Barca vs Man Utd : Barcelona vs Manchester United to the Camp Nou on Tuesday with a spot in the Champions League semifinals on the line. It’s the second leg of the quarterfinals in Spain with Barca leading 1-0 following last Wednesday’s second leg.
In that match, it was an own goal off a header from Luis Suarez that gave Barca the slim, yet valuable advantage entering this one, where a win or a draw will see them advance. United has its back against the wall here but should still feel confident and capable after the comeback against PSG in the round of 16. The Red Devils are also coming off a 2-1 win over West Ham in the Premier League, where Paul Pogba scored two goals from penalty kicks.
Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson brought glory and trophies to Manchester United on an industrial scale, yet they never had an Old Trafford European night such as this. Ron Atkinson’s cup specialists overcame a 2-0 first-leg deficit to overwhelm a Barcelona side that included Diego Maradona and Bernd Schuster. United’s three goals, two from Bryan Robson and one from Frank Stapleton, were scored from a combined distance of around six yards, an apt reflection of a night on which they stormed the Barcelona goal like it was a medieval fortress. Barcelona, used to a slower pace domestically, simply could not cope with United’s top-gear football.
The last of the goals came in the 53rd minute, which led to nerves around Old Trafford being Freddy Kreugered for the remainder of the match. “I thought we took the third goal too early,” Atkinson said after the game. “The last quarter of an hour felt like about three days.”
Barcelona: A draw is enough for Barca, while a goal would still leave United needing two goals. They’ll look to be cautious defensively and patient in attack to eliminate any quick build up from the English club. Two goals will probably be enough to kill this one off.
Manchester United: The Red Devils pulled off the shocker at PSG in the round of 16, so they’ll be boosted knowing they can do it again here against a Barca team that at time can look quite inconsistent. They are big underdogs, and they’ll likely need the strength of Romelu Lukaku to help hold the ball up and cause trouble on set pieces.