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Manchester United fightback against Barcelona would ‘eclipse’ PSG – Solskjaer

Craig Burley doesn’t see a way back for Manchester United, even though they limited Barcelona to just one goal at Old Trafford.

MANCHESTER, England — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he has seen enough during Manchester United’s defeat to Barcelona to believe his team can force another dramatic Champions League turnaround.

And the Norwegian believes that if United can knock out Barcelona at the Nou Camp next week after the 1-0 first leg defeat at Old Trafford it will eclipse the 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes in the last round.

“To do it would be an even greater achievement than that,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Wednesday night. “The PSG performance gives us the hope and belief that we can do it.

“We are playing against probably the favourites in this tournament and going to the Nou Camp is going to a challenge. With the history Barca have, and they are not used to losing at home but we can do it.

“We can carry a goal threat, but we have to provide more ammunition and chances.”

United failed to register shot on target against Barcelona — who won thanks to Luke Shaw‘s early own goal after he deflected in Luis Suarez‘s header — but Solskjaer was still buoyed by the performance that owed much to the tenacity of Scott McTominay in midfield.

The 22-year-old was picked after injuries ruled out both Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera and he excelled against Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic.

“The boy is developing every time he plays,” said Solskjaer. “He comes into training every day with a fantastic attitude and that’s the way to improve.

“Every game he grows and he grows and today he was the first one who took the ball down and settled us. We had to slow the game down.

“We were too quick to give the ball away. After 15 or 20 minutes we settled and Scott and Fred and Paul [Pogba], the three midfielders did really well.”

Shaw will miss the second leg after picking up a booking for a foul on Lionel Messi, but Solskjaer was left perplexed as to how Busquets had stayed on the pitch for 90 minutes after committing a series of fouls after picking up a yellow card of his own in the first half.

“Why does Luke Shaw get a yellow card when he does his?” said Solskjaer. “It’s just that consistency and definitely yes [Busquets should have been sent off].

“There’s nothing we can do about it. I can’t complain about the referee. We haven’t had any homers, if you put it that way. We are where we are and he’s going to play against over there. We have to go there with the same belief and same energy as he did in Paris.”

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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