Keep it tight inside the first 20 minutes, lads.
That would have been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s instructions to his Man United players ahead of their Champions League showdown with Barcelona.
Nothing silly, pass and move, keep your shape.
Unfortunately that’s easier said than done and within a quarter of the game the tie already looked beyond United.
After Ashley Young contrived to gift Lionel Messi the opener, just minutes later David De Gea was guilty of an even more unforgivable offence.
Messi pounced on more hesitant United play and unleashed a tame, dribbling shot with his right foot.
De Gea, regarded by many as the best goalkeeper on the planet, could have thrown his proverbial cap on it.
But the Spaniard lost his cool when it mattered most, inexplicably allowing Messi’s shot to squirm through his arms and feebly cross the line.
As De Gea gathered his thoughts and the Barcelona players celebrated, Messi was seen raising his eyebrows almost in disbelief at how easy it was for him.
It comes after United’s goalkeeper coach Emilio Alvarez revealed De Gea had been preparing specially for the duel with Messi.
“We do something different when facing Messi,” he told Goal.
“With De Gea we have worked on some more specific work, there are some extras compared to other games with having Leo up front.”
That went well, then.
Ole was at the wheel, but it appears the wheels are falling off… and fast.