Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Brandon Williams applaud supporters after United beat Alkmaar 4-0.

Solskjaer: Topping the group was vital

Thursday 12 December 2019 23:35

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted with Manchester United's second-half showing in the 4-0 win over AZ Alkmaar, reserving special praise for two-goal hero Mason Greenwood.

The Norwegian felt the Reds lacked intensity in a difficult first period, but was pleased with the team's efforts after half-time, which led to a ferocious 11-minute spell featuring strikes from Ashley Young and Juan Mata, as well as that brace by Greenwood.

Solskjaer also welcomed the opportunity afforded by the UEFA Europa League to grant young players with vital match experience at a high competitive level.
Speaking to MUTV and BT Sport following the final whistle at Old Trafford, the manager gave his verdict on United's third win in eight days, following the Premier League successes against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.
Read on for his post-match thoughts...
Goals from Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood and Ashley Young earned the Reds a comfortable win.
"Just to be more us, be more Man United. I know it's difficult for players when we put out a team that hasn't played together, but in the second half we found the rhythm and more passes forward, runs forward. [We were more] decisive with more pressing, and we got some great goals out of it."
"He's different class as a finisher. I have to say, whenever he is in and around the box, you expect him to get a shot off and on target, because he's so precise in his finishing. He's good at the way he creates space for himself, either right foot or left foot, it doesn't matter. So, I'm very pleased with his performance. 
"Does he remind me of Rooney? No, he's a different type of player, Mason, to Wazza. But he must have enjoyed tonight. The thing with Mason is, he's just going to look forward to Sunday now. He's not going to rest on his laurels or think about this. It's just natural for him to score goals. It doesn't matter which level you are at."
"It was vital for us. You can have the second game [of the next round] at home, you play a team that's lower-seeded, but the most important thing was that we got game minutes from many players, some youngsters, [which is] great experience for some of these.
"The second half was a bigger thing than winning the group, because I think some of these boys will remember how different it is. That little five per cent extra that you give in a challenge, or the more precise you are in the passes, working as a team. Everything has worked out."
Ole's post-match interview Video

Ole's post-match interview

The manager was happy with the second-half performance after the Reds wrapped up top spot in Group L...

"A week is very long in football, of course. A lot of things can change in a week, but for us we just want games coming and the boys are in good shape. It's a good group. Today we made nine changes, we could have made a couple more, but I'm looking forward to seeing how this December goes, because they're growing into a good group."
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