Barcelona vs Manchester United: The reason why Red Devils fans will be pessimistic ahead of Champions League match
Manchester United have a huge task on Tuesday night when they travel to the Nou Camp to take on Barcelona hoping to overturn a 1-0 deficit.
The second-leg of the Champions League quarter-final – LIVE on talkSPORT – will not be the first match in Europe this season that United have had to defy the odds, following their memorable comeback to see off Paris Saint-Germain, when they recovered from 2-0 down at home to then win 3-1.
However, facing Barcelona on their own patch, where they have not lost in Europe since 2013, is an entirely different prospect and United have hardly looked convincing in recent weeks, losing four of their last six fixtures since that impressive performance in France.
Luke Shaw, who scored an own-goal in last week’s 1-0 loss to the La Liga giants, is suspended for tonight’s game, while Ander Herrera and Eric Bailly are also out.
Then there is also the fact that Barcelona have NEVER lost a home match against United in European competition.
Here is how United have fared in each of those four meetings since their first back in 1984.
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Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United – UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup – 1984
Under Ron Atkinson, United were one of the best sides in England, despite Liverpool’s dominance on the European stage.
Even though they boasted a side that included the likes of Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes, the first leg of their quarter-final at the Nou Camp, ended in a 2-0 loss courtesy of a Graeme Hogg own goal and a late Juan Carlos Rojo strike.
United famously won the return leg 3-0 on a dramatic night at Old Trafford, with Robson netting a brace.
Barcelona 4-0 Manchester United – Champions League group stage – 1994
A decade on from their first visit, United had a mountain to climb even before a ball had been kicked. They were without Peter Schmeichel and the suspended Eric Cantona, while the three-foreigner rule by UEFA meant United were severely restricted.
The two sides had drawn 2-2 in their match at Old Trafford before this, but Romario and Hristo Stoichkov ran rings around Sir Alex Ferguson’s side who were dealt a harsh lesson on the European stage.
Mick Hucknall, for some reason, had taken part in shooting practice prior to kick-off which probably didn’t help.
Barcelona 3-3 Manchester United – Champions League group stage – 1998
The two sides had already shared a six-goal thriller in their opening contest of the 1998/99 Champions League and the scoreline would be repeated in matchweek five.
United travelled to the Nou Camp needing to avoid defeat in order to stay on course for the knockout stages, and they got off to the worst possible start.
Sonny Anderson scored after a minute, but Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole replied, before Rivaldo made it 2-2. Yorke put the visitors back ahead, but Rivaldo struck again.
United would eventually get a win at Barcelona’s home ground, but it would be in the final against Bayern Munich as they sealed a historic treble.
Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United – Champions League semi-final – 2008
It would be another 10 years before United travelled to Barcelona and once again the two sides would play out a draw, although this one was goalless and lacked the excitement served up a decade earlier.
After only two minutes, the game came to life when Gabriel Milito used his hands to block a Cristiano Ronaldo header, but the Portuguese superstar failed to convert the subsequent penalty, blazing his effort wide.
Barcelona dominated and Lionel Messi was impressive, but neither side could break the deadlock.
In the return leg, Scholes would score the only goal to send United through to the final against Chelsea, which was dramatically won on penalties in the pouring Moscow rain.
Source: SportsLatest TS