European Cup Winners' Cup
Third Round, Second Leg
Old Trafford, Manchester
21 Mar, 1984
MANCHESTER UNITED 3
(Robson 22, 50; Stapleton 55)
FC BARCELONA 0
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Few gave the Reds much hope of progressing to the fourth round of the Cup Winners' Cup after Ron Atkinson's men came away from the first leg at Camp Nou 2-0 down.
"It just wasn't our night," bemoaned captain Bryan Robson. "But having seen Barcelona with things going for them, we know we're capable of getting through, despite their lead."
His words proved prophetic. Roared on by a clamorous 58,547 crowd, the Reds ran riot in the second leg, producing a rousing comeback to quicken the pulse rate well beyond acceptable levels.
The performance was not lost on honorary president Sir Matt Busby, who said: “The game took me right back to the time we pulled back two goals against Bilbao at Maine Road for that memorable win in our first season in Europe.”
That night, in February 1957, the Babes had overturned a 5-3 first-leg deficit. This time it was Barcelona – Diego Maradona et al – letting their lead slip. Robson’s full-length diving header on 22 minutes kept the crowd believing; the fans were buoyed with optimism, the players sensed Barça were wobbling, and in a swift, second-half spell the comeback was completed.
Robson struck home a parried Ray Wilkins cross on 50 minutes. Then, five