Solskjaer says there was only one positive from Man Utd loss to Watford

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has criticised Manchester United for playing “too slow” in their shock defeat to Watford, a game he described as “like a testimonial”.

United went into the game against the bottom-placed side on a six-match unbeaten run, but that all came undone as Watford earned their first home win of the season by a 2-0 margin.

Solskjaer admits the short space of time between Watford’s two goals made United’s task an uphill battle.

“We started the game slow,” he explained to Sky Sports. “The first half was very, very poor from both sides and when you concede two goals like we did in quick succession with their two shots on target we gave ourselves too much to do.

“We had been doing well but you have to earn every single point in this league. It was too slow, it was like a testimonial in the first half from both teams.”

The first goal came from a horrendous error from goalkeeper David De Gea, who failed to catch a rising volley from Ismaila Sarr, but Solskjaer was quick to jump to the defence of his keeper.

“It was a mistake, it happens in football and it is what we train for every day to make sure they don’t happen again. David has been very good lately, it is just one of those things that happen.

“You have to earn every point on the pitch and today we didn’t deserve that. I can talk about it all day long. We have to face the fact we have two games coming up that we have to improve on.”

Things could have gone differently had Jesse Lingard taken a big chance to give United the lead in the first half, when the midfielder chipped the ball over the bar after running through one-on-one with Watford keeper Ben Foster.

And Solskjaer admitted it was an error of judgement from the United star.

“Ben Foster stood up so I don’t think a chip was the right option. It was a good run, we could have been 1-0 up but it happens. Sometimes you miss the target and sometimes you score.

“We need a reaction.”

The only silver lining for Solskjaer, he told Match of the Day, was the return to action for Paul Pogba, who was brought on as a substitute after a lengthy injury lay-off.

“The big plus is Paul coming on. And that’s the one plus.

“He added urgency, quality, some great passes. The boy has been working hard. He’s fit and leaner.

“He’ll bring us a lot. He is important for us. He makes us create more chances.”