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Messi at the wheel - Barca poke fun at Solskjaer's United

Messi at the wheel - Barca poke fun at Solskjaer's United

United's attention will now turn to securing a top-four spot in the Premier League.

He said: "We did well to get here and you could see the difference between the two teams".

"We have to aspire to get to that level of Barcelona, we can get there but we have loads of work to do", he told BT Sport after the match.

"We have to look at ourselves, we know we have a job to do and we are getting on with it". But then there were another 85 minutes where we weren't bad, said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. At the moment, we've really, really done well to get to the quarter-finals and challenge for the top four.

Solskjaer went on to say that his job as manager is a "rebuilding job", saying he will be making "one or two additions" to the side in the summer transfer market.

Alexis Sanchez was brought on in the Nou Camp too late, with Manchester United already 4-0 down on aggregate.

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Barca had suffered a humiliating quarter-final exit at AS Roma past year after conceding early goals and Messi urged his team mates to show more concentration in their next European outing, warning that other sides might not be so forgiving.

Accelerating away from Fred, Messi was granted too much space by United defender Chris Smalling on the edge of the area and took full advantage with a superb low shot that flashed past David de Gea in the 16th minute.

"But he made some fantastic saves as well and all in all his contribution to the team is good, but sometimes that happens in football. The quality of finishing was outstanding", the former striker said in his post-match press conference.

2 - Ajax have been eliminated on two of the three previous occasions they have drawn the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie at home, most recently in the 2005-06 last 16 against Inter Milan.

Messi could have had his hat-trick too after Luis Suarez found him with a superb cutback and there was an nearly comical sequence in the second half when the Argentinian played with his United chasers before finally being bundled over by McTominay.

Messi has now scored 24 goals in 32 Champions League games against English opponents, more than any other player in the tournament.