Ole: We were disciplined and professional
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a satisfied man after Manchester United progressed to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, following a 2-0 win over Granada.
An Edinson Cavani strike in the sixth minute made it 3-0 on aggregate, following last week's success in Spain, and an own goal in the dying minutes put further distance between the two teams.
It means we’ll play Roma in the last four, in our fifth semi-final under our Norwegian manager. Read on to find out what Ole said to MUTV and BT Sport about that upcoming tie, plus his views on our performance against Granada, Paul Pogba’s half-time substitution and Marcus Rashford’s fitness.
Ole reacts to quarter-final victory
The boss reacts to another 2-0 win in Europe and is asked if he’ll speak to Chris Smalling before the Roma tie…
“When you go into these games 2-0 up, it’s a difficult one. We’ve got to have a disciplined, professional performance, which I thought we had. We got the first goal from Edinson [Cavani], a very good goal, and I think that’s decided the tie. From then on it’s about not giving stupid chances away, and we didn’t until the last few minutes, when David [De Gea] had a very good save.”
WHY I TOOK POGBA OFF
“You know Paul, he doesn’t just dip a toe into his tackles – he wants to win the ball, he’s a big lad, and sometimes it happens, he gets a yellow card. I thought Paul played really well, and we lost a lot with him coming off, of course, but I couldn’t take the risk [of him picking up a suspension]. We’ve missed three [suspended players] today and the season’s been hard enough as it is anyway.”
THE THINKING BEHIND MY SUBSTITUTIONS
“The game of football, it can change like this [clicks fingers]. So you can never feel too comfortable or think ‘We’ve done it’ or ‘We’ve cracked it’ because it comes back to bite you. With the balls they put in the box, crosses, set plays, when you take Paul off, Edinson off, some big lads off, and it’s Amad, Juan [Mata] and DJ [Daniel James], any set play can be dangerous, so you have to take all these things into consideration. They had 11 corners in the last game and I’ve not counted how many they got today, but they still had a few corners and, as a manager, it’s nervy every time.”
“I’ve not really seen too much of them. I know that they’ve had two good games against Ajax. They defend well, as Italians always do, of course. They’re an experienced team and we all know [Edin] Dzeko, so any ball in the box is a dangerous one. We’re looking forward to it, of course. We’re in a semi now, and it feels like a proper European tie, because Roma is a club with loads of tradition, history, but we’ve done well against Italian teams before. We’re looking forward to it and we’re going into them hoping to get to the final. If you can finish this season with a final and a trophy that would be great.”
Highlights: United 2 Granada 0
Edinson Cavani's volley and a Jesus Vallejo own goal secured our spot in the semi-finals...
PROUD OF THE LADS
“The boys have been fantastic, they’ve done great, the attitude [has been great]. We haven’t had one game that we could have rested players or taken our foot off the pedal, because they’ve had to play for results every single game. They’re that type of group that want to improve, and to be in a semi now is great, but we want to go all the way of course. We want to end the season with the best possible way – a final and a trophy, hopefully.”
WILL RASHFORD BE FIT FOR BURNLEY?
“We hope he is going to be ready. Today wasn’t about risking him and he was on the bench just in case. You never know in a knockout tie [who you will need]. He’s been playing on with a sore foot, but I don’t know yet [if we will play on Sunday].”