Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested the margin of victory may have flattered Manchester United and that his side are still very much a “work in progress” despite their commanding victory over Real Sociedad in the first leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie.
United claimed a resounding first-leg advantage by scoring four times at the Juventus Stadium – with Bruno Fernandes the star of the show.
However, despite the manner of the win, Solskjaer seemed slightly non-plussed – quite possibly after some poor recent results in the Premier League.
Indeed, draws at West Brom and Arsenal, as well as a home defeat to Sheffield United have seen United fall away from title contention of late.
And while the Europa League gave United a chance to reset and focus on trophy success, Solskjaer appeared slightly downbeat after the game.
Indeed, rather than talk up their chances of winning the Europa League, Solskjaer instead used his post-match presser to state his side remain a “work in progress”.
“We scored some good goals and played some nice football,” he told BT Sport. “We deserved to win but maybe not by four goals. On a night like this when we find spaces we can be a dangerous team.
“We had to defend well, they have some terrific players up front and we earned the right to counter-attack quickly. They opened up and we got the spaces we wanted.
“Every team attacks you, it’s about finding the moments to find the space.”
Looking to dampen expectations around his side, Solskjaer insisted they still had improvements to make.
“We are a work in progress, we are learning and some games we have not been able to win lately,” he starkly stated.
Fernandes outlines United target
Fernandes: “The result pleased me most of course. I think we did everything well, we have the second leg but still we have a tough game. We need to make sure we win again. 4-0 is a goods result, but we have to be aware of what they can do.”
Asked about the opener, the Portuguese midfielder insisted he insisted staying calm paid off.
"My target is trophies. Winning trophies is more important than scoring goals."
Bruno Fernandes reflects on a good night for Man Utd as they head into their second leg with Real Sociedad with four away goals.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 18, 2021
“I waited for the right moment for the ball to come down and take my shot. Sometimes if you rush things, you can miss. The second goal was a good assist from Dan James, I took it first time so I could surprise the keeper.”
Asked for his thoughts on racking his 20th and 21st of the season, Fernandes insisted the result matters most to him.
“Tonight the result and the peformance was good. We need to understand we have to grow and improve as a side. We did that tonight.
“My target is to score the most goals I can and try to assist my teammates to score to. That’s my position. But if you ask me for my target, my target is to win trophies – that is more important than scoring goals.”