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'There was a gulf in quality' - Fletcher claims Solskjaer has a lot of work ahead of him

01:09 BST 17/04/2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 2018-19
The former Manchester United star says the club's current boss will have some tough choices and a lot of work to do to reach Barcelona's level

Darren Fletcher​ has pointed to a gulf in class between Manchester United and Barcelona, with the Spanish side having run out to a 4-0 aggregate victory in the Champions League quarter-finals, and says his old side have a long road ahead to catch up to Europe's elite. 

Fletcher played over 200 times for United before leaving the club in 2015, winning five Premier League titles and one Champions League crown in his time at Old Trafford. 

But the Manchester side have struggled in recent years, and Fletcher says there is still a long way to go to catch up with the best in the English top flight and other top clubs in Europe. 

"There was a gulf in quality between the two sides," he told BBC Five Live following Tuesday's 3-0 second-leg loss to Barcelona. "PSG were the better side over two legs in the last round but United rode their luck.

"Tonight, Barcelona were on top and two wonder goals from Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho were the difference.

"Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a lot of work ahead of him tonight but he will have seen little things from his players tonight about who kept battling and who kept playing.

"Man Utd are way off Man City and Liverpool but it's about how they bridge the gap now.

"Do they go down the route of recruiting the best young talent and try to mould them in the United way rather than buying ready made players who maybe don't have their heart in it?

"Scott McTominay did not stop all night and if you can put that work rate and attitude into players who have more ability, that would be great. Roy Keane and Paul Scholes had it but they were world class players as well."

Fletcher also says the 4-0 aggregate score, the largest defeat United have ever faced in a two-legged European tie, is not an embarrassment, and that the club must focus again quickly to make sure they're back in Europe's top competition next season. 

"It was 4-0 over the two legs but it hasn't been an embarrassment and it could have been more if Barca wanted to turn on the style," he said. 

"United shouldn't lose too much heart from this tie and they have to concentrate on the top four now. These players have to show they are part of Manchester United's future in the remaining games of the season."