Barcelona's early exit from Europa League by loss to Manchester United
FC Barcelona exits UEFA's Europa League in the round of 16 after losing to Manchester United with a 4-3 aggregate.
Manchester United rallied from a goal down to beat Barcelona 2-1 in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 knockout stages, heading to the round of 16 of the European competition.
Polish Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a penalty, lifting Spanish morales after the first leg resulted in a tie between the two European football heavyweights in Barcelona's Camp Nou.
Despite Barcelona's higher possession rate, Machester United midfielder Frederico Rodrigues tied the score at minute 47, firing up English fans and giving them hope of reaching the upcoming round.
The tie did not last, as in the 73rd minute, Manchester's Old Trafford witnessed Antony Matheus dos Santos' first European goal with a curling shot, beating Barcelona's German goalkeeper, Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen. Antony had joined the field on minute 46.
Read more: Antony says joining Manchester United 'incredible moment'
Absences that affected the score
Manchester United was one midfielder down, as Donny van de Beek suffered from a knee injury leaving him out for the rest of the season.
Barcelona's attack and midfield were missing key players, including right winger Ousmane Dembele, who suffered a hamstring injury at the end of January, and central midfielder Pedri, who suffered a muscle injury last week during Barcelona and United's first leg match. Central midfielder Gavi was also suspended for the trip to Old Trafford.
This led to minimizing Xavi's options and tremendously affecting Barcelona's midfield as a priority, leading them to exit the competition in its early stages.
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