Clayton Blackmore and Steve Bruce celebrate Montpellier win.

Our record against French clubs in France

Manchester United must overturn a 2-0 deficit in Paris on Wednesday night to keep our UEFA Champions League hopes alive, but fixtures across the Channel have rarely been straightforward in the past.

However, the Reds have only suffered two defeats on trips to France. We look back at our 14 previous visits to L’Hexagon
 
LILLE OSC
United have faced Les Dogues in France three times but, remarkably, have never played in Lille itself. Due to UEFA regulations, the Hauts-de-France club were forced to play Champions League games in other locations until their current stadium was complete.
 
Back in October 2001, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s early strike helped to secure a 1-1 draw at the Stade Félix-Bollaert, RC Lens's stadium, thus securing United’s progression to the Champions League knockout stages. 
 
In November 2005, this time at the Stade de France in Paris, a Milenko Ačimovič goal condemned the Reds to a 1-0 defeat that contributed towards a rare group-stage exit for the club. 
 
We hit back the following season, when Lille were drawn as our opponents in the first knockout round. As in 2001, the game was played in Lens, and a Ryan Giggs free-kick earned a first-leg lead that would put the Reds on our way to the quarter-finals.
Henrik Larsson, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney stand over free-kick against Lille.
A quickly-taken Ryan Giggs free-kick caught Lille off guard in 2007.
RC STRASBOURG
Strasbourg was not only the scene of United’s first-ever away day in France, but also our biggest win against a French club, home or away. Goals from John Connelly, David Herd, Denis Law (2) and Bobby Charlton delivered a 5-0 win in May 1965, sending United into the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup semi-final against Hungarian club Ferencváros.
 
OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS
United have played at Lyon’s Stade de Gerland twice in the Champions League – before the club moved to the new Parc Olympique Lyonnais – and drew on both occasions. 
 
In September 2004, Ruud van Nistelrooy scored a brace in a 2-2 draw as the Reds qualified for the knockout stages but finished below Les Gones in the group.
 
Carlos Tevez was the scorer in a 1-1 draw back in February 2008, in the first leg of a last-16 tie, and a Cristiano Ronaldo winner in the return leg was enough to send us through, on our way to an historic European triumph against Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
AS SAINT-ETIENNE
Saint-Étienne will be well remembered by older United fans as the French side that played against the Reds… in Plymouth! In the 1977/78 European Cup Winners’ Cup first round, United travelled to the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard and brought back a 1-1 draw, courtesy of Gordon Hill’s goal. Over 31,000 people then packed into Plymouth’s Home Park to see United win the home leg 2-0, after UEFA ordered United to play at least 200km from Old Trafford because bottles and baguettes had been thrown between supporters in the away leg. 
 
More recently, in February 2017, a Henrikh Mkhitaryan strike secured passage through to the Europa League round of 16 with a 4-0 aggregate win, following a Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick at Old Trafford in the first leg. The Reds would go on to win the trophy in Stockholm with a 2-0 win over Ajax in the final. 
 
AS MONACO
One of the more uneventful trips to France was a journey to the Stade Louis II in March 1998. We won our Champions League group and drew Les Monégasques in the quarter-final. A 0-0 away stalemate seemed like a decent result, but we could only muster a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford and unfortunately exited the competition on away goals.
Florentin Pogba and Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba and his brother, Florentin, leave the pitch together after United's 1-0 win against Saint-Etienne in 2017.
OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE
United were drawn in Marseille’s group in the 1999/2000 Champions League, but fell to a 1-0 defeat at the Stade Vélodrome thanks to a William Gallas strike. The Reds won the reverse tie 2-1, thanks to goals from Andy Cole and Paul Scholes, and topped the group.
 
A 0-0 draw in southern France in February 2011 was followed by a 2-1 win at Old Trafford, thanks to a brace from Javier Hernández, as United progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals on our way to the final at Wembley.
 
MONTPELLIER HSC
The Reds came face-to-face with Montpellier at the Stade de la Masson in March 1991, having drawn 1-1 at Old Trafford in the Cup Winners Cup quarter-final first leg. A free-kick from Clayton Blackmore and a Steve Bruce penalty sent United through to a semi-final against Legia Warsaw, and Ferguson’s side would go on to defeat Barcelona in the final. 
Paul Scholes shoots at goal against Marseille in 1999.
Paul Scholes shoots in vain during United's 1-0 defeat to Marseille in 1999, but he then scored the winner in Manchester.
FC GIRDONDINS DE BORDEAUX
United’s only away day in Bordeaux resulted in a 2-1 victory at the Stade du Parc Lescure – now the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas – in March 2000, after goals from Roy Keane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The win completed the Reds’ double over Les Girondins and meant we topped our Champions League group, ensuring we progressed to meet Real Madrid in the quarters.
 
FC NANTES
United have travelled to the Pays de la Loire on just one occasion, bringing back a 1-1 draw in February 2002 thanks to a last-minute van Nistelrooy penalty. Les Canaris were then thrashed 5-1 in the return game at Old Trafford, thanks to goals from David Beckham, Solskjaer, Mikael Silvestre and van Nistelrooy. The result helped us top our group in the second stage of that year’s competition, and would eventually lead to a quarter-final tie against Deportivo La Coruna.
 
UNITED'S RECORD IN FRANCE
 
Played: 14
Won: 5
Drawn: 7
Lost: 2
Goals For: 17
Goals Against: 9

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