First Rafael Benitez was summoning the 'spirit of Istanbul' to help his Liverpool side overcome Chelsea in the Champions League. And now it is the turn of Manchester United chief Sir Alex Ferguson, who has told his players to evoke the spirit of 1999 when they take on Porto in Wednesday night's Champions League quarter-final second leg. The Red Devils face an uphill struggle if they are to progress to the semi-finals and keep their hopes of a quintuple alive. A 2-2 draw in the first leg at Old Trafford means United - barring a higher scoring draw or another 2-2 stalemate and success on spot-kicks - need to become the first English side to win at the Estadio do Dragao. But in 1999, the year they won the treble, United met Juventus in the Champions League semi-finals. And having drawn 1-1 at home, they came back from 2-0 down in the away leg to win 3-2. Ferguson remembers it well, and wants his players to keep it in mind too. “We have had a lot of good European nights but Juventus is probably the one that stands out,” he said. “After a draw at home, we won away, which we hope is the same again. It was a night when a lot of the big players played well. “There are plenty of performances we would like to replicate and I trust these players to do it.” Of Ferguson’s current squad, only Gary Neville started that match in Turin 10 years ago, although Paul Scholes came off the bench and Ryan Giggs, injured for the semi-final, returned for the final against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp. NEWS: Ronaldo: Reds will reign in Dragons' den NEWS: Mariano: Porto will finish off United job UNITED FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel, Carlos Tevez Q&A Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistlerooy One on One David Beckham, George Best Ask A Silly Question Bryan Robson Boy's A Bit Special Danny Simpson Perfect XI Garth Crooks, Bryan Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona What Happened Next? David May, Norman Whiteside Sing When You’re Winning Dominic Monaghan, Ian Brown And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate United players (and others) on Talentspotter
15 April 2009
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