?Aside from the obvious caveat that they avoided Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus, Manchester United fans may feel that they didn’t get the luck of the draw when they were handed a Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona on Friday afternoon.
Coming up against the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez is enough to send shivers down most people’s spines, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side might take solace in the fact that United have had an excellent record against their Catalan counterparts.
Excluding finals, ?Manchester United have progressed from both of their European knockout ties with the Catalan giants, winning 3-2 on aggregate in the 1983/84 Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final and 1-0 on aggregate in the 2007/08 Champions League semi-final.
The latter victory came courtesy of that Paul Scholes thunderbolt strike at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils going on to beat ?Premier League rivals Chelsea in the final at Moscow.
Yet, whilst United fans might rightly point out to history being in their favour when it comes to facing Barcelona, the Camp Nou side have had an enviable record in recent years against English sides.
Since their elimination to Chelsea in the 2011/12 semi-final, ?Barcelona have progressed from all four Champions League ties with English opponents, most recently a 4-1 aggregate victory over Chelsea in the last 16 stage last season.
The Blues suffered the Spanish side’s wrath last year, whilst Arsenal have fallen to them on numerous occasions during this decade, often having an impressive home performance at the Emirates completely thrown out the window by a virtuoso display from ?Messi at the Camp Nou.
So, what does it all mean? Well, when two of the most historic sides in European football face off once more next month, something well and truly has to give.