafford.