Manchester United are out of the Champions League, now it is official. The Devils have travelled to Barcelona trying to emulate their visit in the city 20 years ago, but were light years away from that. Barcelona won 3-0 on the night, with two goals from Lionel Messi, a horrid David De Gea mistake and another goal from Coutinho.
It was a match that was over after 20 minutes of play, with the remaining 70 being a procession. Lionel Messi first scored a beautiful low shot to De Gea’s right after Ashley Young inexplicably lost possession in a panicky manner, before De Gea conceding an easy shot that went underneath his body. Barca were two goals up on the night with two shots on target and three goals up on aggregate. There was no coming back from that.
Manchester United Need A Big Rebuild (But We Already Knew That)
This game just further highlighted that Man United are in desperate need of a rebuild. But not just any rebuild, but a total one. While Ajax were playing Total Football in Turin – their opponent from two years ago in Europa League final – Solskjaer’s team was having a tough time playing with that team scored just one goal at home in Champions League this season.
This team lacks serious quality, with the likes of Young, Jones, Smalling and others playing for almost a decade and with the likes of Fred, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay. They all might be decent, but this is Champions League quarterfinal and at times, United looked lost.
Lionel Messi Having A Laugh (Again)
This was not unexpected whatsoever. Lionel Messi played with ease, scoring and creating for others, attacking from late runs from deep, doing it all as usual. English media were looking in awe, with a good reason, but in the end this was not even in his top five matches of the season. Not even close.
Lionel Messi scored twice – one was a product of goalkeeping mistake – and he could have added another one or two to go with that. But he did not have too. Barcelona had such an easy ride tonight that Messi was able to slow down a bit and enjoy a return to the Champions League semifinals. He is now at 24 goals against Premier League sides.
Ashley Young Embarrassingly Proves What We Preached
Ashley Young’s match was a horrific one. There is no denying that. Just watching the sequence prior to Messi’s goal, when he makes at least three mistakes in the space of five seconds is baffling, but the match on the whole just proved what we knew and what we always made sure to write here – he is not a player for Manchester United. He might be a very useful person in the dressing room, as someone who is experienced, but that is not the reason to have him in the squad. He has to be able to deliver and tonight – like so many times this season – no one ever really thought he would be the reliable one.