Paul Pogba is our creator, says Manchester United boss Solksjaer ahead of Barcelona clash
Man United boss Solskjaer insists midfielder Pogba will be his team's driving force when Red Devils take on Barcelona in quarter-final first leg tonight
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United's remarkable recovery to eliminate Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16 has instilled a belief they can also end Barcelona's European dreams.
The Spanish champions travel to Old Trafford tonight for the first leg of their quarter-final tie aiming to take another step closer to a third treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey since 2009.
United have the task of stopping an on-form Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, but Solskjaer is confident his side have learned from their mistakes in losing 0-2 at home to PSG before pulling off a miraculous 3-1 victory in Paris to progress on away goals.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
"I can feel the tension, the excitement. I felt the mood ahead of PSG home game was different. We have learnt from that PSG game. And when you get Barcelona, with the quality of their team, we know we need to step up our game," said the Norwegian.
If Barcelona have Messi, then United have Paul Pogba and Solskjaer is counting on the French star, who returns from suspension after being sent-off in the first leg defeat to PSG.
"Everyone has to perform at their best level, but at Paul's best he can run a game like this. He knows the game against PSG wasn't his best. Paul's job is to be the creator and to drive us forward. I expect him to perform tomorrow. He is looking forward to tomorrow. He is a Man United player, one of our big performers on the big stage. I cannot see him not playing for Manchester United next season."
'Messi is fantastic'
At the same time, Solskjaer admitted that Messi holds the key for Barcelona. "He [Messi] is a fantastic player and he'll go down in history as one of the best individual players ever. He'll be difficult to stop but it's never impossible," added Solskjaer.
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