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Barcelona star Jules Kounde has warned Manchester United that every visiting player will be attacking and defending in tonight’s Europa League clash.
The Spanish side take on the Red Devils at Old Trafford in the second leg of their play-off encounter, having drawn 2-2 in the first leg at Camp Nou.
Kounde had a major impact in last week’s first leg as he unfortunately found the back of his own net in the stalemate after fine work from Man Utd attacker Marcus Rashford.
Barcelona star sends warning to Man Utd
Kounde is a relatively new member of Xavi’s exciting Barcelona team, with the defender joining the Catalan outfit from Sevilla last summer.
His beginnings at Camp Nou were, however, disrupted as the club could not register him as they were over La Liga’s salary cap limit. Aside from such registering issues and a couple of injuries, Kounde has been a regular at the back for his club this season.
The 24-year-old has made 23 appearances in all competitions, showing his versatility with impressive displays at both right-back and centre-back.
The French international is certainly expecting a tough test at Old Trafford, but has warned his opponents that the Spanish side are more than up for the task ahead.
“The best Barca will be on show against Manchester United,” Kounde told the Barcelona website. “Everyone attacks and defends. Every player has to do their job to counteract their opponent.”
Kounde doesn’t want repeat of first leg drama
While the defender believes his side competed well in the first leg, he doesn’t want a repeat of the end-to-end encounter that took place at Camp Nou last Thursday.
After a goalless first half, the match burst into life just five minutes after the break as Marcos Alonso put the hosts ahead. But a Rashford strike and Kounde’s own goal put the visitors 2-1 up just nine minutes later.
Kounde redeemed himself 14 minutes from time, supplying a pass to winger Raphinha before the Brazilian found the back of the net to secure a thrilling 2-2 draw.
“We played well at Camp Nou, but we have to show more intensity, we have to start ready as our opponents are rapid,” added Kounde. “We don’t want this to be an end-to-end game, we want to be in control. We have to compete well.
“They are a very well-organised team with great attacking potential. They are very competitive. This is a very big challenge.”
Barcelona wary of Rashford threat
Unsurprisingly, the one man Barcelona must keep a very close eye on in tonight’s match is attacker Rashford, who has scored in eight of his club’s last nine games.
As mentioned, the forward scored in the first leg in Spain, before netting a brace in Man Utd’s 3-0 league victory over Leicester on Sunday. His phenomenal goalscoring feats have helped the Red Devils fall to just one defeat in their last 19 games.
Erik ten Hag’s side have a League Cup final to prepare for as they meet Newcastle at Wembley on Sunday, but getting past Spanish giants Barcelona will unquestionably be the main objective on the manager’s mind right now.
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