Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a tongue-in-cheek joke about Bruno Fernandes’ performance to Copenhagen captain Zeca on the pitch in Cologne on Monday night.
Solskjaer had just watched his side scrape past their Danish opponents and into the Europa League semi-finals when he entered the pitch to shake hands with his players.
The Norwegian was approached by Greece international Zeca, who has revealed he is a big United fan.
Despite his side’s disappointment, Zeca took the opportunity to praise the coach for the progress the team have made since he took over.
“Thank you very much for everything you’re doing with Manchester United,” Zeca said to Solskjaer.
The United boss replied: “We’re trying to get it back. He’s helping. This boy is helping,” gesturing towards Fernandes as the midfielder walked alongside them.
“He’s a little bit angry that I was going to take him off. He was giving you the ball all the time.”
"Thank you very much for everything you have done in Manchester" – Zeca, captain of FC Copenhagen 🥺 pic.twitter.com/H1kQEHRMn4
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) August 10, 2020
Zeca had revealed his love of United ahead of Monday’s Europa League quarter-final tie.
“United have been my favourite team since I was little. My dream was to play at Old Trafford, so it’s a bit of a shame that we play in Germany,” he told Bold via Goal last week.
“I love Bruno Fernandes. He is really good, and one player cannot shut him down, so we must work well together as a team to succeed.”
Solskjaer focused on semi
Solskjaer meanwhile was “delighted” that United are through to another cup semi-final, even though their performance was not as fluid as he would have liked.
The Norwegian is more interested in preparations for Sunday as United return to their bubble.
“Of course the facilities are not the same as we’re used to but that is no excuse,” Solskjaer said. “I think every team have got the same conditions. Of course we’re used to having the best facilities around in the world for recovery and preparation.
“We just have to make the most out of a difficult situation in conditions that are really hot, humid. What time do we train? Especially tonight, of course we played late so it’ll be a strange one tomorrow morning for some of them because they probably won’t sleep for a few hours.
“But we’ve got six days. There’s not many times that we have six days to prepare for a game.”