Leverkusen - It was supposed to be Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s big night, but instead of celebrating a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, a nightmarish 5-0 defeat at home to Group A leaders Manchester United has left die Werkself’s qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

Even victory over Real Sociedad de Futbol in next month's group stage finale might not be enough for Sami Hyypia’s men, who find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to rely on events elsewhere, as Bayer's disconsolate captain Simon Rolfes explained after Wednesday’s BayArena horror show...

Question: Simon Rolfes, Leverkusen lost 5-0 to Manchester United in their own stadium. How did that happen?

Simon Rolfes: There’s nothing positive to say about the defeat. That performance wasn't on. We’ll analyse the game in peace tomorrow and try to learn from it. We have to do much better in the coming weeks.

Question: Can you explain why the game ended so disastrously?

Rolfes: We didn’t start too badly, but going 1-0 down rocked our confidence. Once we went 2-0 down we were no longer in it. They defended well in the centre of the park. They have a top-quality team and are also great going forward. We had no answer and started to make silly mistakes. We never threatened in the final third and when we lost the ball, they counterattacked us well. In the end, it was very one-sided.

Question: Was the passion missing from Leverkusen?

Rolfes: After conceding the second, it had more or less gone, no question. I didn’t feel like there was anything left. Obviously you have to try and somehow get a lucky goal in the second half. That might have changed the game, but we had nothing left.

Question: Will a 5-0 defeat like this knock you off your stride in the Bundesliga?

Rolfes: I hope not. In football, you have to forget about things quickly. It’s better to lose 5-0 once rather than lose 1-0 five times. A defeat like this can also be a wake-up call, but, of course, we have to play better. So I don’t think this defeat will knock us out of our rhythm, but it was definitely an unpleasant evening.

Question: In spite of the result, all is not lost as Manchester United still need a point to win the group and won’t want to throw the game away against [FC Shakhtar] Donetsk. How do you rate your chances of progressing?

Rolfes: Fortunately, direct head-to-heads count in the Champions League and we beat Donetsk. In terms of the table, it didn’t matter whether we lost 1-0 or 5-0, but the manner of the defeat is important- it wasn’t good. We have to shake ourselves down and, like I said, perform much better. We still have every chance against Real Sociedad because I expect United to take the momentum from this game back home and beat Donetsk.

Question: Will this result be damaging to team morale?

Rolfes: We have ourselves to blame for the mistakes. The fact that we conceded three goals from set plays was particularly tough. It might have been excusable if they had scored after a moment of genius, but not set-pieces. That’s not like us at all and it's really hard to take.

Question: It was Bayer’s heaviest home defeat in Europe and for many observers it conjured up memories of the 7-1 loss at FC Barcelona in March 2012. Did you fear it could have gone the same way?

Rolfes: There’s nothing good the reporters can write about this game for us. Losing 5-0’s not on, and even 4-0 wouldn't have been much better. But that’s not what it’s about. In terms of the table, it makes no difference. The fact is that we didn’t create any chances and played too many sloppy passes. That’s what we have to look at.

Question: It has been suggested that Leverkusen do not receive enough media coverage despite some good results in recent months. Broadcast on national television, this game against Man United seemed like your chance to shine...

Rolfes: It was a good opportunity for us and we completely blew it, and obviously that doesn't do the club any good. We've lost 5-0. Unfortunately our 4-0 win over Donetsk wasn’t on national TV, but things move on quickly. We have to concentrate on the here and now.

Question: What kind of response do you expect from the team in your next home game in the Bundesliga against Nürnberg?

Rolfes: A reaction going forward. We have to show that we’ve shaken off the result and are back on track in the Bundesliga.

Interview by Tobias Gonscherowski