Solskjaer: We could have scored more
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke like a former striker when he assessed his team's performance at Villa Park and declared that the margin of victory could have been even greater.
The Reds set a new Premier League standard by becoming the first team to win four consecutive games in the competition by three goals or more, as Aston Villa were eventually overcome 3-0.
During his post-match press conference and interviews, Ole answered questions on the record, the first strike - a penalty converted by Bruno Fernandes - and the players who netted the second and third from open play, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood.
Here are the manager's main quotes on each topic...
"It took us about 20-25 minutes to get going and then we seemed to pick up the tempo. I thought in the second half we played really well and of course we kept another clean sheet. I'm very happy with the way we came out in the second half. We created chances and kept them away from our goal."
"If I try and tackle you and jump over you and I land on you, I think that’s a foul. The boy sticks out his leg, he [Bruno] does a fantastic Maradona pirouette and he lands on him and I think it’s a penalty."
“Going into half-time 2-0 up, I think we were a bit fortunate. But even at 1-0, I think our defenders would have kept a clean sheet today. They took the criticism from the last game and played really well. In the second half, I thought we played some excellent stuff.”
GREENWOOD CAN GO FAR
“He has to manage himself. I’m doing my bit to help him, he has to turn in performances in the training sessions and in the games, play properly. It’s all down to him and he can go as far as he wants to. He’s an exceptional finisher and I’m surprised he didn’t score his first chance today. You can’t leave a player out when he’s scoring goals. That’s more or less impossible.”
“He’s 18, so of course he’ll get better if he keeps doing the right things. He loves football; he’s a natural footballer. He was at the Academy as a little boy. His dad showed me a picture of the two of us when he was seven, when I took one of my little ones to the Academy Centres. He’s been at the club for so long. Just before I came back to the club, the youth team beat Chelsea 5-1 or 5-2 or something and he scored three I think. I watched that game on video and it’s just natural for him to score goals. Now he’s playing with better players and he’s enjoying his football. He knows what we want from him and we believe in him.”
“We’ve still got a contract with Paul and I’ve said it so many times, I think he’s a fantastic player, a fantastic person, one of the best midfielders in the world. I think he’s proving that he’s getting better and better - he’s been out for so long so that’s only natural. You can see he’s enjoying himself. The team is a different team to the one he left when he was injured. He’s focused and the attitude is everything. It's miles better in that dressing room.”
“Just focus on the next job. Don’t believe in all the hype or criticism. Do your job: go home, recover, come to work tomorrow morning and recover again for Monday - that’s going to be a hard game against a Southampton team that probably runs the most in the Premier League. If there’s one thing I don’t want to see, it’s my team being outworked.”
PREMIER LEAGUE RECORD
“We should have won by five clear goals in all of them! I’m surprised by that stat, but we should have had so many more goals. We’re keeping clean sheets, which is great and I think we could have had a few more the other way."
"I think we could have scored many, many more goals and we're keeping clean sheets. Of course we just keep going into every game wanting to win. If you win 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, it doesn’t matter if we get the points. But hopefully the goal difference won’t be the deciding factor at the end, because we should have had 10 more goals in the last two games.”
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Check out the best images from another enthralling Reds performance, at Villa Park.
"It’s not easy - there’s game after game after game, so we just have to keep doing the right things on the pitch and off the pitch. Now it’s recovery time because there’s a game on Monday again."
MARTIAL WANTED TO STAY ON
“Anthony’s getting fitter and fitter and he could have lasted the game of course and he’s starting every game. I’d be more worried if he wanted to come off. Everyone wants to be a part of the team, be on the pitch and he’s put a shift in so that’s fine. It’s great for me to have him available to start every game.”
FUTURE TITLE PROSPECTS
“I’m sure Man United will mount a challenge and get back to winning the league. When that’s going to happen is down to every single one of us that’s here and how quickly we can make this process go. We’re definitely improving as a team and developing, and we have to remember we’ve come a long way in one season. Let’s just take Paul [Pogba]’s words into the dressing room and expect and demand more of each other every single day.”