Misery piles on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United slip down to a new low after being beaten soundly by Barcelona 3-0 at Camp Nou on Wednesday. With this defeat, the little hope of earning a silverware this season was shattered.
After a fairytale entry into the quarterfinals, the Red Devils were expected to give Barcelona a hard time. The first leg favoured neither of the sides as Barcelona edged past United 1-0 at the Old Trafford on the back of a Luke Shaw own goal.
Trailing by such minimal margin, everyone expected United to put on a spirited show after drubbing opponents like Juventus and PSG in their second meetings. But the magician in Messi had other plans. Lionel Messi against United, was the man with the golden touch.
Although, he was helped by some sloppiness by De Gea, all-in-all it seemed like Messi’s footwork will get the better of most defenses on the day.
Messi with his 2nd.
This time with his right foot.
Humiliates De Gea.
Just ? things
— Kaushik Ram (@KaushikRam) April 16, 2019
Sir Alex Ferguson went on to say:
“The Messi I saw 10 years ago was on verge of being the best, the Messi I saw today is already the greatest ever”
Such was the impact of the Magician on the crucial match.
United started on a positive note with crisp passing and Pogba-Rashford combining well to keep the Barcelona defense on their toes. But, once Messi got one to sail past De gea 15 minutes into the game, it was all downhill for the visitors.
4 minutes after gaining the lead, Messi got the ball to sneak under De gea’s hands to double their lead and thereby, destroying United’s hopes of a place in the last four brutally.
Solskjaer was distraught as every manager should be. But he was apt in pointing out the positives. He was quoted as saying:
“We did well to get here and we could see the difference between the two teams. The quality of finishing was outstanding. We started well for the first 15 minutes and we thought we’ve got something here, and then in four minutes they scored two goals which made it so hard.”
“The attitude was right. We knew we were fighting against a good team with good players. We know there’s work to do. We’ve said all along that this won’t change overnight and the next few years will be massive to get to the level teams like Barcelona are at.”
As the season reaches its business end, things are not going well for United. Many players would be under the axe as the situation demands a desperate revival of fortunes. A Champions League is the only positive that can come from this season and fans would hope that this doesn’t elude them.