Big Match Feature: Man United v Barca
Updated 10-09-19 | 09:11 AM | Staff Writer
Fresh from eye-catching performances in the round of 16 second legs, Manchester United and Barcelona meet for the first time in almost eight years as they renew a rivalry that has brought some memorable European encounters.
While the Catalan giants have won the last two meetings between the sides in the Uefa Champions League finals of 2009 and 2011, United have won both two-legged contests but will need to improve on their recent home European
United produced a memorable away display to retrieve their round of 16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain and reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2013/14. Barcelona ultimately cruised through their last-16 contest against
Lyon en route to an unprecedented 12th successive last-eight appearance – although their last three Uefa Champions League campaigns have all ended at this stage.
While there is little between the sides overall, United recording three victories to Barcelona’s four in their 11 meetings, the Spanish side have won the last two fixtures – both on the biggest club stage of all.
The 2009 Uefa Champions League final in Rome went Barça’s way thanks to a goal in each half from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi. Two years later, Messi scored in between goals from Pedro Rodríguez and David Villa as Barcelona ran out 3-1 victors at Wembley, Wayne Rooney with United’s only response.
Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets joined Messi in Barcelona’s line-up for both finals with United coach Michael Carrick in the opposing team for both games and Antonio Valencia appearing in 2011, when Chris Smalling was an unused substitute.
United did get the better of Barcelona in the 2007/08 Uefa Champions League semifinals, Paul Scholes scoring the only goal of the tie in the Old Trafford second leg after United’s Cristiano Ronaldo had missed an early penalty at the Camp Nou.
That extended United’s unbeaten run at home to Barça to four games (W2 D2), the other victory having come in the 1983/84 European Cup Winners’ Cup quarterfinals when a 3-0 home success turned round a 2-0 loss in Spain.
Barcelona inflicted United’s heaviest Uefa Champions League defeat, a 4-0 reverse in the 1994/95 group stage in which Hristo Stoichkov scored twice.
United beat Barcelona in the 1991 European Cup Winners’ Cup final in Rotterdam, former Barça striker Mark Hughes scoring both goals in a 2-1 win.
• United’s record in European Cup quarterfinals is W12 L6:
2013/14 Bayern München L 2-4 (1-1 h, 1-3 a)
2010/11 Chelsea W 3-1 (1-0 a, 2-1 h)
2009/10 Bayern München L 4-4 away goals (1-2 a, 3-2 h)
2008/09 Porto W 3-2 (2-2 h, 1-0 a)
2007/08 Roma W 3-0 (2-0 a, 1-0 h)
2006/07 Roma W 8-3 (1-2 a, 7-1 h)
2002/03 Real Madrid L 5-6 (1-3 a, 4-3 h)
2001/02 Deportivo La Coruña W 5-2 (2-0 a, 3-2 h)
2000/01 Bayern München L 1-3 (0-1 h, 1-2 a)
1999/2000 Real Madrid L 2-3 (0-0 a, 2-3 h)
1998/99 Internazionale W 3-1 (2-0 h, 1-1 a)
1997/98 Monaco L 1-1 away goals (0-0 a, 1-1 h)
1996/97 Porto W 4-0 (4-0 h, 0-0 a)
1968/69 Rapid Wien W 3-0 (3-0 h, 0-0 a)
1967/68 Górnik Zabrze W 2-1 (2-0 h, 0-1 a)
1965/66 Benfica W 8-3 (3-2 h, 5-1 a)
1957/58 Crvena zvezda W 5-4 (2-1 h, 3-3 a)
1956/67 Athletic Club W 6-5 (3-5 a, 3-0 h)
United’s first 12 Uefa Champions League quarterfinals all came with Sir Alex Ferguson as manager; their most recent, the 2014 defeat by Bayern, was overseen by David Moyes.
United engineered a stunning turnaround in the round of 16, overturning a 2-0 home defeat against Paris SaintGermain with a 3-1 win in France to progress on away goals – only the fourth time a team had come back from losing the home first leg in the Uefa Champions League era and the first to do so following a two-goal first-leg loss.
The Red Devils have already played Spanish opposition in this season’s competition, following a goalless draw at home to Valencia on matchday two with a 2-1 loss at Mestalla in their final group game.
This season’s results against Valencia mean United have now won just two of their last 15 matches against Spanish clubs (D6 L7) – and none of the last six (D3 L3). At Old Trafford they have won only one of the last eight (D4 L3).
In 2017/18 United’s campaign was ended by Spanish opponents, Sevilla winning 2-1 in the second leg at Old Trafford to progress by the same aggregate scoreline. That ended a 21-match unbeaten run in Europe at Old Trafford (W17 D4), since a 2-1 reverse against Real Madrid in the 2012/13 Uefa Champions League round of 16 second leg.
United’s record in two-legged ties against Spanish clubs is W6 L8.
