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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reacts to being drawn against FC Barcelona in Champions League

Written by: Waseem Zaidi

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The Norwegian tactician remains optimistic of getting a positive result from the tie.

The quarter-final draw for the UEFA Champions League has paired Manchester United with the Spanish giants, FC Barcelona. It is the most talked about fixture among the draws since there is a piece of history attached to it. United’s interim manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last visited the Camp Nou in their Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich in which Solskjaer scored the winning goal in an epic comeback, securing a treble of trophies for The Red Devils in 1999 - exactly 20 years ago.

Talking about being drawn against the Catalans, the gaffer said, “Yes, it had to be Barcelona! I’ve 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. We’re off to the Nou Camp again!”

He further went on to talk about the incredible treble winning season in 1999 by adding that, “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 and, of course, we met them in the group stages as well that year – 3-3 each both home and away. It’ll be a good game.”


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Upon being asked about his preference to play home or away in the first leg, the Norwegian said, “I’ve got to be honest, and I’m probably completely different to probably 99 percent of managers, I prefer away last, like we had against PSG, 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.”

 The complete UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw

Manchester United recently made a sensational comeback having lost the first-leg 0-2 to beat Paris Saint-Germain away 1-3 (aggregate 3-3, through on away goals) in the Round of 16 and are now again facing a tough challenge going forward. Referring to being faced with tough teams, Solskjaer said, “We want these games against the biggest clubs and the biggest teams. We had the finals against them in 2009 and 2011 and the semi-final in 2008 when Scholesy [Paul Scholes] scored, and it’s those games that our supporters and this club crave. We are looking forward to this one.“

Gerard Pique, the former Manchester United player and current FC Barcelona center-back also expressed his excitement by saying that he was coming back to his second home in a tweet.

Manchester United will play the first-leg at Old Trafford on Wednesday, 10 April and the second-leg will be played six days later at the Camp Nou on Tuesday, 16 April. The winners of this fixture will face either Liverpool or FC Porto in the semi-finals.

Published: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:44 PM IST

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