Manchester United’s Champions League finals
Another Champions League season group stage gets underway this evening. Premier League champions Manchester United are at home to Bayer Leverkusen.
The German side beat United in the 2002 Champions League semi-final, and David Moyes will be hoping they don’t cause any such problems as he attempts to make his first Champions League campaign a success.
He has got quite a record to live up to. So we’re offering Moyes a reminder he probably doesn’t need about the occasions on which United have gone all the way to the final.
When it comes to Europe’s premier club competition, tickets for all live events are in big demand. But for a Champions League final on homesoil, United fans were desperate to see their side take on Barca at Wembley. Having secured your tickets for such a game the last thing you want to see is your team comprehensively outplayed. But that’s exactly what happened as a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona ran out 3-1 winners. Sir Alex Ferguson called the Catalan side’s mesmerising passing display as a “carousel”.
Rome was the host city for this clash as Barcelona imposed themselves as European football’s top team. An early Samuel Eto’o goal a rare Lionel Messi header and a masterclass in midfield passing secured a 2-0 win for Barca.
The Premier League’s big two of the time headed to Moscow to battle it out to be crowned champions of Europe. Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener was cancelled out by Frank Lampard, and the game eventually went to penalties. John Terry famously slipped as he took a spot-kick that would have won the trophy for the Blues. Edwin Van Der Sar was the hero as he then saved from Nicolas Anelka to ensure United won the competition for a third time.
Bayern Munich (1999)
Arguably United’s most famous visit to a Champions League final. What can you say that hasn’t already been said by Clive Tyldesley? Mario Basler gave the German giants an early lead and that was the way it stayed until injury time. Goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunner Solskjaer secured a famous win for United.
United’s first visit to a Champions League final – or the European Cup final as it was then – came in 1968 when they were up against the might of Portuguese side Benfica. Bobby Charlton opened the scoring with a rare header, before Graca equalised for the Benfica. But 10 years after the Munich Air Disaster, it was United’s name written on the trophy and they secured a 1-4 win at Wembley with extra-time goals from George Best, Brian Kidd and a second from Charlton.