United also lost at home to Juventus in this season’s group stage (0-1), meaning they have suffered three defeats in their last five home European matches, beating only Young Boys (1-0) on matchday five. Marouane Fellaini’s addedtime winner against Young Boys was the only home European goal United have scored in their four matches this season.
Nevertheless, United have lost just six of their last 28 European matches, home and away (W17 D5); the losses to Valencia and Paris were the first time they have suffered successive defeats since November/December 2012.
The round of 16 was Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s first tie in the Uefa Champions League proper as a coach; he oversaw eight qualifiers while in charge of Molde (W3 D4 L1). He took the Norwegian club into the Uefa Europa League group stage in 2012/13, and into the round of 32 of that competition three years later.
• Barcelona’s record in European Cup quarterfinals is W14 L6, with four of those defeats coming in the past five ties:
2017/18 Roma L 4-4 away goals (4-1 h, 0-3 a)
2016/17 Juventus L 0-3 (0-3 a, 0-0 h)
2015/16 Atlético Madrid L 2-3 (2-1 h, 0-2 a)
2014/15 Paris Saint-Germain W 5-1 (3-1 a, 2-0 h)
2013/14 Atlético Madrid L 1-2 (1-1 h, 0-1 a)
2012/13 Paris Saint-Germain W 3-3, away goals (2-2 a, 1-1 h)
2011/12 AC Milan W 3-1 (0-0 a, 3-1 h)
2010/11 Shakhtar Donetsk W 6-1 (5-1 h, 1-0 a)
2009/10 Arsenal W 6-3 (2-2 a, 4-1 h)
2008/09 Bayern München W 5-1 (4-0 h, 1-1 a)
2007/08 Schalke W 2-0 (1-0 a, 1-0 h)
2005/06 Benfica W 2-0 (0-0 a, 2-0 h)
2002/03 Juventus L 2-3 (1-1 a, 1-2 h aet)
2001/02 Panathinaikos W 3-2 (0-1 a, 3-1 h)
1999/00 Chelsea W 6-4 (1-3 a, 5-1 h aet)
1994/95 Paris Saint-Germain L 2-3 (1-1 h, 1-2 a)
1985/86 Juventus W 2-1 (1-0 h, 1-1 a)
1974/75 Åtvidaberg W 5-0 (2-0 h, 3-0 a)
1960/61 Spartak Hradec Králové W 5-1 (4-0 h, 1-1 a)
1959/60 Wolverhampton Wanderers W 9-2 (4-0 h, 5-2 a)
Twelve months ago Barcelona looked set for the semifinals after a 4-1 home win against Roma, only for a 3-0 away defeat to end their campaign on away goals and inflict a third successive last-eight loss. Barcelona lost the away leg
without scoring in all three of those ties.
Barcelona have encountered English opponents already this season, taking four points off Tottenham Hotspur in the group stage thanks to a 4-2 away success and a 1-1 home draw on matchday six.
That made it one defeat in their last 13 European games against English clubs for Barça, who have won nine of those fixtures. They beat Chelsea 4-1 on aggregate in last season’s round of 16 (1-1 away, 3-0 home).
Barcelona have won 14 of their 24 two-legged ties with English clubs. The 2012 semifinal defeat by Chelsea is the only reverse in their last eight contests, all in the Uefa Champions League knockout phase.
That defeat at Roma is Barcelona’s sole loss in their last 19 Uefa Champions League fixtures (W11 D7). They beat Lyon 5-1 at home in the second leg of this season’s round of 16 and by the same aggregate scoreline.
Barcelona are without a win in their last six away knockout games (D2 L4), scoring just one goal, since a 2-0 victory at Arsenal in the 2015/16 round of 16. That is their sole success in the last eight such contests, with five defeats in
Spanish champions for the 25th time – and third in four years – in 2017/18, Barcelona have been European champions on five occasions, most recently in 2015.
Links and Trivia
United won their second European Cup at Barcelona’s Camp Nou, coming from a goal down to beat Bayern München 2-1 in the 1999 final with two added-time goals – substitute Solskjær scoring the winner.
Solskjær played the first 55 minutes of United’s 3-3 draw at home to Barcelona in the group stage of that 1998/99 Uefa Champions League; the Norwegian was an unused replacement as the second match at the Camp Nou also
Piqué was a Manchester United player between 2004 and 2008, making 12 Premier League appearances before returning to Barcelona.
• Have also played in England:
Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal 2009–14)
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool 2013–18)
Luis Suárez (Liverpool 2011–14)
Kevin-Prince Boateng (Tottenham 2007–09, Portsmouth 2009–10)
Coutinho’s only goal in nine appearances against United for Liverpool (W3 D4 L2) came in the 2015/16 Uefa Europa League round of 16 second leg (1-1).
Suárez scored 69 goals in 110 Premier League appearances, including two goals in his six matches against United
(W2 D1 L3).
