Let's be honest: the recent Champions League draw in Nyon couldn’t have gone much better from United’s point of view.
In the days leading up to the event, an overwhelming 40 per cent of poll respondents on ManUtd.com named FC Porto as their quarter-final opponents of choice. So there were more than a few smiles among United supporters last Friday when the Reds were paired with the Portuguese champions.
What’s more, it’s hard to ignore the fact that United’s path to a possible final in Rome won’t include Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool or Chelsea. Instead, victory over Porto would set up a semi-final tie with either Arsenal or Villarreal, both sides who finished second in the group stage and currently lie fourth in their domestic leagues.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
Former United midfielder Mickey Thomas warns, “Remember, Porto knocked us out in 2004.”
How could we forget? Then Porto manager Jose Mourinho’s run down the touchline when Costinha scored that late goal must have been broadcast 100 times before the Special One’s recent return to Old Trafford with Inter.
“It’s important not to think of the quarter-final as a formality," Mickey adds. "Poor teams don’t