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Fortress Old Trafford beckons for Inter

Published: Wednesday 25 February 2009, 1.45CET
Manchester United FC go into their second-leg tie against FC Internazionale Milano with an 18-match unbeaten home record but the Serie A club have in José Mourinho a coach who knows what it takes to silence Old Trafford.
Fortress Old Trafford beckons for Inter
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo experienced a frustrating night in Milan ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

Man. UnitedInternazionale

Goals scored18
 
8
Attempts on target89
 
45
Attempts off target94
 
59
Corners87
 
45
Offsides40
 
27
Fouls committed167
 
142
Yellow cards14
 
12
Red cards1
 
0
 
Published: Wednesday 25 February 2009, 1.45CET

Fortress Old Trafford beckons for Inter

Manchester United FC go into their second-leg tie against FC Internazionale Milano with an 18-match unbeaten home record but the Serie A club have in José Mourinho a coach who knows what it takes to silence Old Trafford.

Manchester United FC's impressive home record in the UEFA Champions League augurs well for their prospects when they conclude their first knockout round tie against FC Internazionale Milano having eked out a goalless draw in the first leg in Italy.

• United largely enjoyed the upper hand at San Siro, with only a fine goalkeeping display from Júlio César keeping Sir Alex Ferguson's side – and Cristiano Ronaldo in particular – at bay. The draw, however, was enough for United to set a new record of 20 games unbeaten in the competition.

• The English club have had mixed fortunes when they have drawn 0-0 away in the first leg of a European Champion Clubs' Cup tie, winning twice but losing the other two. On both occasions when they have gone through – against FK Sarajevo in the 1967/68 second round and FC Barcelona in last season's semi-finals – United went on to lift the trophy. However, two recent UEFA Champions League campaigns have been ended by a home defeat following a goalless first leg, against AS Monaco FC in the 1997/98 quarter-finals and Real Madrid CF at the same stage two years later.

• The reigning champions are, however, unbeaten in 18 matches at Old Trafford in the competition proper dating back more than four years. That said, Inter coach José Mourinho has more reason than most to travel with confidence, given he has suffered just one defeat in five previous visits to play United with former clubs FC Porto and Chelsea FC.

• Mourinho's first assignment at Old Trafford came when he steered Porto past United in the 2003/04 first knockout round, the Portuguese side – 2-1 ahead from the first leg – securing a 3-2 aggregate success when Costinha cancelled out a Paul Scholes goal with a 90th-minute equaliser in the return fixture on 9 March 2004.

• During his time at Chelsea from 2004 to 2007, Mourinho's charges recorded two victories at United in the 2004/05 season – one in the Premier League (3-1), another in the League Cup (2-1) – before losing 1-0 there in 2005/06 and drawing 1-1 the following season.

• Overall, Mourinho suffered only one defeat in ten matches against United with Chelsea. His record read W5 D4 L1 and included a 1-0 victory against the Old Trafford side in the 2007 FA Cup final at Wembley.

• On the only previous occasion when Inter have been held to a goalless home draw in the first leg of a European Cup tie – against Celtic FC in the 1971/72 semi-finals – the Italian side triumphed, winning through 5-4 on penalties after the second leg had also finished 0-0, although they went on to lose 2-0 to AFC Ajax in the final.

• Sir Alex's men are seeking to turn the clock back ten years to their 3-1 aggregate quarter-final elimination of Inter en route to their UEFA Champions League triumph of 1999 in what was the clubs' only previous encounter.

• Dwight Yorke struck two first-half goals (7, 45) to earn United a 2-0 success in the first leg at Old Trafford against an Inter side coached by Mircea Lucescu.

• The full lineups for that fixture on 3 March 1999 were:
Man United: Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, Ronny Johnsen (Henning Berg), Jaap Stam, Denis Irwin, David Beckham, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes (Nicky Butt), Ryan Giggs, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole.
Inter: Gianluca Pagliuca, Francesco Colonnese, Giuseppe Bergomi, Fabio Galante, Javier Zanetti, Benoît Cauet, Diego Simeone, Aron Winter, Youri Djorkaeff, Iván Zamorano (Nicola Ventola), Roberto Baggio (Andrea Pirlo).

• When the sides met again a fortnight later, United became the first English team to avoid defeat away to the Nerazzurri. Inter substitute Nicola Ventola raised home hopes of a fightback with a goal after 63 minutes but another substitute, Scholes of United, secured the visitors' passage to the quarter-finals with an equaliser two minutes from time.

