Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United must aspire to reach Barcelona's level

A classy Barcelona is what Manchester United must aim to be, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United exited the Champions League at the quarter-final stage after a 3-0 humbling at the Nou Camp – meaning a 4-0 defeat on aggregate – and Solskjaer conceded that his side was simply outclassed by a better side.

Lionel Messi’s first-half double and Phillippe Coutinho’s wonder-strike after half-time made it a comfortable evening for Barca and the new boss said that his side has plenty of work to do if it wants to compete for European football’s biggest prize.
“That’s the Barcelona team here and that’s the level we have to aspire to,” he said.

“We know we are not there yet and we can get there. But we’ve got plenty of work to do.
“If we want to get back to Manchester United’s true traditions and level, we know we have to get to challenge the Barcelonas [of this world] and I’ve got to say they were a couple of levels above over the two legs.
“We want to play these games again next year so we’ve got a massive week. They are disappointed but there is no point dwelling on what could have been, because it could have been different if we got the first goal.
“Now we have to concentrate for the weekend.”
Solskjaer was disappointed United didn’t make the most of a bright start. Marcus Rashford clipped the top of the bar in the first minute, while Scott McTominay couldn’t get the ball under control when played through.
When Messi was handed his first chance though, he made no mistake from the edge of the area and Solskjaer was full of praise for the Argentine.
“If you want the result you need a performance. We started well and created decent chances,” Solskjaer added.
“But then he [Messi] hits the bottom corner and he is top quality. He showed that he was the difference. If they go 1-0 and then 2-0 straight after it is game over.
“He is different class – him and Cristiano have been best players for the last decade. Tonight he showed his quality.”
Jesse Lingard was just as disappointed, acknowledging that United had to be clinical in front of goal if they were going to complete an unlikely turnaround.
“We had to back ourselves and believe and for 15 minutes we felt in the game,” he said.
“It’s football and chances in these big games are massive and if we take them it is a different game.”
On Messi, he added: “He’s one of the best players in the world and he brought his A-game tonight. Now we move on and we have got a big game at the weekend.”

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