According to the reports Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called upon five players to up their game against Barcelona in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie, though that just did not happen. The English giants had made the trip to Camp Nou hoping to overturn a 1-0 deficit against the Catalonians in a hostile environment, with things looking dull for them. Despite the hopes of the manager and the fans, things did not happen for them and they were knocked out of the competition.

From that point onwards, things went downhill for the Red Devils and it was all a struggle to finish in the top four of the Premier League as well. The Norwegian main-man had turned the fortunes of Manchester United around ever since taking over back in December.

He inherited a disgruntled team that was left in a shambles by his predecessor Jose Mourinho. The ‘Special One’ instilled a very defensive philosophy into the club which didn’t go down well with the Manchester United faithful and he was given the sack just a few months into the season.

Solskjaer has revitalized the team and brought the smiles back on the faces of the United fans by playing positive and attacking football. The 46-year-old helped the club reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a dramatic comeback against Paris Saint Germain and has also put the club in contention to finish inside the top 4 in the Premier League. These string of impressive showings handed Solskjaer the Manchester United job on a permanent basis but the majority of results haven’t gone his way ever since.

Although Barcelona came to Old Trafford and had won the game 1-0, the La Liga giants were not at their fluent best and credit had to be given to Solskjaer and his team for keeping the visitors relatively quiet. In the second leg, Solskjaer had hoped that his side would have stepped up to the occasion and tried to make it into the last four of the competition. The United boss has called on five of his players back then to put in big performances and try to find the net at the Camp Nou, “It is very important because we need to score goals and if it is Rom [Romelu Lukaku], Jesse [Lingard], Anthony [Martial], Alexis [Sanchez], Marcus [Rashford], we need big performances, We have to defend well but we have to have that little bit extra to score goals against teams like this. Whoever starts, we want to see some good form. We were not good enough against them [at Old Trafford]. That is the $100m question – who can score them? That is why the best strikers are the most expensive ones. We had a couple of decent chances [in the first leg] but when you can not work the goalkeeper you can not score. We know we will create chances, we have a goal threat, and it is about taking a deep breath and taking those chances.”

Solskjaer went on to admit that what he did at Barcelona 20 years ago will not have any effect on the game on Tuesday, “I believe you get what you deserve in sports, that you put your life and effort and determination into things and get exactly what you deserve, People have said to me it has to be our year – that it is 20 years ago [since I scored the winner], that I used to play with No. 20, back at Camp Nou, but we have to deserve it. We can’t just rely on fate, no.”

Despite all the hopes that he had put in them, nothing eventually materialized and they failed to finish in the top four this season. It was a huge blow for them and hopefully they can recover in the days to come.