21st march 1984 - united 3 barcelona 0
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Uploaded on Jul 13, 2008
"The magnificent Nou Camp stadium, one of the greatest footballers of all time and the manager of Argentina's 1978 World Cup win faced Manchester United in the first leg of the Cup Winners Cup Quarter Final. Ninety minutes later and any fears were justified as United trailed 2-0 through a Graeme Hogg own goal and long range cracker from Rojo. Whilst disappointed United were not disconsolate for the return leg as Barcelona had not overwhelmed United by any means and Norman Whiteside returned from injury.
While not as vast as the Nou Camp, Old Trafford on European nights was and still is a unique and intimidating atmosphere for opposing teams. A roar from the capacity crowd of 58,350 greeted both teams as they entered the pitch and dispelled any thoughts Barcelona had that this was a foregone conclusion. For the opening 20 minutes the Spanish succeeded in stemming the Red onslaught on the field and the euphoria off it, but the inevitable was there for all to see as United pushed forward creating numerous half-chances.
When Ray Wilkins went up to take a corner at the scoreboard end there was the sense that United's moment had come to open the scoring. The corner flew across the goalmouth, helped on by Hogg to the far post where captain Bryan Robson, his body horizontal as he dived, headed the ball in from close range. Old Trafford erupted sensing more would quickly follow but somehow Barcelona managed to thwart the Reds relentless attacking until half-time.
The second half began as United laid siege to the Barca goal and the pressure began to tell. Only five minutes into the half, a dangerous low cross from Wilkins was fumbled by Barca keeper Urruti and there again was captain courageous Bryan Robson to pounce on the chance and slam the ball home to make it 2-2. It was one of those nights when Robson was everywhere at once, as together with Wilkins, Remi Moses and Arnold Muhren he drove the midfield inexorably onwards.
With the scores level the crowd went into euphoria and were still celebrating when two minutes later Norman Whiteside somehow got his head to the ball from looping cross to nod it down for Frank Stapleton who rifled the ball into the Stretford End net from an acute angle. 3-0 and you'd have thought United had won the European Cup such was the roar from the terraces, but now Barcelona who had been in disarray realised they had to score to stay in the competition and if pulled one back United would be in trouble. Barcelona's attack who were kept quiet by the defensive four of Moran, Duxbury, Albiston and Hogg suddenly came alive.
One or two anxious moments followed as Maradona and Rojo pushed forward and came close to spoiling the party with a Barcelona penalty claim turned down but United also had chances on the counter to wrap things up, Whiteside and Hughes shooting wide. In the end though the score remained intact and Byran Robson was carried off the pitch shoulder high by a sea of fans that invaded the pitch. United would go on to meet mighty Juventus led by Michel Platini in the Semi-final where unfortunately they lost narrowly 3-2 on aggregat. However, the Cup Winners Cup run of 1984 will always be remembered for this glorious night when United's fans went home knowing they had witnessed a night of true European magic." - manutdzone.com
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