By Alex Marrow
Last updated: 15/03/19 22:38
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer resisted the urge to draw too many comparisons with Manchester United's three-time winning 1998/99 season, but admitted that there are similarities.
United defeated Chelsea and Arsenal on their way to winning the FA Cup in 1999, a feat already achieved in this year's competition. On Saturday night, they are in the quarterfinals against Molves in Molineux before another tough game.
In the Champions League United battled back after a 2-0 home defeat by Paris Saint-Germain to enter the quarter-finals last week. The penalty of Marcus Rashford was thus led to victory.
Comebacks in 1999 were the hallmark of United's success, notably a Roy Keane-inspired recovery against Juventus in the semifinals and a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich that would solidify Solskjers place in the club's history.
The Norwegian has announced a stop-winner this evening in Barcelona and now hopes that he will be able to lead his former team to a fourth European triumph as interim coach this season.
"To win trophies, you have to win at least one or two really difficult games, they define moments," said Solskjaer. "We beat Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal back then and you think you'll get lucky in the draw next time.
"But wolves away, what a difficult game that can be.
"A comparison with 1999? We are not a challenge to win the league this year, but we demand the other two trophies."
Twenty years after the famous victory in Barcelona, Solskjaer laughed at comments pointing out that his jersey number was 20 at the time. He did not believe in fate.
"I think you get what you deserve in life and in sports," he said. "If you work hard and show the right attitude, you can maximize your chances.
"We've shown against PSG that we can beat a top team every day, but on the other hand, there are so many variables, and in those games, margins decide.
"With VAR, although it's a punishment for me, you could be unlucky and not get it, and we could get out and nobody would remember the PSG performance.
"We can go all the way, but you have to be lucky and good."
The defeats of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG led to suggestions that the tournament should be opened. But Solskjaer was not so sure with a quarter-final tie against Barcelona and a still-free Cristiano Ronaldo still in the tournament with Juventus.
"I do not think Cristiano is still there," said Solskjaer.
"It goes in cycles, Porto won it in 2004, Monaco reached the final, Ajax, you never know, every day everyone can beat anyone.
"You deserve your luck, but sometimes it's better to be lucky than good."
Play Super 6
Predict 6 correct results for your chance to win 250,000 €.