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'It's one for the fans' - De Gea reacts to Man Utd drawing Barcelona in the Europa League

21:17 GMT+4 08/11/2022
David de Gea Manchester United 2022-23
David de Gea shared a positive perspective of Manchester United's Europa League playoff draw against Barcelona.

WHAT HAPPENED? Neither Manchester United nor Barcelona wanted to face such a strong opponent so early in the tournament, and the reactions from the teams to the draw have been mixed. De Gea said it will be good for fans, who are undoubtedly excited to two titans of European football go head-to-head.

WHAT THEY SAID: “We know Barcelona is a great team, I think they are playing well,” De Gea told Manchester United's official website. “If you want to win the Europa League, you have to play against the best teams and Barcelona is [one of these]. It’s one for the fans and we will try our best to win both games.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Manchester United and Barcelona are hoping for revolutions under Erik ten Hag and Xavi, respectively, but the early results have been mixed, as evidenced by their Champions League group stage failures. There will be a lot on the line for the managers when they meet in February.

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DID YOU KNOW? Manchester United haven't faced Barcelona in a competitive game since 2018-19, when the Blaugrana destroyed the Red Devils 4-0 on aggregate.

WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? De Gea must wait a while for the highly-anticipated Europa League clash, scheduled for February 16 and February 23. For now, he'll keep his focus on Thursday's Carabao Cup game against Aston Villa.