Manchester United were not expected to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in last week’s quarter-final first leg at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men had a mountain to climb - although last month’s stunning comeback against Paris Saint-Germain meant fans travelled to Spain with hope and a sense of optimism in their hearts.
However, aside from an impressive opening 10 minutes, there was little for United’s travelling supporters to smile about.
The Red Devils were taught a lesson by Barcelona and, in particular, their star man Lionel Messi.
The Argentine scored twice in the first half and continued to torment United’s players right up until the full-time whistle. The final score was 3-0, with Philippe Coutinho netting the hosts’ final goal of the night.
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Gary Neville travelled to the Camp Nou to provide analysis for beIN Sports - and the former Man Utd captain did not hold back after the match.
The 44-year-old tore into several United players after a performance that he clearly felt wasn’t good enough from a United team.
On David de Gea, whose awful mistake gifted Messi his second goal, Neville said: “The David de Gea second goal took the game away from United, it deflated the whole team and took the spirit out of them.
“I don’t know where it came from. I know people have said De Gea has made some mistakes in the last 12 months - but not many like that for Manchester United. I can’t think of any like that for Manchester United.
“It was a bad goal to lose. I hope he comes out and fronts up.
"I think it’s important when you make a mistake of that nature, in your home country, he’s now an experienced player. I hope he’s the one who comes out and explains it. I think that would bode well for him.”
De Gea, at the time of writing, has not followed Neville’s advice by publicly fronting up following his latest mistake.
On Paul Pogba, who flattered to deceive, Neville continued: “Pogba’s now playing how he was pre-Ole’s arrival.
“I thought he was really poor tonight, rolling his foot over the ball all the time, playing for himself, not popping it off and moving, didn’t look interested at times - but he’s a great player, and can be a great player, he just needs to get that focus back.”
He was also disappointed that United failed to take their chances in front of goal.
Marcus Rashford missed a good opportunity inside the opening minute and Neville said of the 21-year-old: “There are big learnings there for some of those Manchester United players.
“For Marcus Rashford, he recognises what the elite level is in terms of club football, seeing Messi play there.
“You see [Scott] McTominay in midfield, it’s a big lesson for him over two games - he’s done well in the games.
“But for some of the others, they’re not good enough and the coaching staff will see there’s a massive gulf between Europe’s best teams and where Manchester United are at and Manchester United need to revamp their squad - there’s no doubt about that.
“[Solskjaer] needs a new defence - in its entirely, I would say.”
Watch Neville's post-match reaction in full here...
Strong words there from Neville, then - although you suspect many fans will agree with him.News Now - Sport News