Date: 15th April 2009 at 1:16pm
Written by:

Champions League tie, first leg: a barely-deserved home draw with a tired-looking team in the middle of a fixture congestion. It’s Porto I’m talking about but there’s another, famous duel that can be described thus: Juventus 1999.

Back then United were chasing the Treble, as they are doing now (the fact that we already have two trophies to our name this season is irrelevant in this matter) but were outplayed at Old Trafford by Juventus and even though got a grip on the game in the second half, we could only salvage a 1-1 draw.

Not many gave us a chance at the Stadio delle Alpi and being 2-0 down after a mere 13 minutes made it an even more uphill task. However, United simply annihilated Juventus after that, Roy Keane turning in a majestic performance. Something similar wouldn’t go amiss tonight.

‘Juventus is the game that springs to mind,’ Sir Alex said.

‘We drew at home and then had to win away, which we did. There are plenty of performances we’d like to replicate – it’s not as if we’re short of them.

‘The players have to go out there and play to the standard expected of Manchester United.

‘All of the players have to be up for it on this occasion, it’s not just about individuals. The players are going to have to step up to the plate.’

So be it!