Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s second coming took one other enchanting twist because the Champions League conjured a return to Barcelona to mark the 20th anniversary of his purpose to clinch the Treble for Manchester United within the Nou Camp.
Manchester Metropolis and Tottenham have been pitched into an all-Premier League quarter-final and Liverpool have been paired with Porto, a group they beat 5-Zero on the way in which to final yr’s last.
Not for the primary time since he seized management at Previous Trafford, nonetheless, Solskjaer produced the storyline as United have been drawn towards the Spanish champions and La Liga leaders, full with the little genius that’s Lionel Messi and arch-villain Luis Suarez.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will return to the Nou Camp 20 years on from the well-known 1999 last
Manchester United have drawn Barcelona within the quarter finals, evoking fond recollections
It’s a prestigious fixture and wealthy in nostalgia, which is able to serve up painful reminders of the misplaced finals of 2009 and 2011 and the lesson by the hands of Hristo Stoichkov and Romario in 1994, together with fonder recollections of a Paul Scholes purpose to win a semi-final in 2008 and a European Cup-Winners’ Cup last in 1991.
However the picture summoned by the prospect of Manchester United on the Nou Camp comes from 1999, with their Norwegian striker in his No 20 shirt, sliding on his knees to have a good time the winner, deep in stoppage time, to finish essentially the most astonishing comeback within the last towards Bayern Munich.
‘It needed to be,’ smiled Solskjaer, who has performed little mistaken since he was appointed caretaker supervisor in December, shedding solely as soon as in 13 Premier League video games and reaching the FA Cup quarter-final and the final eight of the Champions League with a staggering 3-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain.
Paul Scholes scored the winner when the 2 sides met in semi-finals of 2008 event
‘I’ve had so many texts from associates saying this yr goes to be the yr we get by means of due to my quantity 20 and it being 20 years in the past. We’re off to the Nou Camp once more.
‘It was the largest evening I’ve had in soccer, in fact. For all of us in that group, it was an unbelievable evening. It is an incredible stadium — and naturally we met them within the group levels as effectively that yr, 3-Three each house and away.
‘We wish these video games towards the largest golf equipment and the largest groups. It is these video games our followers and this membership crave.’
United will play the primary leg at house to keep away from a fixture conflict with Manchester Metropolis.
‘I am fully totally different to 99 per cent of managers,’ mentioned Solskjaer. ‘I want to be away final, like we had towards PSG. If you may get an honest consequence at house, then we all know we will go away and harm anybody, like we did in Paris.’
Barcelona gained two most up-to-date Champions League finals towards United in 2009 and 2011
If United make it previous Barcelona they face a doable semi-final towards Liverpool who, regardless of Jurgen Klopp’s warning, will probably be anticipated to brush apart Porto as they did final yr.
‘I couldn’t be additional away from considering it is the perfect draw as a result of it is not, it’s simply the draw,’ insisted Klopp. ‘It is the opponent we’ve to organize for and the very first thing it’s a must to do is make sure that all people respects the opponent the best manner — and we’ll try this 100 per cent.’
Manchester Metropolis will present the opposition for the primary European fixture at Tottenham’s new White Hart Lane, simply days after the 62,000-capacity venue opens with a Premier League recreation towards Brighton or Crystal Palace.
The edges will meet thrice in 12 days, with a Premier League conflict on the Etihad Stadium three days after the second leg.
‘This will probably be enjoyable,’ mentioned Metropolis’s former Spurs full-back Kyle Walker as gamers reacted on social media. ‘Convey it on,’ roared Harry Kane.
Jurgen Klopp has insisted Liverpool’s quarter last draw with Porto is not going to be a walkover
Metropolis have gained their final three video games towards Tottenham and Pep Guardiola mentioned: ‘We all know one another effectively. I’ve a number of respect for them. We all know very effectively the standard of their group.
‘We all know how good they’re up entrance with Kane and Dele Alli and Son Heung-min and the way good they’re at set-pieces due to Christian Eriksen, however it could be the identical if you happen to take a look at my group or any group within the Champions League.’
The winners face a semi-final towards Ajax or Juventus and the draw is open for the prospect of an all-Manchester last. Or it may very well be Barcelona and Messi towards Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo, in Madrid.
However Solskjaer’s scriptwriter seems to be in charge of issues in the intervening time.