London (AFP) – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United are not scared of playing the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against at the Camp Nou after drawing Barcelona on Friday.
United were originally drawn to play at Barcelona in the first leg, which would have given them the safety net of playing the decisive return at Old Trafford.
But with Manchester City due to play their quarter-final second leg against Tottenham at home in the same week, UEFA decided to make United host Barca in the first leg on April 10, after stipulating in advance following advice from local authorities that United and City could not play at home on successive nights.
“I’m probably completely different to 99 per cent of managers, as I prefer away last like we had against PSG (in the previous round),” Solskjaer said.
After losing 2-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in Manchester, Solskjaer’s side claimed a stunning 3-1 second-leg victory in the French capital to progress to the last eight.
“If you can get a decent result at home, then we know we can go away and hurt anyone like we did in Paris,” he added.
Having to face Lionel Messi’s Barca on their turf in the second leg on April 16 could put United at a disadvantage, as the Catalans have not lost any of their last 30 home games in the competition, winning all but three of those.
But United interim boss Solskjaer insists he is happy to travel to Spain with the tie potentially in the balance after his team showed they could cope with that pressure in the last 16.
“We want these games against the biggest clubs and the biggest teams. We had the final against them in 2009 and 2011 (both of which Barca won) and the semi-final in 2008 when Scholesy (Paul Scholes) scored,” Solskjaer said.
“It’s these games our fans and this club crave. We are looking forward to this one.”
Solskjaer’s trip to the Camp Nou will stir happy memories for the former United striker, who scored the dramatic stoppage-time winner in the club’s famous Champions League final triumph against Bayern Munich in 1999.
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