“The best atmosphere I experienced at Old Trafford,” was Bryan Robson’s description of the soil-shaking din which soundtracked United’s European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final clash with Barcelona on 21 March, 1984...
The Background: The Catalans arrived at Old Trafford with a 2-0 first leg lead, after United had passed up plentiful chances in Camp Nou. Bryan Robson, in particular, carried the burden of the defeat, and he promised to atone for his misses by scoring in the second leg. Regardless, few gave United any hope beforehand, especially with the mercurial Diego Maradona in the visitors' ranks.
The Occasion: The Reds set about their visitors like a pack of starving dogs. Remi Moses hounded Maradona into sulking submission, Norman Whiteside and Frank Stapleton snapped away upfront and the back five remained fiercely impervious throughout. But at the heart of everything was Robson. After 22 minutes, he’d delivered his pre-match promise with a diving header. Shortly after half-time, Captain Marvel pounced on a goalkeeping error from Javier Urruti to slide United level. When Frank Stapleton smashed in a close range shot a minute later, the Reds were home and hosed.
The Aftermath: At full-time, hundreds of jubilant fans cascaded onto