Solskjaer explains why he avoided risks with Man Utd duo; reveals feeling about ‘proper European tie’ in semi-finals

Date published: Thursday 15th April 2021 10:49 - Samuel Bannister

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that confidence is sky high after Manchester United beat Granada in the Europa League and is ready for a “proper European tie” in the next round.

United were already in control of the tie from the first leg and matched its 2-0 scoreline to secure a 4-0 aggregate win. They now turn their attention to an upcoming semi-final against Roma, who knocked out Ajax.

Solskjaer is eager to win a trophy after falling at the semi-final stage of four previous tournaments. He knows they had to work for their place in the last four but is keen to make the most of it this time.

He told BT Sport: “Granada do give you a game. It’s a physical game, they throw people forward. You have to defend in these kind of games.

“2-0, clean sheet, some good individual performances. We’re full of confidence going into Sunday [against Burnley].”

Solskjaer selected Paul Pogba as his captain for the game but took him off at half-time. There was a simple explanation for the decision, though.

He explained: “Sometimes, Paul wants to win so much… he went into a couple of tackles after his yellow card but I thought I don’t want to risk that [him being sent off] even though he played so well.

“We missed three today [through suspension]. The season has been hard enough as it is.”

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Someone who remained on the bench was Marcus Rashford, whom Solskjaer did not want to take any chances with.

Asked if he would be fit for the weekend, Solskjaer said: “We hope he’s going to be ready. Today was about not risking him.

“He was on the bench just in case because you never know in a knockout tie.

“He’s been playing with a sore foot. I don’t know yet.”

Solskjaer looking forward to Roma tie

United will now do battle with Roma in the semi-finals, the first leg of which will take place in two weeks’ time.

Solskjaer is excited for the match due to the significant statures of both clubs.

He said: “I’ve not seen too much of them. I knew they played two good games against Ajax.

“They defend well, as Italian teams always do. We all know Edin Dzeko so every ball into the box is a dangerous one.

“We are looking forward to it. We’re in the semis. It feels like a proper European tie because Roma is a club with lots of history. We’ve done well against Italian sides before.

“We’re going into it hoping to get to the final. If we can finish the season with a trophy that’d be great.”


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