FC Barcelona to play Manchester United in Champions League quarterfinal
The Catalans will face either Liverpool or Porto in the semifinal should they progress past the Red Devils
Barcelona’s route to the Champions League final is clear. The Catalan giants will face Manchester United in the quarterfinals, before then facing the winner of Liverpool and Porto should they progress to the semifinal. This is the 12th consecutive season that Barcelona have qualified for the quarterfinal.
The first leg of the quarterfinal will be played on Wednesday, April 10 in Old Trafford, with the return leg to be played the following week, on Tuesday 16 in Camp Nou.
The showdown between Barcelona and United will be a replay of the final played ten years ago at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, when strikes from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi gave Pep Guardiola's side the glory. The two sides then met in another final two years later, where again the Catalans came out on top, this time with a 3-1 victory.
The tie also sees new United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer return to the Camp Nou, twenty years after one of his most famous moments in the Champions League final 1999. The Norwegian striker netted Manchester United's second injury-time goal to turn an almost certain defeat to Bayern Munich into the most unlikely of wins.
The blaugrana made it to the quarterfinal with an emphatic 5-1 aggregate win over French rivals Lyon in the round of 16, with all goals coming in the second leg at home.
Ernesto Valverde’s men will be banking on their strong home form to progress to the latest stages of the tournament after they set a new Champions League record in the victory over Lyon, going 30 games unbeaten at home in Europe’s premier competition.
Their unbeaten streak includes 27 victories and three draws. Some of the highlights during that run includes the unforgettable 6-1 comeback against Paris Saint Germain, and the 3-0 semifinal win against Bayern Munich on the way to lifting the trophy in 2014/15.
The last team to beat Barcelona in the Camp Nou were Bayern Munich, who were eliminated from the competition this week at the hands of Liverpool. The new home undefeated record set by Barça this week overtakes the record set by the Bavarian side back in 2002.
This year the final of the Champions League will be played in Atletico Madrid’s new Wanda Metropolitana stadium, on Saturday, June 1.
Quarterfinal draw in full:
Ajax vs Juventus
Liverpool vs Porto
Tottenham vs Manchester
Manchester United vs Barcelona
Tottenham/Manchester City vs Ajax/Juventus
Barcelona/Manchester United vs Liverpool/Porto