Wednesday, November 13, 2019

It will be a miracle if Manchester United win in Barcelona

David Nugent in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 16 Apr 2019

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Manchester United have fond memories of Barcelona’s Nou Camp. The stadium in Catalonia is where the Red Devils famously recorded a dramatic 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.

The men from Manchester scored two injury-time goals to record one of the most dramatic final victories in the history of the competition. The hero of that game for United was substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who by a strange twist of fate is now in charge of the Red Devils.

United return to Nou Camp on Tuesday night nearly 20 years after their famous triumph. This time the Red Devils need to overcome a 1-0 defeat by Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

Need another miracle in Barcelona

The game against Bayern was a special one. United need to pull off a result of a similar magnitude on Tuesday night. The Red Devils will be heading for the Catalan capital more in hope than expectation.

However, they headed to the French capital for their second leg against PSG two goals down and progressed on away goals after a superb 3-1 win at the Parc des Princes. The problem is that Barcelona are far more Euro savvy than their French counterparts.

The Nou Camp a graveyard for away teams

Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium has become a graveyard for visiting teams in the Champions League. The home side has suffered just one home defeat in their last 53 outings in European football’s elite competition.

They are also undefeated in 30 matches at the Nou Camp in the Champions League. Fair to say they are a difficult team to beat on their own patch. United will have to do what so many teams have failed to do in the past by winning in Catalonia.

Manchester United have been pretty handy away from home of late in the Champions League, winning three of their last four matches on their travels in Europe’s elite competition. This task is bigger than winning at Young Boys, Juventus or even PSG.

The Red Devils have to believe they can do it, though, as anything can happen in football as we all know. However, Barcelona produced a rather lukewarm performance at Old Trafford. That does not happen too often, so United may just have missed their chance to progress into the semi-finals of the Champions League this season.

Barcelona the favourites to progress

Not only are Barcelona the favourites to win the second leg at odds of 4/11, but they also still favourite to lift the trophy at odds of 5/2.

In reality, the current Manchester United team player for player are no match for Barcelona. This is a sad reflection on the Red Devils current team. However, very rarely in the last two decades have United had a team capable of competing with the Catalan giants on a level playing field.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a big job on his hands on Tuesday night to inspire victory. In fact, the Norwegian has a major job on his hands raising the standard of the United team in the next couple of years.

Solskjaer has already had a hand in one football miracle at the Nou Camp with Manchester United. Whether he can pull off another one this time around only time will tell.

Can Manchester United shock Barcelona at the Nou Camp?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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