Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Laments How Far and Long Man United are from Europe’s Elite

With a brutally one-sided loss at FC Barcelona last night, Manchester United saw their European campaign come to an end in Catalonia. And that means back to back trophy-less seasons at Old Trafford, a phenomenon that’s become all too common since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

The result last night at Camp Nou conveyed just how wide the chasm of quality is right now between United and the world’s most elite clubs.

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Pep Guardiola Labels Upcoming Spurs, United Clashes as ‘absolute finals’

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It’s a must win for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City tomorrow night; otherwise their UEFA Champions League aspirations, and with it their quadruple hopes, come to an end. City will host Tottenham Hotspur in the second leg of their UCL quarterfinal tie, and they enter the match down 1-0 on aggregate.

Anything less than a victory and City will be ousted from Europe in the same round from which they exited last season. Wednesday’s match is also the first of a double against Spurs this week, with the second clash against the north London side, a Premier League fixture, coming on Saturday.

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Manchester United Starting XI Prediction at FC Barcelona (UCL Quarterfinals)

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that side was very lucky to escape with a win at home versus West Ham United yesterday. Solskjaer also said that had his side been playing FC Barcelona on Saturday, they would not have been able to pull off a result.

That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about why United were so thoroughly out-played by the Irons at Old Trafford on the weekend- their collective heads were in the Barca tie. United will need another against all odds, no one saw this coming kind of performance, like they achieved at Paris Saint-Germain in the last round on Tuesday night.

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FC Barcelona Starting XI Prediction vs Manchester United (UCL Quarterfinals)

ousmane dembele

FC Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde heavily rotated his squad yesterday in his side’s goalless draw with minnows Huesca. The result was a drab, listless performance, but with eyes on the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie with Manchester United, (and the domestic leaguer pretty much wrapped up) the decision made perfect sense.

“Of course we always want to win, but there were some exceptional circumstances for us here,” Valverde told his post game press conference. “We’d played Wednesday [against United] and we have the second leg on Tuesday.”

“I thought it was time to make changes. It was a test for the players that played, and I think they did well.”

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Man United vs FC Barcelona Injury Report: Dembele, Sanchez, Herrera, Matic

Although they are only down 1-0, it’s going to take another near miracle for Manchester United to win at FC Barcelona, take the UEFA Champions League tie, and move on to the tournament semifinal. Barcelona have made the Camp Nou a fortress this season, losing at the venue only once in 2018-19. Hey, United pulled it off in the last round at Paris Saint-Germain, so anything can happen.

It was clear yesterday that both sides were looking ahead to this match, and quite distracted in their domestic fixtures on Saturday. Barca midfielder Arturo Vidal freely admitted it, while United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer implied it. Or at least one could infer that by reading in between the lines of what he had to say.

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Arturo Vidal Admits Barcelona were Distracted by United Tie in Huesca Draw

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FC Barcelona midfielder (and one time Manchester United transfer target) Arturo Vidal admitted yesterday that his side was distracted by their UEFA Champions League tie with the Red Devils after their shock draw with Huesca.

Vidal was in the first team on Saturday for a La Liga fixture that saw Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez benched, and the Blaugranes as a whole put in a very uninspired effort. Barca’s players were looking ahead to Tuesday night’s home game against United, the second of two legs in the quarterfinal tie.

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Solskjaer Admits United Were Lucky to Escape with a Win over West Ham

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and Manchester United were definitely not good yesterday in their 2-1 home win over West Ham United. They were, however, very lucky and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said so after the match.

Solskjaer admits that his side was so off on Saturday that he would have been happy to have even get a draw as a result from the fixture. The Norwegian also added that winning a game his team should not have is essentially balanced out by previous games, where they deserved points, but did not obtain them.

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Man United vs West Ham Injury Report: Herrera, Sanchez, Matic, Wilshere, Nasri

Manchester United don’t have much time to rue opportunity missed in last night’s UEFA Champions League loss to FC Barcelona, as it’s a very quick turnaround to the next competition. United lost 1-0 to the Catalan club yesterday due to a Luke Shaw own goal, but they must move on quickly as West Ham United come to town for a Premier League fixture on Saturday.

United are in sixth place in the table and badly in need of all three points here as they really can’t afford to lose any more ground in the top four race. West Ham come in to this one 11th in the table and as substantial underdogs. Let’s break down the fitness situation for both sides.

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Manchester United Starting XI Prediction vs West Ham United

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Manchester United dominated their series with West Ham United during the tail end of the Sir Alex Ferguson era winning 11 of their 12 Premier League contests against the Hammers covering a span from May 2008 to September 2014.

Since that run however, the Red Devils have been substantially less successful in this specific series, winning just two of their last eight, playing to a draw in four of those matches. In the overall series, United have won 65 times, to go against the Hammers’ 44 victories and 65 draws.

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Manchester United Starting XI for Barcelona UCL Clash Leaked

(Updated: 7:21 GMT- The Express did get it right! The tweet from the official account with the starting XI is embedded below)

In about an hour we’ll have official confirmation via Manchester United on who will be in the first team to face FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League competition tonight, but the Daily Express claims to have gotten the starting lineup a few hours ahead of time.

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Juan Mata Offered New Manchester United Deal, Says Player’s Father

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When Juan Mata moved to Manchester United from Chelsea in January of 2014, the £37.1 transfer fee broke the club record for most expensive player. That amount seems borderline “cute” compared to the current holder of that status, Paul Pogba, who broke the world transfer fee record when he moved over to United from Juventus in 2016 for £89.1 million.

Here we are five years later and Mata is out of contract at the end of the season and his future with the club is very much in doubt, as other clubs have shown interest in acquiring him on a free transfer this summer. According to the midfielder’s father, United has offered the Spaniard a new deal.

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Barcelona’s Pique, Valverde Concerned with United’s Size and Counter-Attack

GERARD PIQUE

FC Barcelona centre back Gerard Pique is excited to be returning to Old Trafford, as he was once a Manchester United youth system player. His Blaugranes will take on United tomorrow in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie.

Pique knows that in order to advance his side cannot make the same mistake Paris Saint-Germain made. If they get the chance to finish United off early, in the road leg, they must take it. They cannot let any opportunities slip because United give Barcelona a lot to be concerned with.

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