FOOTBALL NEWS

02/10/2013 08:18, Report by Ben Hibbs
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Lucescu relishes reunion

Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu is relishing Manchester United's first visit to the Donbass Arena as he faces the Reds for the first time since being defeated in the quarter-finals of the Champions League 14 years ago.

Lucescu was then the Inter Milan coach as United delivered one of many stirring performances that season to win 2-0 at home, with David Beckham twice teeing up Dwight Yorke, before Paul Scholes earned a draw at San Siro to send the Reds into the semi-finals.

The Romanian coach was then in temporary charge of the Nerazzurri, but his position is more stable now at the Donbass Arena, having managed Shakhtar Donetsk since 2004. And he cannot wait to renew rivalries with United.

"Champions League matches are always like a holiday for me – I really look forward to these games," he told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

"Since I became Shakhtar coach, we have brought a lot of big names to Donetsk. Only four great clubs haven't come here yet: Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Liverpool. Now United are playing at the Donbass Arena, but we will need to reach the knockout stage if we want to meet Real or Bayern."

The game has changed since the era-defining Treble season when Lucescu last took on United, and so he won't draw much from past experiences. "I played against United 14 years ago [as coach at Inter]," he said. "Then United was a machine for winning trophies. It was more of an English team then. Now

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