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Wednesday, September 16, 1998 Published at 22:02 GMT 23:02 UK

Sport: Football

Barcelona refuse to lie down at Old Trafford

Giovanni celebrates while Roy keane looks on

Manchester United 3 Barcelona 3

Manchester United had midfielder Nicky Butt sent off and conceded a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Barcelona.

Final whistle analysis from 5 Live
Italian referee Stefano Braschi sent Butt off for a deliberate handball in the 70th minute and ten-man United were never going to come back when Luis Enrique converted the resultant penalty.

Alex Ferguson described Mr Braschi as "a real shocker" but admitted United were overrun by Barcelona in the second half.

A frustrated Ferguson said the decision to send off Butt was a bad decision.

But he said: "We just lost impetus and we lost our gameplan and our shape. I'm quite happy with the result at the end of day because we could have lost."

It had all started so well for United. David Beckham and Ryan Giggs ran rings round Barcelona in the first half and the Red Devils surged into an effortless 2-0 lead.

In the 10th minute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was denied by the woodwork after latching onto a Giggs cross.

Six minutes later Beckham beat Sergi for pace down the right and his deep cross found Giggs, who headed superbly past Ruud Hesp.

Overhead kick deserved a goal

In the 24th minute Beckham sent over another great cross and Dwight Yorke connected with an overhead kick, which Hesp parried and Enrique tapped into the path of Paul Scholes who buried the ball from eight yards.

David Beckham emulates his France 98 form
Barcelona thought they had pulled a goal back in the 32nd minute when Luis Figo deflected Boudewijn Zenden's shot past Schmeichel, but the Barcelona captain was inexplicably ruled offside.

Schmeichel made a point-blank save from Sonny Anderson two minutes before the break but in the 47th minute the Brazilian made amends.

Rivaldo ran at the United defence and when the ball broke to Anderson, he fired home.

United brought on Butt for Solskjaer in a bid to stem the tide but in the 58th minute the visitors levelled the tie from the penalty spot.

Jaap Stam was harshly adjudged to have fouled Rivaldo and Giovanni netted the spot kick.

Beckham has echoes of France 98

[ image: David Beckham echoing his world cup free kick]
David Beckham echoing his world cup free kick
Five minutes later United were in the ascendancy again when Beckham restored their lead with an exquisite 25-yard free kick, a carbon copy of his wonder goal for England against Colombia in France 98.

Barcelona were not finished though and Anderson hit the post in the 70th minute and from the ensuing scramble Butt handled on the line. The England midfielder headed for the Old Trafford dressing room as Enrique despatched the penalty.

United were forced to hang on for a point at the end of this rollercoaster match but Alex Ferguson will be cheered by news of Bayern Munich's defeat in Group D's other match in Denmark.

Teams: Man Utd: Schmeichel, G. Neville, Irwin, Stam, Beckham, Giggs, Keane, Scholes, Yorke, Solskjaer, Berg. Subs: Van Der Gouw, May, Butt, Cole, Sheringham, P. Neville, Blomqvist.

Barcelona: Hesp, Reiziger, Abelardo, Figo, Anderson, Giovanni, Rivaldo, Sergi, Cocu, Luis Enrique, Zenden. Subs: Baia, Oscar, Ciric, Okunowo, Roger, Xavi.

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