Manchester United lined up at the Nou Camp to face Barcelona with two former Real Madrid players in the starting line-up.

Raphael Varane and Casemiro both played all 90 minutes as United earned a 2-2 draw. Their experience was vital, and will be just as important in the second leg.

Casemiro was making his first appearance for United in 10 days after a domestic suspension, and he will also be rested for the second leg next week.

The midfielder won 100 per cent of his tackles against Barcelona and 100 per cent of his aerial duels, delivering a typical Casemiro-like performance.

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FC Barcelona v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League
Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Casemiro stars for United

Casemiro is a five-times Champions League winner and is a huge asset for Erik ten Hag to have in Manchester United’s midfield.

Sending a message out on Instagram to his 19 million followers, Casemiro praised the team and talked up the challenge ahead at Old Trafford.

He received a response from former Real teammate and Brazil colleague Vinicius Jr, who wrote, ‘Joga muito’, slang to say Casemiro ‘played well’.

Cr. Casemiro - © 2022 INSTAGRAM FROM META

Casemiro is United’s talisman in midfield who the team have found it a little difficult to replace in recent weeks when he has been suspended. Given the quality he brings to the team, it is easy to see why.

He has huge respect from his teammates, as Luke Shaw explained in his pre-match press conference, while Vinicius’ message also demonstrates this.

Hopefully he can give his former Real pals more reason to smile next week by helping United to knock Barcelona out.

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