Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Sunday March 4 2007
(Written by TactfulSheik)
It looks like Dundee United are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of reaching the UEFA Cup final, with a pre-season friendly match against Spanish giants Barcelona.
Dundee United manager Jim McLean masterminded victories over Lens, Uni Craiova, Hajduk Split, Barcelona and Borussia Moenchengladbach on the way to meeting Swedish side IFK Gothenburg in the 1986/87 final.
On the 20th May 1987 at Tannadice, Dundee United drew 1-1 with IFK Gothenburg in the 2nd leg of the European competition, but lost out 2-1 on aggregate after losing the 1st leg 1-0 to a Petterson goal.
Dundee United met Barcelona at the quarter-final stages and were obviously underdogs against Terry Venables' side - which boasted household names like Gary Lineker, Mark Hughes and Steve Archibald amongst its ranks.
In contrast, Dundee United fielded a team of mainly Scottish players - including Paul Hegarty, John Clark, David Narey, Maurice Malpas, Billy Kirkwood, Jim McInally, Ian Redford, Emmonn Bannon, Keviin Gallacher, Ian Ferguson and Paul Sturrock.....players now regarded as legends among the United supporters.
Although, Dundee United still somehow managed to retain their 100% record against the Catalan club, beating them both home and away to secure a Semi-Final tie against German side Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Incidently, it was exactly 20 years ago today (4th of March 1987), that a 2nd minute Kevin Gallacher lob gave Dundee United a inspired 1-0 win over Barcelona at Tannadice.
However, Barcelona were still very confident of victory in the 2nd leg and had even started advertising semi-final tickets to their supporters.
On the 18th of March 1987, Ramon Maria Calderé gave Barcelona a 1-0 lead at the Nou Camp, making the score 1-1 over both legs - but late goals from John Clark and Iain Ferguson gave Dundee United their 4th consecutive victory over the Spanish club, 3-1 on aggregate.
Now, it has been announced that Barcelona are giving serious consideration to a pre-season tour of Scotland, as they prepare for the 2007/08 season.
There is speculation that both Dundee United and Hibs are set to play friendlies against Frank Rijkaard's side, which currently boasts superstars like Ronaldinho, Eto'o, Messi and Deco in their 1st team.
Although, Barcelona still have this season's European Cup to concentrate, with the 2nd leg of their last-16 tie against Liverpool on Tuesday night.
Liverpool are currently favourites, after 1st leg goals from Bellamy and Riise gave them a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp last month, but the Spanish Primera Liga leaders are still very capable of scoring goals - with 49 goals in 24 league matches so far this seasons.
Date:Sunday March 4 2007
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