Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, returns to Camp Nou 20 years after he rose from the bench to score the winner in a tensed UEFA champions league final match against Bayern Munich.
Tonight the Norwegian will not lead the attack on the field of play, rather he will be ‘striking’ from the bench as manager of the same club his heroics 20years ago earned the UEFA champions league trophy at stake even though its the second leg of a quarter-final game.
Manchester United head into tonight’s game on very strong history of away wins in the champions league this season having defeated Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, away in different stages of the UCL, but the Red Devils face a daunting task of overturning a 1-0 deficit against a free-flowing Barcelona side powered by the incredibly talented Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou, where no visiting teams have left with a smile.
Solksjaer in the pre-match conference gave an update on some of his players who would be returning to the team after injuries such as Alexis Sanchez will be playing against his former club for the first time since he moved to England.
While urging his strikers to rediscover their scoring forms and be more clinical when the chances come, he said, ”We have to defend but we have to have that little bit of extra (push) to score goals against teams like this. I expect whoever is going to start, when they’re on the pitch, to know I want to see some good form. Of course, we have to.“
On Sanchez availability for the game, the Norwegian said, “Alex has been here and played here so it’s a big night for him. “When he’s on the pitch, I’m sure he wants to prove a point.
”He wants to prove a point for us as well because he’s been injured, he’s not had a fantastic season so far and let’s hope he can end it great for us because we are at the business end.
Nemanja Matic provided a boost by being available for the trip, after his recent spell out, and Scott McTominay is also a strong candidate for a midfield spot after the in-form Scotland international was able to conserve his energy when left on the bench for the 2-1 victory over West Ham United
When asked about his attacking choices, Ole said: “It’s very important. We need to score goals. If Romelu [Lukaku], Marcus [Rashford], Jesse [Lingard], Anthony [Martial] or Alexis play, we need a big performance. Paul [Pogba] as well, from all our forward players.