Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was quick to praise his players for a hugely-professional performance as Manchester United took LASK apart to take a giant leap towards the last eight of the Europa League.
United have one foot in the quarter-finals after coming away from LASK with a 5-0 thrashing in Linz.
Played behind closed doors in an eerily quiet stadium due to fears over the coronavirus, it was a rout for Solskjaer‘s Red Devils against the Austrian outfit.
Odion Ighalo continued his excellent start to life at his new club, continuing his run of scoring in every start for the club with an excellent strike to open the scoring.
United then dominated the second half with Daniel James, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira all getting on the scoresheet.
Speaking after the game, the United manager used the words ‘professional’, ‘efficient’ and ‘quality’ to describe his side’s performance to all-but guarantee United’s place in the quarter-finals.
“You can say professional, but also a very good job. It wasn’t just professional and efficient, but quality football. We got more or less everything we asked from the boys,” he told MUTV after the match.
United were absolutely clinical in front of goal and the United manager was left in awe by the quality of their strikes adding: “You can look at all of them. They are high, high quality.”
— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) March 12, 2020
Solskjaer also had warm words of praise for his defence, who have now kept clean sheets in nine of their last 11 games.
“First half they had one chance, but it was a great block from Eric [Bailly]. The back four and Sergio [Romero] all did well as well.”
Asked how it felt to play in front of an empty stadium, Solskjaer continued: “What was pleasing today was the difference circumstances. The boys were so focused and the team spirit was there to be seen.”
Goalscorer Mata also admitted it was strange to play in a stadium without any supporters, adding: “I don’t know, I don’t remember playing behind-closed-doors.
“It was different game, but I think we did really well. It wasn’t easy, because they are a team that press a lot, we didn’t have our best game in terms of passing, but end do the day we scored five goals.
“It does feel strange. It is like training, when you do a game in training there is no crowd and it felt a little bit the same. We did what we were asked to do and we need to act accordingly and trust the experts.”
United are next in action when they travel to face Tottenham on Sunday in a match which will go a long way towards their efforts to finish in the top four.
Meanwhile, BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves has paid Bruno Fernandes the ultimate compliment after purring over the Portuguese midfielder. Read what he said, as well as some odd Paul Ince comments on Ighalo’s opener, here.