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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Owen: United not scared of Barca

Michael Owen has insisted Manchester United do not fear facing Barcelona again in Europe despite May's convincing Champions League final loss.

United begin this season's Champions League campaign next Wednesday against Benfica in Group C with a view to going one step further than last season after they finished as runners-up in Europe's premier competition.

The Red Devils were outplayed in the showpiece at Wembley, as Barcelona ran out 3-1 winners, and, while Owen accepts a change of approach may have to be considered should the two sides face each other again this term, the striker is upbeat about United's chances.

Owen said: "If we played Barcelona again in the final, then we'd have to do something differently because they obviously outplayed us on the night. Then again, I don't think there's any shame in losing to a team like that. We're not ashamed of how we played at Wembley but, if we played them again, then I do think we'd have to look at adopting a slightly different approach.

"On that one night's evidence, you'd have to say that there was a gap between the two sides because they beat us quite convincingly. But that was a one-off game. We wouldn't be frightened of playing them again, that's for sure.

"The beauty of playing for a club like Manchester United is that you have a good chance of winning every competition you take part in. You're expected to win as well, which is good pressure to have placed on you. This year will be no different.

"We have to forget what happened last year - and we would have done that even if we'd beaten Barcelona - and start again. We have some great memories from last year's competition, even though it ended disappointingly. Now we start again and the aim is to win the competition."

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