Casemiro showed Gavi who is the boss with a ‘cold moment’ during Barcelona 2-2 United

REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Barcelona and Manchester United, two of Europe’s most iconic football institutions, met in the first leg of the Europa League play-off round on Thursday and played out a 2-2 draw in what was a clash many would’ve mistook for a Champions League tie if the meeting took place a night before.

Marcus Rashford left Camp Nou in awe with his finishing for the United equaliser following Marcos Alonso’s opener and dribbling that ultimately forced an own goal from Jules Kounde. On the opposite end, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski combined to confuse the visitor’s defence to make it 2-2.

Then there were some eye-catching battles in the middle of the park. Fred didn’t allow Frenkie de Jong a moment of peace all night, and Gavi fought for every loose ball. It was this intensity from the Spaniard that produced a brilliant reaction from Casemiro, a former Real Madrid man.

With Barcelona chasing an equalising goal, Gavi carried the ball into United’s penalty area, but couldn’t get away from the veteran defensive midfielder, who calmly dispossessed him before displaying a beautiful turn to take the ball away for a goal-kick.

Things didn’t end just there, as Casemiro made sure to let Gavi know who was in control by fixing him a stare.

It would’ve been nice to see the midfield duo facing each other once again a week later. But the Barcelona youngster is suspended for the second leg after receiving a booking for his foul on Fred in the second half.

But that doesn’t mean intensity will be any less at the Theatre of Dreams. Lisandro Martinez will return to action.