Sunday 25 March 2018

Manchester United v Barcelona past meetings

Simon Stone

For the second time in three seasons, Manchester United will meet Barcelona in the Champions League final.

The Red Devils will hope for a better outcome than they experienced in Rome in 2009, while fans worldwide will hope for a contest worthy of the Wembley occasion.

Here, we Sport recall some past meetings between the sides.

Manchester United 3 Barcelona 0, March 1984

Two goals down from the first leg of the European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final, against a team including the legendary Diego Maradona, United were given little chance of success. But Bryan Robson's first-half header gave Ron Atkinson's side hope before the England star levelled the tie after the interval. It was left to Frank Stapleton to blast home the winner amid one of the greatest atmospheres in living memory at Old Trafford.

Manchester United 2 Barcelona 1, May 1991

United ended a 23-year European trophy drought in the first season after the ban on English clubs competing in Europe had been lifted. A failure during his own spell at the Nou Camp, Mark Hughes gained his revenge in the European Cup Winners' Cup final by scoring twice after half-time, the second from a very acute angle to render Ronald Koeman's effort nothing more than a consolation.

Barcelona 4 Manchester United 0, November 1994

A United side hampered by the limit on foreign players ran into Johan Cruyff's 'Dream Team' at precisely the wrong time. Battered 4-0 by AC Milan in the previous season's final, Barca had a lot to prove in the Champions League group-stage clash. The forward pairing of Hristo Stoichkov and Romario were superb, the Bulgarian scoring twice, the Brazilian once, with Albert Ferrer adding another in a one-sided romp.

Manchester United 3 Barcelona 3, September 1998

Another memorable Champions League group-stage encounter. Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs scored within three minutes of each other early in the match before Brazilians Sonny Anderson and Giovanni brought Barca level by the hour mark. David Beckham restored United's lead but Luis Enrique's 71st-minute penalty secured a point for the visitors.

Barcelona 3 Manchester United 3, November 1998

Miraculously the sides did it all over again two months later. This time Barca led first through Anderson, but the irresistible combination of Dwight Yorke (two) and Andy Cole saw Barca trail twice with Rivaldo levelling both times.

Manchester United 1 Barcelona 0, April 2008

A goalless Champions League semi-final first leg gave way to a night of unbelievable tension at Old Trafford. Lionel Messi was at his brilliant best but with Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown outstanding, United somehow clung onto the early advantage Scholes gave them and booked their first final appearance since 1999.

Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0, May 2009

Sir Alex Ferguson professes to know what went wrong in Rome but will not say.

After a bright start it looked like a clear case of United meeting opponents who were better than them. Samuel Eto'o found the net early and after that, Ferguson's men were chasing shadows. Messi eventually headed home a superb second to seal it but it could have been many more.

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