If something else Wout Weghorst he can always say he’s playing a game against Barcelona. Admittedly, he capped this off by going out, not by anything he did on the field. Manchester UnitedGiving the Dutch giant player the upper hand on the field, he won two minutes after his departure and equalized the score. Instead of, AntonyHe scored the goal to beat Barcelona.

Not everything was up to Weghorst. United already had enough evidence. Plum skin WitchAs a change and a game changer before a change, its gifts were catalytic. After all, they have scored the most goals from substitutes in the Premier League this season. They may have less evidence of Antony’s ability to produce such an effect. After early goals against Arsenal and Manchester City, there was growing suspicion that the £86m man wasn’t even on his strongest side. Bruno Fernandes He had made such a compelling impression of a right winger recently that he seemed like the best option for Ten Hag. The jury may not be on Antony: The talented player on the right that United fans sang to was George Best, not him.

Still, it was a two-half game, the story of two right wingers. Fernandes turned down a golden chance to give United a second-minute advantage and unnecessarily conceded a penalty. He returned to his favorite role as Number 10, with an assist in two minutes. Antony gave urgency and directness in a way he didn’t always do. He scored an elegant goal in his first match. Yet a shot past Marc-Andre ter Stegen was the defining moment of his United career to date. The nature of the games they play against Barcelona also dictates this; is the size of the event and the victory. Mark Hughes has scored 163 goals for United, but few are as fondly remembered as the 1991 Rotterdam support; Paul Scholes took 155 and the most famous was the blitz against Barca. United have not had many victories against Barcelona and now they have Antony on their side.

Antony and Fernandes celebrate


Price made it Ten Hag’s most dubious signature; It cost 1.7 Robert Lewandowski – even less in wages – and that was one reason they had to resort to a compromise election at Weghorst in January. Still, Ten Hag seems to have the kind of alchemy that would have a transformative effect. United could say they knocked Barcelona out of Europe after starting Weghorst as #10 at Camp Nou and #9 at Old Trafford. And they did it with an unexpected hero.

A scolding comparison was made for 45 minutes; central midfielder Ten Hag wished he had against the midfielder he had. was there Frenkie de Jong, very adept and intuitive in possession, he has the ball with his feet so naturally that he allows Barcelona to dictate effortlessly. And then there was fredrunning around enthusiastically with no effect. It was a trade against bribery.

And then, just a minute into the second half, he had his graft moment. Fred whipped him in one hit; maybe he did, but his effort outstripped Ter Stegen. This made him the first player to score for United against Barcelona at Old Trafford since Scholes in the 2008 Champions League semi-finals. Scholes was the more iconic midfielder altogether. Xavi considered him the best person he had seen in 15 or 20 years. While he praised Fred in an interview this week, that’s not something to be said for the second best Brazilian in United midfield.

But part of Ten Hag’s ingenuity has been to take advantage of Fred’s Quixote-like qualities. Fred was terrific against Tottenham, brilliant as a man-marker against Manchester City. And by the way, it has been unfortunate sometimes. Consistency isn’t part of his makeup, but last month brought him three goals and three assists. He has an irrepressible, enthusiastic streak that can serve him well. He looked completely fearless as he faced better football players.

With Fred, without the dodging goal De Jong or the sidelined quarterback Christian Eriksen, United had less possession. passers-by Casemiro and Fernandes, who always tries to open the defenses. The Portuguese showed little tact when he knocked the ball down and threw it to the penalty-taken De Jong. Convincing the Dutchman to join him at Old Trafford did not seem very convincing.

But it came in the second half of a crazy atmosphere. United had drive and determination, speed and strength. They recaptured the spirit of the audience never to die. Sir Alex Ferguson He knew them from their team. They have the relentlessness of a side that is still going strong in four competitions and are definitely season favourites, with Barca gone. Europa League. But if the Brazilians had beaten Barcelona earlier, they might have been more fashionable figures than Fred and Antony.