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Man Utd go for glory at Nou Camp
April 23, 2008 12:36 IST
Manchester United [Images] return to the scene of one of their most memorable European triumphs when they take on Barcelona at the Nou Camp in a mouth-watering Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.
United clinched their second European Cup with their dramatic last-gasp 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich at the Barcelona stadium almost 10 years ago and they are aiming to lay the foundations for a third final appearance with a winning performance against the Catalans.
Barcelona-Manchester United clashes tend to be goal-laden affairs with 28 scored in seven previous games and the last two matches ending in entertaining 3-3 draws.
Both sides are unbeaten in Europe this season and the game will be even more eagerly anticipated given that it will provide a showcase to compare two of the world's most exciting players in Cristiano Ronaldo [Images] and Lionel Messi [Images].
"If it had been the final it would have been a fantastic stage for big clubs like us," said United manager Alex Ferguson. "I think the winners will stand a great chance in the final."
For Premier League leaders United there is still the prospect of completing a memorable domestic and European double, but for Barcelona Champions League triumph is their only way of salvaging a traumatic season.
Barcelona have not won any of their last three home games against English clubs, losing 2-1 to Liverpool at the Nou Camp last season and drawing twice with Chelsea before that, but United have only won once in 16 away trips to Spain.
"For us it is a dream to be here and we are all really motivated," said Barca coach Frank Rijkaard. "We have respect for our opponents but we are determined to win."
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage