Manchester United vs Barcelona Preview: UEFA Champions League match preview, 3 reasons why United has no chance against Barca in the quarterfinal
Manchester United have undergone a serious resurgence ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over in 2018. It is astonishing to see what the Norwegian has been able to accomplish in that little time. Away wins at Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur represent the kind of mental change he has inspired in his players.
In the Champions League, United overturned a 2-0 deficit against French giants, PSG, to qualify for the quarterfinals. The tricky situation now becomes a mountain to climb. Barcelona is the one team United fans dreaded facing in the Champions League's last eight. It was confirmed on Friday that Barcelona would square off with Ole's charges for a place in the last four.
To some extent, United have been able to silence doubters by pulling off wins where they were least expected to. However, the last two matches have shown that the team has some weaknesses that will be exposed further by Barcelona.
This is not a team that needs a second invitation. It is one that punishes with reckless abandon when a sniff of a chance comes by. These three factors give United a distinct disadvantage in their quest to qualify for the semifinals.
Ole's tactics may have been effective against big teams such as Chelsea, Arsenal, and even PSG but they will be punished by Barcelona. Against these teams, United's players had been happy to just sit deep and absorb the pressure.
Their reliance on the counter-attack has been effective, but what happens if the counterattacks don't reap fruit? They will be vulnerable to counter attacks themselves by players who know how to score.
Barca will simply not miss. They pose a threat from all areas of the pitch. Any set piece near the Manchester United box will be a recipe for danger. Any fluid attacking move into the United box could result in a goal, given how United have shown to be poor at defending squared balls.