Barcelona defender Jules Kounde has stated that they go to Manchester United tonight to win their Europa League playoff.
The France international hopes that “we can go one step further” compared to the first leg, which finished in a 2-2 draw.
Kounde said, “We played a good game at home, but we have to up the intensity. We have to press well. It’s key to recover high balls, which will give us things. It’s a big rival, in a big stadium and we’re really looking forward to it. We have everything we need to win and go through to the next round.
“It’s a collective effort. Not just the goalkeeper and the four defenders. Everyone has to do their job. We will see the best Barça.”
Kounde and Barça’s task will be to stop one of Europe’s most in-form strikers in Marcus Rashford, who scored in the first leg and added two more goals in the weekend win over Leicester City.
“He’s a very versatile player, very quick, good in space, great in the area to finish off actions,” Kounde said. “It’s always a challenge to play against someone like him, but also exciting. It’s why we play.”
United manager Erik ten Hag thought he should have been sent off for a challenge on the England international in the first-leg.
“I think it was 50-50,” Kounde added. “Maybe there is contact but I think it’s very light and the referee decided not to [send me off]. I don’t feel lucky, it was a decision made by the referee.
“It’s true he could have sent me off because it was 50-50, but that was his decision and I am happy about it.”