Ole: We lacked quality with our final ball
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he was surprised that Manchester United’s Premier League match with Leeds ended 0-0 on Sunday, given the last match between the sides produced eight goals.
The Reds had much the better of the contest and enjoyed the lion’s share of both the possession and goalscoring opportunities.But Marcelo Bielsa’s side did well to restrict Solskjaer’s men, who could reflect on few clear-cut chances – namely a Marcus Rashford free-kick and a Bruno Fernandes shot which was dragged wide.
The Norwegian threw on substitutes Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek as we searched in vain for a decisive moment, but United had to settle for a point, as our unbeaten run in away league games stretched to 24 matches.
Read on to see what the boss had to say about our performance via his post-match interviews with Sky Sports and MUTV…
AN UNEXPECTED GOALLESS GAME
“There are no guarantees in football, that’s for sure! I thought we played well. I thought we played really well, especially second half. I thought we dominated. We didn’t really give any chances away, we just didn’t have the ball fall correctly for us [in the] second half, in the big moments we had. We had some decent chances but unfortunately we couldn’t take them. I thought up until the last 18 metres or yards [we were excellent]. That’s where it stopped; the quality or the decision-making let us down just in that last moment. The game was played in their half in the second half. Then it is hard to get the big openings. I thought we had a good chance with Bruno and Dan had a couple of decent opportunities. Apart from that, we spoke about it before the game that there would be blocks and blocks and blocks, because they are good at following their men. They did well at their defending.”
WITNESS THE FITNESS“When two teams meet, you create problems, you solve problems, the opposition gives you things to think about and I think also we made them adjust to us. Of course we had to adjust to them, because they are a unique team, but I thought we did that really well. We put a really big shift down and they worked hard. Normally you see Leeds in the second half running over teams, steamrollering teams, with their fitness and how strong they are. I thought my boys, or our boys, looked really strong, like athletes with desire and confidence. We just couldn't get the goal, unfortunately.”
“It is hard to concede when the ball is in their half. We did well today, I thought we were assured with the ball as well – Victor, Harry, Dean, Luke and Aaron. When it is one against one, the times when they win the ball and break forward, it is exciting. I am disappointed we didn't get three points, but I am very pleased with the performance.”
DOES THIS AFFECT OUR MOMENTUM?“Of course you’re disappointed that we don’t get the three points, but I think the boys know they put a shift down. We really have a lot of respect for the way Leeds play, and we know the results that they’ve had lately. So this is not something we’re going to look back on as derailing our season. Definitely not.”
“Let's keep it going, because we have got important games coming up and hopefully we can carry on with this form. We are looking forward to the [Europa League] semis. We have felt the disappointment too many times in semis and we are looking forward to attacking these games. They are challenges for us and great tests for the group.”
“There’s no doubt it’s needed. It’s needed that action is taken, and that it stops [abuse] full-stop. Of course we want to play our part, and this is our part to play. Hopefully this will be the end of it. We’ve been working with this [problem] for years and years and it’s still happening, so with the social media companies, hopefully we can get an end to it.”