"It was the hay fever that beat us here tonight," Sir Alex Ferguson moaned at the Estadio Olimpico in Rome as Manchester United were given a footballing masterclass by Catalan Giants FC Barcelona, who ran out easy winners by a 2-0 margin.
Although it has been in the public domain for some years now that United substitute Paul Scholes suffers from the debilitating condition 'Hay Fever' it wasn't a much publicised fact that the entire United squad suffered from the condition.
"Och aye it's true right enough," Sir Alex told us. "If you watch the replays you can see Ed (Van Der Saar) rubbing his eyes as Eto'o bears down on him for the first goal. And for the second, young Ferdinand was clearly sneezing as Messi peeled off to place the looping header past Ed (Van Der Saar) who was also about to sneeze."
A United spokesman said that the defeat wasn't the end of the world for United, before announcing the Manchester United Find A Cure For Hay Fever appeal.
Out of contract Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez, who was reportedly one of the worst affected by HAY FEVER did not travel back to Manchester with his team mates, but flew instead to Liverpool, home of the world's top HAY FEVER research facility, SPION KOP HAY FEVER CLINIC.
More as we...excuse me, I think I'm gonna sneeze...