Solskjaer, Lingard know losses to Barca happen, but rebound necessary

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Barcelona was too much for Manchester United, as the Blaugranas used a prime performance from the best player in the world to advance to the UEFA Champions League Final.

[ RECAP: Barca 3-0 (4-0 agg.) Man Utd ]

United midfielder Jesse Lingard and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer understand two things:

  1. Lionel Messi is fantastic.
  2. The Red Devils cannot dwell on their UCL exit, or they won’t be back in the competition next season.

Messi scored a pair of goals in the first 20 minutes, and Philippe Coutinho also scored in a 3-0 win that served to buttress a first leg win to advance 4-0 on aggregate.

“Lionel Messi brought his A-game tonight, he’s one of the best in the world,” Lingard said. “All we can do is move on, it’s a big week ahead. We were always underdogs but we had to back ourselves and believe. Chances in these big games are massive.”

“I have to say Lionel Messi is top quality and he was the difference of course,” Solskjaer said. “He’s different class, he and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best players of the last decade, everyone agrees on that one. Messi showed his quality.”

Solskjaer has long spoken of getting United’s mystique back under the red jersey and inside the walls of Old Trafford.

One thing, though: United needs to be in the Champions League to win the Champions League. The Red Devils need some big performances in the next few weeks to finish in the Top Four.

“We have to aspire to get to that level of Barcelona, we can get there but we have loads of work to do. If we want to get back to Man Utd’s true level, true traditions, we have to challenge Barcelona,” Solskjaer said. “They were a couple of levels above over the two games. We want to play these games again next year so we have a massive week coming up. There is no point dwelling on what could have been, we have to focus on that week.”

The Red Devils are at Everton on Sunday and home to Manchester City on April 24. They finish with Chelsea, Huddersfield Town, and Cardiff City.