Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged his players to draw on the spirit of Paris ahead of their second leg showdown with Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Manchester United had lost 2-0 in the first leg against Paris Saint-Germain but were able to win 3-1 at the Parc des Princes, advancing to the last eight as a result, and they will look to repeat that feat on Tuesday night, having lost 1-0 to their Catalan opponents in the first leg.
“That memory of PSG will help the players,” Solskjaer told reporters in his press conference on Monday.
“Us, as a team, we know we can turn things around. Barcelona is a difficult prospect. [PSG] is not that long ago and we are one goal better off [now].”
The United manager will return to the scene of his winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
“[There will be] many emotions, it’s a fantastic memory for me,” he said of returning to the Camp Nou.
“The last time I was on this pitch was the only time. I brought my son to watch El Clasico in 2016 and I was here 10 days ago to watch them [against Atletico Madrid].
“I don’t look back on that night too often; I’m just looking forward to seeing if we can play better against Barcelona.”
Just like in the 1999 final, United are a goal down at the Camp Nou after Luke Shaw‘s own goal settled the first leg at Old Trafford.
“In football, you know anything could happen,” Solskjaer noted.
“If we keep a clean sheet, we’re in the tie. We know we can score goals from set pieces; we’re bigger than them [in terms of height].
“But we have to defend well, and I don’t mind if the goal comes in the 93rd minute. We have to be fitter and keep going.”
The Red Devils were criticised by some for their cautious approach to playing Barcelona in the first leg and Solskjaer is hoping for a better performance this time out.
“We didn’t stamp our authority on the game at home,” the Norwegian added.
“We didn’t keep the ball or create chances as we should have. We know we need to perform better and play ourselves. If you give players like [Luis] Suarez and [Lionel] Messi time on the ball you will suffer.
“They have qualities on the counter with [Ousmane] Dembele, who is one of the quickest [players they have], and Messi, who we know about. We have to deal with their qualities in possession and on the counter.”
There have been plenty of rumours surrounding a possible move to Real Madridfor Paul Pogba but Solskjaer batted away any talk of transfers.
“At the moment, Paul‘s focus is on tomorrow night,” Solskjaer stated.
“I have no doubt he’ll play and perform for Manchester United as he has done so far [since returning to the club]. He’s been fantastic.”