"Magnificent Night"... Erik Ten Hag Reacts To Man United Coming From Behind To Knock Barcelona Out Of The Europa League.

Manchester United came from behind to beat Barcelona 2-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate to win the Europa League second leg play-off at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Coming into the encounter following a 2-2 draw in the first-leg of the play off last week at the Camp Nou, Barcelona remain unbeaten in all competitions stretching back to October, when they were dumped out of the Champions League group stage at the hands of Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.

Their rise domestically under Xavi Hernandez sees them above Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga.

United on the other hand, are now unbeaten at Old Trafford in 18 games dating back to September but were forced to come from behind for the second time in the tie.

The Red Devils captain on the night, Bruno Fernandes had the opening chance of the game at Old Trafford, finding himself free on the right but was only able to fire his shot into the feet of goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal.

The Spanish giants went ahead from the spot in the 18th minute, with Robert Lewandowski converting after Bruno had foolishly pulled the arms of Alex Balde to the ground inside the box French referee Clement Turpin pointed to the spot.

Though David de Gea got a touch to Lewandowski's penalty he could only palm the ball into the top corner of the net.

Despite United enjoying spells of possession as the La Liga leaders struggled to assert authority on the game in the absence of Gavi and Pedri, the first half ended 1-0 in favor of Barcelona.

United came into the second-half alive with an admirable performance following the introduction of Antony for Wout Weghorst at half-time which made the hosts looked like a changed side. 

Fernandes, restored to his preferred central midfield role, picked out Fred, who equalised just two minutes after the break before substitute Antony delivered his biggest moment since arriving in Manchester from Ajax.

After Alejandro Garnacho and Fred saw efforts blocked, the ball sat up nicely for the Brazilian winger who turns 23 tomorrow to curl the ball from the far corner beyond the outstretched arm of Ter Stegen in the 73rd minute.

United have had 19 goals scored by substitutes in all competitions this season, the most of any side in Europe's big five leagues.

Xavi's men made a late push, but Raphael Varane cleared Lewandoski's effort off the line deep into stoppage time to avoid any late heartbreak, as United advance to the round-of-16.

Speaking after the game Erik ten Hag hailed his side victory as his "biggest win" as the club's manager, and praised the personality of his players to come from behind.

"It was too flat in the first half, a little bit more belief. Our pressing could have been more brave. That is what we said at half-time... Said Ten Hag, who has transformed United’s fortunes in his first season in charge.

"I think we have some great personalities in this team, so even when we get setbacks, they move on," added Ten Hag.

"They are resilient and they are focused on getting the result even after conceding a cheap penalty. They believe they can turn it around."

"Everyone has such a strong belief in this team, you can see it. With the subs they bring energy and quality, they bring a different dynamic in games.

"This is another step because when you can beat Barcelona, your belief can be really strong because you are then able to beat anyone."

The Dutchman added: "Football is 11 versus 11, we attack with 11 and defend with 11, but it is more than that it is about the squad. You need different types and different profiles.

"When your time is there, you have to be ready to come on and contribute to the team. You cannot win trophies with 11, especially not nowadays in football, you need a squad to bring different dynamics in the game."

United go into the Carabao Cup final, still chasing glory in four different competitions.

The Red Devils remains the only club in Europe who are still in four competitions, and could end a six-year wait for silverware if they defeat Newcastle in that final at the Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Barcelona, meanwhile, can turn their attention to pushing for a first La Liga title in three years, and that ability to focus on a single task might not be the worst thing.

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