London: Manchester United stalwart Patrice Evra says Chelsea’s surprise Champions League triumph in 2012 offers hope of a glorious finale to a difficult season for the Old Trafford giants.
United drew 1-1 at home with holders Bayern Munich in the quarter final, first leg and face a daunting task in the Allianz Arena on Wednesday if they are to keep their season alive.
There have been signs that United are beginning to find some form in recent weeks, however, and will travel to Germany fuelled by a 4-0 victory away to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday that lifted them into sixth place.
Barring an extraordinary sequence of results United’s only real route back into the Champions League next season is by winning it this year — an identical situation to the one Chelsea found themselves in two years ago.
“I will tell you something,” the French full back said. “It was funny because all season reminded me of the Chelsea season (that they won the Champions League in 2012) when they were not playing well in the league.
“I keep this in my mind. I am not saying we are going to do the same but sometimes you have to be positive so why not? You have to believe. So, yeah, you can say Chelsea is our inspiration.”
Chelsea beat Bayern on penalties in the final in Munich that season, qualifying for the next tournament despite finishing outside the top four in England, and while the Bundesliga side are favourites to beat United on Wednesday, the tie is a lot more even than many people were expecting, according to Evra.
“It is not because you win 4-0 against Newcastle that we start to believe we can win against Bayern,” he said.
“Before the first leg, everyone was expecting us to lose 0-5 or something like that but, in the end, we drew.
“I think it is not a good result but it is not a bad result because they scored an away goal. I’m confident we can score an away goal at Bayern.
“The team is confident and when you play for Manchester United you have to be confident, even when sometimes you have a difficult moment.”
Evra did not play in the first leg at Old Trafford because of suspension and has been struggling with a knee injury but is desperate to play against Bayern this week.
“I think I will be fit,” he said. “I received a knock and I was injured as well before Aston Villa with my knee so I will try my best to be fit.”