The Champions League semi-final was perfectly poised for the second leg, after United had resolutely repelled almost constant Barcelona pressure to claim a goalless draw in the first meeting.
The Reds had an excellent chance of progressing to the final and yet the Catalans only needed a scoring draw in Manchester to reach Moscow themselves. United's determination to improve on past disappointments at this stage and Paul Scholes' personal mission to make the 2008 final after missing out in '99 made the contest all the more intriguing...
UEFA Champions League, semi-final, second leg
29 April 2008, Old Trafford
MANCHESTER UNITED 1
On the pitch: With Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney out injured, Sir Alex Ferguson had to rejig his line-up. In defence, Owen Hargreaves came in at right-back while this season’s regular incumbent of that spot Wes Brown shuffled across to cover for Vidic alongside Rio Ferdinand. Up front, Rooney was ably replaced by Carlos Tevez up front. Thierry Henry was on the Barcelona bench - a mistake by Frank Rijkaard? Perhaps it was in hindsight as the former Arsenal striker made quite an impact when he came on in the second half. Barca captain Carles Puyol returned from suspension, replacing the suspended Rafa Marquez, and Deco started again after a run-out the previous weekend. Ronaldinho was injured and it was widely felt he had already played his last game for Barca.
Star man: Tevez embodied the spirit which saw United through by chasing every cause, hassling defenders and running his heart out for the Reds.
How United lined up: Van der Sar; Hargreaves, Ferdinand, Brown, Evra (Silvestre 90); Nani (Giggs 76), Scholes (Fletcher 76), Carrick, Park; Ronaldo, Tevez.
Talking point: The club's successful 'Show Your Colours' campaign led to a marked increase in