'They were a couple of levels above us' - Solskjaer offers honest assessment of Man United after comprehensive loss
Manchester United United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Barcelona were "a couple of levels" above his side after the Red Devils fell to a 3-0 defeat at the Nou Camp.
The comprehensive 4-0 aggregate loss means that Man United face an uphill battle in the race for the top four in order to qualify for next season's European Cup. Despite a bright start where Marcus Rashford hit the crossbar, Barcelona ruthlessly hit back.
Lionel Messi netted a glorious opening goal before being gifted a second after a blunder from David de Gea. Philippe Coutinho made it 3-0 with a cracking strike from outside the box.
Speaking after the game to BT Sport, Solskjaer gave an honest assessment of where his side are at.
"If you want the result you need a performance and we started well and created some decent chances but then he (Messi) hits it in the bottom corner and I've got to say, it's top quality. He was the difference," Solskjaer said.
"He is a different class, him and Cristiano (Ronaldo) are the best players of the past decade and tonight he (Messi) showed his quality. That's the quality we have to aspire to.
"If we want to get back to Manchester United's true tradition and level we have got to get to challenge the Barcelonas, and I've got to say they were a couple of levels above us in those 90 minutes and at Old Trafford.
"We want to play these games next year so we've got a massive week coming up and now we have to concentrate on the league."
Man United attacker Jesse Lingard looked back with regret on the missed chances early in the game.
"In the first 15, 20 minutes we had a couple of chances and the game could have gone differently," the 26-year-old told BT Sport.
"We had to back ourselves and believe and if the first 10 minutes had gone our way it could have been our game. Chances in these games are massive."