Ferdinand picks two Man Utd stars out for special praise vs Barca; tells Newcastle they’ll get ‘put down’

Rio Ferdinand hailed Man Utd duo Antony and Fred after the Red Devils beat Barcelona 2-1 on Thursday night at Old Trafford.

Robert Lewandowski had put Barcelona ahead in the first half from the penalty spot after Bruno Fernandes pulled Alejandro Balde down in the box.

But second-half goals from Fred and substitute Antony saw Man Utd win 2-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League.

And Ferdinand couldn’t hide his delight at the result with the Man Utd legend particularly high on Antony in the aftermath.

Speaking on his VIBE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: “Antony, Antony! That’s what you want to see. People coming off the bench and making an impact.

“Not sulking, adding to the cause, getting us through to the next round. Here we go!

“Man United are through to the next round after beating Barcelona who are top of La Liga.

“Let’s go! I’m not getting carried away. I can feel something. Into the next round, calm, cool and collected. Let’s go man.”

Fred’s goal got Man Utd back on level terms and Ferdinand later tweeted: “Fred btw…. FRED!!!!!!!!”

Man Utd travel to London later this week to face Newcastle on Sunday in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley and Ferdinand is more and more confident that the Red Devils will beat the Geordies.

Ferdinand added: “Carabao Cup final, Newcastle are going to get put down, I said 2-1 today. I’m going 2-0 at the weekend.

“Pope is out, Newcastle are out of form, Man United are in form. We’re on the crest of a wave right now, but I’m not getting carried away.

“I’ll see you at Wembley.”

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag was also impressed by Antony’s impact off the bench, he told reporters: “I know he can deal with it. He is brave, he is fearless, so I think what he brought in the second half was what we needed, running in behind and dribbles and his goal.

“He is brave and will go for it and when he has the opportunity he will strike. He brings so much to this team.”

Barcelona boss Xavi was disappointed with a couple of aspects to his side’s display on the night but overall he reckons the Catalan giants “can be proud”.

“I think we lacked that calm and patience, we started the second half really badly, we were dominating the game and controlling it,” Xavi said.

“We needed more more patience and more game management, we lost some duels and those finer details in the second half.

“We could have been more intense, we have lost a couple of duels, but in my point of view we lacked a little bit in our game. We were without Gavi and Pedro and in the second half that is where you saw the difference.

“In general we can be proud with how we have competed and shown our face against a really big side. It is a shame because we had an excellent first half. Now we need to concentrate on the league and cup.”

READ MORE: Big Weekend: Carabao Cup final, Loris Karius, Leeds United, David Moyes, Jimmy Hill derby

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