After United’s short-lived introduction to the Champions League in 1993/94, we relished the visit of a true European giant – and Barça more than fitted the bill.
There was ample cause for optimism, with United top of Group A after two games and the Catalans surprisingly beaten at Gothenburg in their previous outing.
OT leapt into unbridled fervour when Mark Hughes – the Reds' hero against Barcelona in the 1991 Cup Winners' Cup final – powered home an early header, only for Romario and Jose Bakero to hit back. Cue wave after wave of United attacks, seemingly in vain, until the outstanding Lee Sharpe rescued a draw with an impish back-heel 10 minutes from time.
The Independent reflected on a superb spectacle, and hinted at what lay ahead: “United now know the size of the task if they are to lift the European Cup for a second time.”
United: Schmeichel; Parker, May (Bruce 69), Pallister, Irwin; Kanchelskis, Ince, Keane, Butt (Scholes 67), Sharpe; Hughes.