Solskjaer demands Man Utd improvement in key area; talks Ronaldo-Fernandes tandem

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during their 2-1 victory over West Ham

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted he wishes to see Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes work better as a pair, and demanded a big improvement in a key area.

Man Utd endured an emotional rollercoaster en route to a hard-fought three points at West Ham. Cristiano Ronaldo did what he does best, scoring for the third consecutive match to level the scores after Said Benrahma’s deflected opener.

The Red Devils huffed and puffed but couldn’t find the breakthrough amid a series of spurned opportunities. But with time running down, super sub Jesse Lingard broke Hammers hearts when firing an effort into the top corner from just inside the area.

The drama would not end there. In the final seconds, a VAR review awarded the hosts a penalty after Luke Shaw’s outstretched arm blocked an attempted cross inside the box. Subbed on solely to take the penalty, Mark Noble saw his spot-kick saved by David de Gea.

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Speaking after the match (via the BBC) the match, Solskjaer said initially on the Ronaldo-Bruno Fernandes tandem that crafted the equaliser: “The two of them have to of course work together. For me, the two are great players. Cristiano arrives at the box as he always does.”

Regarding a series of penalty appeals Man Utd saw waved away, the Norwegian was adamant his side were hard done by. “The first two, stonewall pens,” said Solskjaer.

On Lingard’s stunner: “So happy for Jesse, he had a tough evening on Tuesday. He knuckled down, he’s a positive lad, so happy for him. A good turn by Jesse, good finish.”

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The decision to bring Noble on to take the penalty was panned by Graeme Souness in the Sky Sports studio. Solskjaer offered a rather more balanced response: “I’ve seen him score so many penalties, sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it goes against you.”

On what went well for Manchester United: “The attacking football, the movement. We’ve got to work better defensively, this is something we will work on.”

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‘Time to move on’ – Lingard

Matchwinner Lingard also spoke to Sky Sports after scoring against the club he was on loan at last season.

“I got a brilliant reception [From the West Ham fans],” admitted the 28-year-old. “I had a good time here but I have to move on with Man Utd and do my best with Man Utd.

Regarding his costly error against Young Boys midweek, Lingard added: “Mistakes happen in football, you have to overcome those things.”

On his match-securing penalty save, De Gea said: “It was the last minute, I made the save. A massive three points for us. Going through my head was ‘save the ball’.

“It was a really tough game, both teams had good chances, again a great goal from Jesse. It is a massive three points. In the dressing room we said the three points were the most important thing.”

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