Didier Drogba says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are like Chelsea in 2012

Chelsea football club player Didier Drog

Manchester United face an uphill battle to make the last four of the Champions League after losing 1-0 to Barcelona at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Luke Shaw’s own goal is all that separates the sides after 90 minutes, but the Red Devils were largely outplayed in the first leg of their quarter-final meeting.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men failed to register a single shot on target and will need to be far more threatening when they reconvene in Spain next week.

Given United overcame a 2-0 home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, though, Barcelona must respect their capacity to come from behind.

The Premier League side have only tasted victory at the Nou Camp once in 1999 when they defeated Bayern Munich to win the Champions League.

Despite the odds being firmly against them, United are now better equipped to handle such situations than when Jose Mourinho was in charge.

Solskjaer has restored a feeling of genuine optimism at the club - something Didier Drogba believes makes the Red Devils a dark horse in the Champions League.

The Ivorian spearheaded Chelsea to the 2012 title after Roberto Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas just two months before that famous night in Munich.

Chelsea FC v SSC Napoli - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

“Did you know I was going to do that in 2012? I didn’t. Not even me, I didn’t know [I could],” Drogba told Goal.

“Maybe someone or a team will come up, a club like Manchester United.

“From what I saw [against PSG], I have to count on them. They have spirit and quality. They have this thing of having a manager who has won it and knows how to win; this is important. It is always something different when a manager has played at the club.

“He knows the spirit, and he knows everything about the club. The players respect that. That’s exactly what happened with Di Matteo and us, and that’s what is happening with Man United and Solskjaer.


“We don’t go too far [with the comparison], but I see a little bit of what we did in 2012 because they won in a place where nobody expected them to win and in a very, very good way. So, it is interesting.”

There are definitely similarities between the two scenarios, and it would be an incredible achievement if United pulled it off.

However, first things first, they have to tick off one of the most difficult challenges in world football: beating Barcelona on their own turf.

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