Wednesday 23 October 2019

Ignore Nou Camp, warns Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he was annoyed by his side's FA Cup display at Wolves Photo: John Walton/PA
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he was annoyed by his side's FA Cup display at Wolves Photo: John Walton/PA

James Ducker

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his Manchester United players to write their own history in Barcelona - and ignore talk of the club being fated to win the Champions League 20 years after he delivered one of their greatest nights.

United were drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals yesterday, two decades after Solskjaer's dramatic stoppage-time winning goal at the Nou Camp sunk Bayern Munich in the 1999 final.

Solskjaer said he had been inundated with messages from friends telling him United's name was on the trophy - but warned his players there would be no helping hand from up above.

"Yes, it had to be (Barcelona). I have had so many texts from friends saying this year is going to be the year that we'll get through because of my number, 20, and it being 20 years ago," said Solskjaer, whose side face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup quarter-finals tonight.

"I believe that you get what you deserve in life, in sports. If you put the work in, if you work hard, show the right attitude, if you go in every single day and do the right things then I believe you can maximise your chances.

"We're off to the Nou Camp again. It was the biggest night I've had in football. Of course, for all of us in that team, it was an unbelievable night. It's a great stadium. We met them in the group stages as well that year - 3-3 each both home and away. It'll be a good game."

United were initially drawn to play the first leg at the Nou Camp and the second leg at Old Trafford but the fixtures had to be reversed due to a clash with Manchester City, who were due to play Spurs in their quarter-final at the Etihad in the same week, a situation opposed by the local authorities.

But Solskjaer said he was delighted United would now have to go to Barcelona for the second leg - and urged his players to produce a repeat of their dramatic 3-1 win at Paris St-Germain in the second leg of their last-16 tie, when Marcus Rashford's VAR-awarded penalty in stoppage time sent them through on away goals.

"I've got to be honest, and I'm probably completely different to 99pc of the managers, but I prefer away last, like we had against PSG," Solskjaer said.

"I've always thought if you can get a decent result at home then we know we can go away and hurt anyone, like we did at PSG. To win trophies you've got to win at least one or two really tough games." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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