Manchester United Legends drew 2-2 with Barcelona Legends at Old Trafford on Saturday in the second of their two charity games, with the Red Devils winning 5-3 on aggregate after their first-leg victory at the Camp Nou.
Ruud van Nistelrooy and Danny Webber put the hosts into a 2-0 lead, but Barcelona came storming back with goals from Luis Garcia and Gaizka Mendieta to ensure an entertaining afternoon ended all square.
The hosts named a strong line-up for the game, with Edwin van der Sar in goal and Van Nistelrooy up front, while Barcelona included Edgar Davids and Patrick Kluivert:
Stuart Mathieson of the Manchester Evening News highlighted that the crowd made it clear who they were most pleased to see back at Old Trafford:
Perhaps unsurprisingly it was Van Nistelrooy who opened the scoring, firing home from the penalty spot after Karel Poborsky was brought down just inside the area. The Dutch striker made no mistake, hitting the ball low and hard into the corner past a despairing Jesus Angoy in the Barcelona goal.
Poborsky, meanwhile, enjoyed a fine first half and did enough to impress Goal's Manchester United correspondent Kris Voakes:
However, Barcelona were also posing a threat and almost grabbed an equaliser through Andoni Goikoetxea, who bent a lovely shot past Van der Sar, only to be denied by the post.
The visitors were to rue that miss too, as substitute Webber, on for Louis Saha, swiftly doubled United’s lead after beating Angoy with a cute finish to give the hosts a 2-0 lead at the break.
The second half began with an early problem for United, as Jesper Blomqvist picked up an injury, a feature of legends games, per Mathieson:
Barcelona then had a chance to pull one back through Garcia, who drifted into space at the back post but could only lash a volley wastefully wide. He then had another sight of goal but took too much time, which allowed Ronny Johnsen to get back and make the tackle.
The Spaniard was not to be denied, however, and finally found the back of the net, prodding the ball home after Barcelona had hit the post.
It then got even better for the visitors, as Gaizka Mendieta, showing superb skill, scored from close range to level the scores.
Having been pegged back, United sought to find a winner in the closing stages, but Poborsky could only drag a shot wide, and the game finished all square.