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Europa League: Manchester United v Barcelona - Greatest ever meetings

With Manchester United and Barcelona set to meet at Camp Nou this month, we have taken a trip down memory lane to dig up the best encounters between the two footballing heavyweights.

Given the vast success of these two clubs, a Europa League play-off round tie is probably not where you would have predicted these two would be meeting next, but that is the situation they find themselves in as they go in search of silverware.

The first leg will take place in Spain on 16th February and La Liga leaders Barcelona are 7/10 to win in Full Time Result, while the draw is priced at 16/5 and the Red Devils are 16/5 to take a lead back to Old Trafford for the return fixture the following week.

In total, the Catalans have faced the 20-time English champions in 13 previous competitive fixtures, starting with the European Cup Winners' Cup meeting in 1984 to the most recent encounter in the Champions League in 2019.

Barcelona lead the head-to-head record 6-3, while there have been four draws between the pair.

WhatBarcelona v Manchester United - Europa League knockout round, first-leg
WhereCamp Nou, Spain
When17:45, Thursday 16th February
How to watchBT Sport
OddsBarcelona 7/10, Draw 16/5, Man Utd 16/5

Captain Marvel shines in Manchester

Manchester United 3-0 Barcelona - 21st March 1984

The very first meeting came back in the quarter-final stage of the 1983/84 European Cup Winners' Cup, and it was the perfect first leg for Barcelona, who won 2-0 to seemingly put one foot in the next round of the competition.

United had it all to do at Old Trafford in the return fixture but do it all they did, triumphing 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals at the expense of a stunned Barca outfit spearheaded by Diego Maradona.

After Norman Whiteside's looping shot had earlier hit the bar, Bryan Robson, nicknamed 'Captain Marvel', sent a diving header from close range into the back of the net in the 23rd minute to half the deficit on aggregate.

The now 66-year-old, who was voted as the greatest ever United player in a poll of the club's former stars as part of a book, 19, then put his side 2-0 ahead on the night in the 51st minute after scrambling home after goalkeeper Urruti had fumbled Ray Wilkins' shot.

Just two minutes later, the Red Devils bagged another when Frank Stapleton's half-volley from close range whistled into the back of the net, and that proved to be the winning goal as the hosts went through 3-2 on aggregate.

Ron Atkinson's troops would lose out to eventual champions Juventus across the two legs in the semi-finals, going down 3-2 on aggregate.

Sparky on song

Manchester United 2-1 Barcelona - 15th May 1991

It was more than seven years until Barcelona and United locked horns for the third time and this clash was well worth waiting for, as the pair put on a thrilling show in the 1990/91 European Cup Winners' Cup final.

Mark Hughes turned out to be the hero, with his two second-half goals giving the Red Devils a 2-0 lead, but Ronald Koeman's long-range freekick reduced the arrears before Nando was then sent off for the Catalans for a foul on Hughes when he was bursting into the box.

There was still time for late drama as Clayton Blackmore cleared Michael Laudrup's shot off the line after a mistake at the back by Steve Bruce, but it was not to be for Barcelona as they couldn't find that elusive equaliser at Stadion Feijenoord, Rotterdam.

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Goals galore in treble-winning season

Manchester United 3-3 Barcelona - 16th September 1998

Barcelona 3-3 Manchester United - 25th November 1998

United and Barcelona were drawn in the same group of the 1998/99 Champions League and they put on two sensational matches, drawing both contests 3-3.

The Red Devils scored 20 goals during the group stage - the most of any side - but they only just scraped into the knockout stages as one of the two highest-ranked second-placed teams.

All that counts is Sir Alex Ferguson's troops made it through and they ended up going on to lift the trophy, ironically in Camp Nou, beating Bayern Munich 2-1 in the final in which Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer both scored in stoppage-time to break German hearts.

That victory also completed the treble for United, who had already been crowned Premier League champions and FA Cup winners.

Messi runs United ragged

Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United - 27th May 2009

The Stadio Olimpico in Rome was the venue for the 2009 Champions League final and it was Barcelona who managed to get the better of United this time, running out 2-0 winners in a game that Lionel Messi dazzled in.

Samuel Eto'o put the Catalans ahead in the 10th minute before Argentine Messi rose highest to score one of his rare headed goals 20 minutes from time - his ninth of the tournament as he ended up with the Golden Boot.

Bragging rights belong to Barcelona

That Champions League final victory in 2009 is the first of four straight victories for Barcelona over United, who have not beaten the Spaniards since 2008.

Since lifting the trophy in Rome, the Catalans have chalked up 3-1, 1-0 and 3-0 wins to leave them comfortably ahead in the head-to-head record.

Will they make it a fifth straight triumph on 16th February?

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