Ole praises duo's positive impact

Wednesday 03 November 2021 10:00

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised the contributions of Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho after our draw with Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Dutch midfielder and the England international were brought on in the 87th minute for Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay as the Reds looked for a late equaliser in Bergamo.

Shortly after the duo's introduction, Cristiano Ronaldo smashed home a sensational volley to make it 2-2 and secure a vital point away from home in Europe. 

Jadon Sancho has been involved in all of United's matches in the UEFA Champions League this season.

After the match in Italy, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked about the thinking behind bringing on van de Beek and Sancho for the latter stages of the match.

"I thought the qualities they have could make an impact," the Norwegian explained, before complimenting our talented no.25. 

"Jadon was sharp. We wanted a little bit more width on the side, because we put Edinson on. Bruno played well and you want him out there, but I felt we needed a little bit more width to get the crosses in for Edinson or Cristiano.

"Donny provided the run for the last goal and he keeps working," Ole added about the midfielder, who impressed in his cameo off the bench.

"He’s got qualities in there to unlock close defences and he almost scored as well. I thought all of those who came on did well.”

Donny van de Beek almost found a winner after Cristiano Ronaldo's late equaliser.

Another player who was brought onto the pitch, although much earlier, in the 38th minute for the injured Raphael Varane, was forward Mason Greenwood. The alteration meant the Reds changed from a formation with a back three to a back four.

"It was a game that… I felt first half, we didn't get the openings," the boss explained when asked about the formation change.

Mason Greenwood was a bright spark for United after he came on and was involved in both of our goals on Tuesday.

"Of course, they've got a man-marking system and our rhythm and the quality of passing wasn't great, it wasn’t good enough. We gave them too many turnovers. Apart from Ronaldo and maybe David [De Gea], Mason has had a very, very good season.

"He’s so clean on the ball. He keeps hold of the ball so if he gets man-marked, he’ll keep it. And we were 1-0 down and you had to still have the discipline to make sure we don’t go all open, but we needed a little bit more up front and Mason definitely provided that quality.”