Alexis Sánchez made 88 Liga appearances for Barcelona between 2011 and 2014, scoring 39 times, winning the Copa del Rey in 2012 and the Liga 12 months later. He was also part of the squad that lifted the Uefa Super Cup
and Fifa Club World Cup in 2011.
• Have also played in Spain:
David de Gea (Atlético Madrid 2008–11)
Eric Bailly (Espanyol 2013–15, Villarreal 2015–16)
Ander Herrera (Real Zaragoza 2008–11, Athletic Club 2011–14)
Juan Mata (Real Madrid Castilla 2006/07, Valencia 2007–11)
Antonio Valencia (Villarreal 2005, Recreativo Huelva 2006)
• International teammates:
David de Gea, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata & Sergi Roberto, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets (Spain)
Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial & Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti (France)
Fred, Andreas Pereira & Malcom, Rafinha, Arthur, Philippe Coutinho (Brazil)
Sergio Romero & Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Romelu Lukaku & Thomas Vermaelen (Belgium)
Alexis Sánchez & Arturo Vidal (Chile)
Lionel Messi has scored 22 goals in 30 matches against English clubs – more than he has managed against teams from any other country.
Ashley Young’s next appearance in Uefa club competition will be his 50th.
United have lost three of their last four matches since the round of 16 second leg, all three defeats coming away from home. The 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on 10 March was their first in the Premier League since Ole Gunnar Solskjær replaced José Mourinho as manager on 19 December and ended a club record nine-match winning away run.
On 28 March Solskjær, who was initially appointed until the end of the season, was named United’s permanent manager on a three-year contract.
The 2-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 first leg is United’s sole home defeat in their last 14 matches in all competitions (W9 D4).
United’s FA Cup campaign was ended by a 2-1 quarterfinal defeat at Wolves on 16 March.
Paul Pogba has 11 Premier League goals this season – the first time in his career he has reached double figures in a league campaign – although he has not found the net in the competition since 9 February.
Solskjær won his first eight games – the best start for a manager in United’s history.
Marcus Rashford, who has three goals in his last four United appearances, missed the 2-1 league defeat at Wolves on 2 April due to an ankle injury. 13
Ander Herrera also missed that Wolves match with a knock; Eric Bailly has not played for United since being replaced in the first half at Paris and has been struggling with concussion.
Alexis Sánchez has been out since 2 March with a knee injury.
Antonio Valencia (calf) and Matteo Darmian (knock) have also been sidelined.
Ivan Rakitic’s next appearance in Uefa club competition will be his 100th.
Luis Suárez has made 49 appearances in the Uefa Champions League, group stage to final.
Lionel Messi is the joint leading scorer in this season’s Uefa Champions League, level with Robert Lewandowski of eliminated Bayern München on eight goals.
Barcelona are 16 games unbeaten in all competitions (W11 D5); the 4-4 draw at Villarreal on 2 April, in which they were 4-2 down entering the 90th minute, ended a seven-match winning streak. On Saturday, they scored twice in the
final five minutes to beat ten-man Atlético Madrid 2-0 at the Camp Nou.
Barça are unbeaten in eight away matches in all competitions (W5 D3) and have lost only three of their 23 games away from home this season (W14 D6).
Before the Villarreal draw, Barcelona had conceded five goals in ten games; they have kept seven clean sheets in their last 12 fixtures in all competitions.
Messi, who scored the second against Atlético on Saturday, is the Liga’s top scorer with 33 goals; he has 26 in his last 22 games for Barcelona and 14 in his last 12.
Philippe Coutinho scored his first Liga goal since 28 October at Villarreal.
Malcom’s goal at Villarreal was his first in the Liga.
Luis Suárez, who scored the late equaliser at Villarreal and got the 85th-minute opener against Atlético, has seven goals in his last nine games.
Samuel Umtiti, who had not played for Barcelona since the 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano on 9 March because of a knee injury, made his comeback at Villarreal.
Thomas Vermaelen, who missed a month between mid-February and mid-March, is back in full training and played 90 minutes for Belgium in their Uefa EURO 2020 qualifier against Cyprus.
Ousmane Dembélé has not featured since the last 16 second leg against Lyon due to a hamstring injury.
Rafinha was ruled out for up to six months after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left leg in the second half of the 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid on 24 November.
The Blaugrana, who have lifted the Copa del Rey in the last four seasons, reached a sixth successive final with a 3-0 second-leg win at Real Madrid on 27 February, completing a 4-1 aggregate semifinal success. They will play
Valencia in the 25 May final at the Estadio Benito Villamarín in Seville.
Jean-Clair Todibo signed for Barcelona from Toulouse in January but is not in the Uefa Champions League squad; the club also agreed deals for Frenkie de Jong (Ajax) and Emerson (Atlético Mineiro) to join in the summer.