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Top ten Man U v Barca

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  • 5 looks back at previous meetings between the sides ahead of the Champions League final

Wembley is the setting for a titanic showdown on Saturday as Manchester United and Barcelona do battle in the UEFA Champions League final for the right to be named Europe's finest.

A thrilling contest is anticipated with both sides in great form and set to go on the attack, and history suggests there will be no shortage of drama. here counts down ten previous meetings between the sides.

Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0 - 1984

Hard to believe as it may be now, but in the 1980s both Barcelona and Manchester United were struggling to assert their superiority domestically, never mind in Europe. Neither had titles to celebrate in 1983 but made it through to the now defunct Cup Winners' Cup, where they would meet in the quarter-finals. Barca had home advantage for the first leg and carved out what appeared to be a decisive 2-0 lead thanks to an own goal from young Scottish defender Graeme Hogg and fantastic late strike from Juan Carlos Rojo.

Manchester United 3 Barcelona 0 -1984

Most experts gave Manchester United little chance of overturning their 2-0 deficit in the second leg, but Bryan Robson inspired a sensational comeback on what came to be regarded as one of the most famous European nights ever witnessed at Old Trafford. The passion of fans and players combined to generate an electrifying atmosphere and it was Robson who grabbed the first goal with a diving header before half-time. 'Captain Marvel' then made it all square on aggregate after taking advantage of a goalkeeping mistake, before Frank Stapleton slotted home the winner. Ron Atkinson's side could not go any further, though, as they were knocked out by Juventus in the semi-finals.

Manchester United 2 Barcelona 1 - 1991

Manchester United ended a 23-year European trophy drought in the first season after the ban on English clubs competing in Europe had been lifted. A failure during his own spell at Camp Nou, Mark Hughes gained his revenge in the Cup Winners' Cup final. He broke the deadlock from close range shortly after half-time and then scored a brilliant second, from a seemingly impossible angle, to put the Red Devils on the brink of glory. Ronald Koeman reduced Barcelona's arrears and United had to withstand a late onslaught before the celebrations could begin.

Manchester United 2 Barcelona 2 - 1994

Manchester United and Barcelona were pitted together in the group phase of the 1994/5 Champions League, when only 16 teams qualified for the competition. Their first meeting resulted in an exciting 2-2 draw as Sir Alex Ferguson's side battled hard for a point at Old Trafford. Mark Hughes' opener was cancelled out by Romario's equaliser as a plan to deploy Paul Parker at sweeper to deal with the Brazilian failed. Jose Maria Bakero then put Barca ahead and it was left to Lee Sharpe to salvage a point for the hosts courtesy of a cheeky back-heel from Roy Keane's cross.

Barcelona 4 Manchester United 0 - 1994

Manchester United may have survived at home but limitations on the number of foreign players allowed in European games exposed their lack of strength in depth at Camp Nou, as they ran into Johan Cruyff's 'Dream Team' at precisely the wrong time. Battered 4-0 by AC Milan in the previous season's final, Barca had a lot to prove in the Champions League group stage clash. The forward pairing of Hristo Stoichkov and Romario were superb, the Bulgarian scoring twice, the Brazilian once, with Albert Ferrer adding another in a one-sided romp. Barca still finished behind surprise group winners IFK Gothenburg, with United missing out altogether on a place in the next round.

Manchester United 3 Barcelona 3 -1998

Another memorable Champions League group stage encounter. Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs scored within three minutes of each other early in the match before Brazilians Sonny Anderson and Giovanni brought Barca level by the hour mark. David Beckham restored Manchester United's lead with a stunning free-kick as his rehabilitation from being sent off at the World Cup continued. However, Nicky Butt was sent off for handball and Luis Enrique equalised from the penalty spot, ensuring a nervy final 20 minutes for United as Barca pushed for a winner which never came.

Barcelona 3 Manchester United 3 - 1998

Miraculously the sides did it all over again two months later. This time Barcelona led first through Sonny Anderson, but Dwight Yorke equalised and Andy Cole put Manchester United ahead following an exchange of passes with his strike partner that showed off their almost telepathic understanding. Rivaldo's free-kick put the Catalan giants back on level terms before Yorke headed home his second goal of the game. Rivaldo completed the scoring with a sublime bicycle kick to deny United victory, although they would make a triumphant return to Camp Nou at the end of the season to beat Bayern Munich in the final and clinch an unprecedented Treble.

Barcelona 0 Manchester United 0 - 2008

Manchester United supporters worrying about whether it is possible to contain Barcelona ahead of Saturday's final can find reassurance by looking back at this match, as a goalless draw at Camp Nou left their Champions League semi-final tie delicately poised. Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with the professionalism and discipline of his men as they kept Barca at bay in a tight affair, while it could have been even better had Cristiano Ronaldo not missed a penalty following Gabriel Milito's handball.

Manchester United 1 Barcelona 0 - 2008

The stalemate in Spain gave way to a night of unbelievable tension in the second leg at Old Trafford. Lionel Messi was at his brilliant best but with Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown outstanding, Manchester United somehow clung on to the early advantage given to them by Paul Scholes' fantastic strike and booked their first final appearance since 1999. Another nervy evening lay in store in Russia as United saw off Premier League rivals Chelsea on penalties to claim European glory.

Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0 - 2009

Sir Alex Ferguson professes to know what went wrong in Rome but will not say. After a bright start it looked like a clear case of Manchester United meeting opponents who were better than them. Samuel Eto'o found the net early and after that, Ferguson's men were chasing shadows as Xavi and Andres Iniesta pulled the strings in midfield and Barcelona produced a football masterclass. Lionel Messi eventually headed home a superb second to seal it but it could have been many more, as United's attempt to become the first club to defend the Champions League trophy ended in failure.

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