Date:Tuesday March 4 2008
Only one side have ever won ten consecutive home games in the Champions League. United can be the second.
Though our insipid away form has often been a great hindrance in Europe, United's home record is as close to flawless as it can be. Since Carroll's horrible blunder in February 2005 we haven't lost a home game in the Champions League and won the last 9.
Juventus won ten consecutive home games in the 1996/97 season and that record will be equalled if United defeat Lyon tonight. We are overwhelming favourites to do so therefore a slip-up would be a major disappointment - even though a 0-0 draw would ensure our passage to the quarter-finals.
There has been much talk about why we are so formidable at home, seeing that teams like Milan, Roma (twice), Sporting, Celtic and Benfica have all lost at Old Trafford in recent years. I like the argument that after last season's 7-1 win over Roma, teams fear the same kind of humiliation would happen with them and Gregory Coupet admitted being scared of a similar drubbing.
The atmosphere, that is ridiculed and derided so often, is always special during European games, there's a buzz that Fulham's or Reading's visit simply can't generate. Patrice Evra reckons that the fact we have a wide pitch and we play with pace makes this arena a very formidable one and I agree - so many teams we saw struggling to keep up with our tempo when we raise it.
So here's hoping for 12 consecutive home victories and if our new-found away resiliency does not disappear, we could be in for a showdown at the Luzhniky.
Date:Tuesday March 4 2008
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