Champions League Group Stage
Old Trafford, 19 October 1994
MANCHESTER UNITED 2
Hughes 20, Sharpe 80
Romario 34, Bakero 50
United: Schmeichel; Parker, Pallister, May (Bruce 69), Irwin; Kanchelskis, Butt (Scholes 67), Ince, Keane, Sharpe; Hughes.
Barcelona: Busquets; Luis (Eusebio 45), Koeman, Abelardo; Guardiola, Nadal, Bakero, Sergi; Stoichkov, Romario, Beguiristain (Jordi 67).
Old Trafford buzzed with anticipation at the return of a true European giant – and the first-ever Champions League game between these two sides didn’t disappoint…
In a nutshell: The taste of things to come in Europe for Sir Alex’s men. United hammered Barça early and took a deserved lead when former Blaugranes boy Mark Hughes powered home a header from Lee Sharpe’s inviting cross. But back came Barcelona and hit United with two sucker punches either side of the break through Romario and Jose Bakero. Not to be deterred, the Reds brought on Paul Scholes for his European debut, poured forward and Sharpe rescued a point with an impish backheel 10 minutes from time.
Star man: Fleet-footed Sharpe was outstanding all night, delivering the kind of classic left-wing display that made him a darling of the Stretford End. Taking full advantage of an injury to Ryan Giggs, he ran Barcelona’s experienced European campaigners ragged – in particular Luis, who was withdrawn at half-time.
Key moment: Sharpe’s skilfully flicked equaliser, which he considers his favourite Reds goal, was richly deserved and maintained United's unbeaten European record at home. “Like Denis Law in his pomp”, was how The Independent’s Glenn Moore