Manchester United and Barcelona are two of the biggest clubs in Europe. They are also among the most successful in the world of football.
United have seen a decline since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. But back in the time of the Scottish manager, they were quite a force to be reckoned with. In fact, they considered the Premier League title as their birthright, and also won two Champions Leagues.
Meanwhile, Barca has also dominated the domestic league in Spain over the years, with an incredible 27 La Liga titles to their name. Man Utd are not their biggest rivals but whenever the two teams come together, the spectacle is always great to watch. And that’s why, football enthusiasts cannot wait for their matches to watch and bet on through Botswana betting sites.
Below we have compiled a list of some of the most memorable matches between United and Barcelona.
1- Manchester United 3-0 Barcelona (1983-84 Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final)
This was the time before Sir Alex Ferguson took over the club as manager and completely transformed their fortunes. It was the second leg of the 1983-84 Cup Winners’ Cup and the Red Devils were trailing 2-0 after the game at Camp Nou.
The Catalans were reportedly so sure of their progress to the later round of the competition that they brought only a few supporters with them. But they couldn’t have been more wrong as United shocked them with a stunning performance. They netted three goals and won the tie. Their victory was all the more incredible considering the Spanish giants boasted two of the best footballers in their ranks – Maradona and Bernd Schuster.
2- Manchester United 2-1 Barcelona (1990-91 Cup Winners’ Cup final)
The great Johan Cruyff was at the helm of affairs at Barcelona when they took on United in the final of the 1990-91 UEFA Cup Winners Cup. Despite having the tactical genius of Cruyff, the Red Devils managed to prevail in the famous game.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side was technically inferior but they still defeated the Dream Team of Barca. Robson was the standout performer as he was the architect of both goals for the English side. Thus, they claimed their first European trophy in 23 years.
3- Manchester United 3-3 Barcelona (1998-99 Champions League)
This was one of the most thrilling matches in the history of the elite competition. Both sides scored a combined six goals but ultimately the spoils of the game were shared.
Rivaldo was in top form in the match as he netted two equalisers, hit the bar, and produced an excellent near-assist for a late goal. But United held out for a point, ultimately going through to the knockouts alongside Bayern Munich.
4- Manchester United 0-2 Barcelona (2009 Champions League final)
United had a brilliant chance to claim back-to-back European titles after they made it to the final in 2009. But standing in their way was Barcelona who are always very opponents to beat.
With Cristiano Ronaldo leading their attack, the Red Devils pinned back Barca in their own half. But it was the Catalans who managed to get the early breakthrough, with Samuel Eto’o poking the ball past the keeper after cutting in from the right.
With Xavi and Andres Iniesta in their ranks, the Spanish side dominated midfield, giving very rare opportunities for the United attackers to exploit. And then in the 70th minute, Lionel Messi scored another goal with an excellent header. Thus they ended up lifting the coveted Champions League trophy.
5- Manchester United 1-3 Barcelona (2011 Champions League final)
Lionel Messi is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. The Argentine is so famous that even seemingly trivial details of his life are interesting for a huge majority of fans. His relationship status, his early childhood, his friends circle all generate interest among football enthusiasts, alongside intriguing things about his life such as is Messi autistic.
The experienced forward was at the centre of everything when Barcelona won the 2011 Champions League final. Under Pep Guardiola’s leadership,they completely dominated Manchester United at Wembley. Pedro opened the scoring in the 27th minute before Wayne Rooney restored parity just before half-time. Then, Messi produced a moment of magic to double their advantage early in the second-half. David Villa also joined the party by scoring another goal, with Barca comfortably winning the match 3-1.
Manchester United would have won five Champions League trophies if not for Barcelona. But the English side have also defeated their opponents in several major tournaments. We saw the most recent example of that in the 2022-23 Europa League knockout round play-off when United defeated the Catalans on an aggregate 4-3 scoreline. They played out a 2-2 draw in the first-leg at Camp Nou but emerged victorious by 2-1 at Old Trafford, thus making it through to the round of 16.