Solskjaer gives short shrift to Raiola in latest spat; Maguire delivers curious explanation

Date published: Monday 17th February 2020 11:04

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Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brushed off the latest controversy surrounding Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola, while Harry Maguire gave an interesting explanation for his apparent kick out at Michy Batshuayi.

The Red Devils ran out 2-0 winners in a hotly-contested affair versus Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire secured the three points, but the game was not without controversy.

With the scores still 0-0, Maguire appeared to kick out at Batshuayi in an incident similar to the one that resulted in a VAR-assisted red card for Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min in December.

Two Chelsea goals were ruled out in the second-half, but Solskjaer’s men ran out victors to breath new life into their chase for Champions League qualification.

Speaking to Sky Sports following the match, Solskjaer said: “We keep another clean sheet, that’s four on the bounce. We were a bit leggy, sometimes it takes time to blow the cobwebs out. First half we looked cumbersome but well, it’s a result.

“We had good individual performances at times but we were too negative in the first half. It was about time Harry Maguire scored.”

The much-maligned VAR played a huge part in the outcome of the match, but the Norwegian was satisfied with its use.

 

“You just want the right decision to be made and we are happy that they were,” said Solskjaer.

“We have needed that help a few times this season. It looked like a push in the back for the disallowed goal and Harry was just protecting himself.

“This gives us a chance. [of Champions League.] We are not going to get any help, I cannot understand for the life of me why we couldn’t play on Saturday as we play on Thursday again.”

When quizzed on a recent tweet sent out by Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola that heavily criticised Solskjaer, he replied: “I don’t have to comment about Mino Raiola through the media, I can talk to him myself.”

Asked if he would talk to Raiola personally, Solskjaer replied while failing to hide a slight smirk: “Probably not.”


FULL MATCH REPORT: Maguire lucky to escape red as Man Utd sink Chelsea 2-0 in crazy game


Meanwhile, Maguire – the focus of the first-half incident that VAR did not deem worthy of a red card – admitted to connecting with his opponent.

Explaining his actions, the England centre-half said: “I know I caught him and I felt he was going to fall on me and my natural reaction was to straighten my leg to stop him. It wasn’t a kick out and there was no intent.

“I think it’s the right decision. I knew I’d caught him but that I had no intent to hurt him. It was just a natural reaction.

“I apologised to him and it was nice that the referee saw sense.”

READ MORE REACTION: Lampard rages at ‘clear’ VAR error, draws line in sand for Chelsea season

 

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