Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered his first defeat as Manchester United caretaker manager against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night.
In his 12th game in charge of the Red Devils, Solskjaer watched on helplessly as his players were outclassed by the French champions in their own back yard.
PSG’s 2-0 win at Old Trafford has left United with a mountain to climb ahead of the second leg at the Parc des Princes on March 6.
"Today was a kind of a reality check on the level of the top teams," Solskjaer was quoted as saying by BBC Sport after the match.
"That is the level we want to get to. Top four is one thing. United should be at the top. They are a top team. They [our players] know we need to step up our level. We are disappointed.”
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville provided analysis for beIN Sports at Old Trafford and expressed his belief that the tie is now over.
“[United] were outclassed,” Neville said after the full-time whistle. “Paris Saint-Germain were the better team and the tie now looks beyond Manchester United.”
Watch Neville’s post-match analysis in full here…
However, Neville’s pessimistic outlook about United’s chances went down badly with his former teammate Peter Schmeichel, who was also providing analysis for beIN Sports.
"I don't know why he said that,” the legendary Man Utd goalkeeper commented. “If anyone has taken part in creating miracles for that football club, he's one of them."
The Dane agreed with PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, who said that if his side can beat United 2-0 at Old Trafford, then United can beat PSG 2-0 at the Parc des Princes.
In other words, this tie is far from over. It’s merely half-time.
“Make no mistake,” Schmeichel added, “Manchester United would have learned a lot from today - an awful lot.
“In three weeks you can improve a lot, you can train a lot and come up with a proper plan.”
Watch Schmeichel's post-match comments here...
However, the bookmakers' odds suggest they agree with Neville more than Schmeichel - and the bookies, as we all know, are very rarely wrong.
United are now priced as long as 125/1 to win the Champions League this season.
It’s going to take another miracle for them to reach the quarter-finals first, though.News Now - Sport News