Manchester United will face Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. These two teams have faced each other countless times in Europe, the first being in the 1984 Europeans Cup Winner Cup quarter-finals. That quarter-final game was an absolute thriller, with Barcelona going up 2-0 in the first leg at the Camp Nou. Manchester United was able to make an incredible comeback to win 3-2, it was one of United’s best comeback’s.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was put in a tough position has when he took of United. They were able to make it out of the group stage with 11 points, but they drew PSG in the Round of 16, and the French giants netted two against the Red Devils at Old Trafford. United lost their superstar French midfielder Paul Pogba due to a red card at the end of the first leg as well. Solskjaer was able to create brilliant tactics for the Red Devils, as they came back against PSG in their own backyard. Recently, United has fallen a bit, losing 2-0 to Arsenal in the Premier League and 2-1 to Wolves in the quarter-finals of the Fa Cup. The loss to Arsenal has dropped them to fifth and Arsenal has moved to 4th. Manchester United will have to battle until the end of the season if they want to be in the top 4.
Barcelona has looked dominant in the Champions League under Ernesto Valverde, winning their group with 14 points. They have also looked dominant in La Liga, being at the top of the table with 66 points, 10 points in front of the second place Athletico Madrid. Lionel Messi yet again is a threat to every team he plays. His last three games have seen him a hat-trick against Real Betis, two goals and two assists against Lyon, and a goal and an assist against Rayo Vallecano.
The only things the two teams have in common are their goalkeepers. The Spaniard David de Gea has been an absolute wall for Manchester United and Barcelona’s German superstar Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Ter Stegen has looked magisterial in the Champions League, with an amazing save against Lyon to keep the clean sheet. This game will most likely be the most entertaining game of the quarter-finals, with both teams offenses testing the goalkeepers. United will have Pogba back and their Belgian striker Romelulu Lukaku has been inform for United, having scored 6 goals in three games, two of those goals were against PSG. Valverde and Solsjkaer will create very unique tactics to try and break each other’s defenses down, it will be a thriller.