• The teams that night were:
Inter: Gianluca Pagliuca, Francesco Colonnese, Giuseppe Bergomi (Francesco Moriero), Taribo West, Javier Zanetti, Benoît Cauet, Diego Simeone (Zé Elias), Mikaël Silvestre, Iván Zamorano, Ronaldo (Nicola Ventola), Roberto Baggio.
Man United: Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, Henning Berg, Jaap Stam, Denis Irwin, David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ronny Johnsen (Paul Scholes), Ryan Giggs (Phil Neville), Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole.

• Overall United have a strong home record against Italian clubs with eleven wins, two draws and two defeats from 15 previous contests.

• They have won their last four matches against Serie A visitors over the previous two UEFA Champions League campaigns, three of them against AS Roma, including the famous 7-1 rout of the Giallorossi in April 2007.

• The last opposition team to triumph at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League were Inter's city rivals AC Milan, who came away with a 1-0 first-leg win in a first knockout round tie on 23 February 2005, courtesy of a Hernán Crespo strike. Milan went on to eliminate United 2-0 on aggregate.

• In two-legged ties against Italian sides down the years, United have won four and lost six.

• Inter's record in England is three wins, one draw and six defeats from their previous ten visits.

• The Nerazzurri lost 2-0 at Liverpool FC in their most recent match away to Premier League opposition in the first knockout round last term, succumbing to late goals from Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard. They finished 3-0 losers on aggregate after Fernando Torres scored the only goal of the return.

• Inter's most recent victory in England was a 3-0 triumph at Arsenal FC in the 2003/04 group stage courtesy of goals from Julio Cruz, Andy van der Meyde and Obafemi Martins.

• Inter have won five of their previous eight two-legged ties against teams from England.

• While United are now aiming for a third consecutive quarter-final appearance, Inter are out to make amends for successive defeats at this stage in 2006/07 and 2007/08.

• Despite their impressive home record, United have won only one of their three games at Old Trafford in this season's competition – beating Celtic FC 3-0. The two other visitors in the group stage, Villarreal CF (0-0) and Aalborg BK (2-2), both departed with draws.

• Inter's away form in the group stage was mixed. They opened their campaign with a 2-0 win at Panathinaikos FC but then drew at Anorthosis Famagusta FC (3-3) and lost at Werder Bremen (1-2).

• Nobody on Inter's playing staff is better acquainted with the English champions than Brazilian winger Mancini, who faced them six times with former club Roma over the course of the two previous seasons. Although he struck Roma's equaliser in a 1-1 group-stage draw in Italy in December 2007, he is unlikely to hold too many fond memories of opponents who won four of those six encounters – including that 7-1 quarter-final defeat.

• Inter midfielder Patrick Vieira converted the deciding spot-kick on his final appearance for ex-club Arsenal against United in the FA Cup final in May 2005. Vieira's Arsenal prevailed 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw.

• Another Inter man with experience of cup success against United is Sulley Muntari. The Ghanaian's 78th-minute penalty gave his old club Portsmouth FC a 1-0 win at United in the quarter-finals of last season's FA Cup en route to winning the trophy.

• Dejan Stanković was in the S.S. Lazio side that defeated United 1-0 in the 1999 UEFA Super Cup.

• Inter's Portuguese winger Luís Figo and United's Ronaldo both came through the youth ranks at Sporting Clube de Portugal.

• United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar had a spell in Serie A with Juventus between 1999 and 2001, while full-back Patrice Evra also played in Italy in the late 1990s for Marsala Calcio and Monza Calcio, although he never appeared in the top flight.

• United have contested three penalty shoot-outs in UEFA club competition:
4-5 v Fehérvár, 1984/85 UEFA Cup quarter-finals
3-4 v Torpedo Moskva, 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round
6-5 v Chelsea, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League final

• Inter have won two and lost two of their past four shoot-outs:
5-4 v Celtic FC, 1971/72 European Cup semi-final
3-4 v Aston Villa FC, 1994/95 UEFA Cup first round
5-3 v Grazer AK, 1996/97 UEFA Cup second round
1-4 v FC Schalke 04, 1996/97 UEFA Cup final

• The draw for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on 20 March.

Last updated: 09/03/09 15.38CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15277/match=302796/prematch/background/index.html#fortress+old+trafford+beckons+inter

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