Glum Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of the defeat to Sheffield United

Solskjaer reacts to surprise defeat for Reds

Wednesday 27 January 2021 23:25

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was disappointed that the Reds lacked solutions to the problems faced in the shock 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United.

The Reds missed the opportunity to leapfrog Premier League title rivals Manchester City at the top of the division after suffering a surprise defeat at Old Trafford that saw the Blades wreck United's 13-game unbeaten run, which had taken us into the thick of the battle for the summit.

Ole's men were beaten by goals from Kean Bryan in the first half and a winner from Oliver Burke in the second. Captain Harry Maguire's headed equaliser was not enough to pull off another comeback for United.

Solskjaer lamented the Reds' sloppy defending that contributed to the unexpected loss when he spoke to MUTV  and BT Sport, and at his press conference, after the match...

Ole: We were well under par Video

Ole: We were well under par

The boss was disappointed with our performance against the Blades, but is confident he can lift his squad for Arsenal...


“Disappointing. Well below par, of course, we started okay but then conceded the goal from maybe the first attack, a corner-kick. We had all the possession but when you concede two bad goals it is always going to be difficult. We didn’t create enough. We put pressure on them but we couldn’t penetrate enough in behind them and create big enough chances to score enough goals.”


“We were not lacking inspiration. That magic. That was missing. That little bit extra. There wasn’t the space to run into, they defended well and fair play to them, take nothing away from them. We didn’t have the right ideas or solutions. They weren’t there. The performance-level wasn’t there, the tempo wasn’t there, the quality wasn’t there. There were spaces we didn’t use and chances we could have made more of in the first half but, when you’re 1-0 down, you’re always chasing the game. They dropped deep and defended really well. I have to be fair enough to say they defended very well and we didn’t have the solutions to open them up.”


“It’s a foul on David [De Gea] if you look at it closely. I didn’t see it live but, when you see the TV pictures, Billy Sharp has been around the block and just turns round and pushes David enough so he can’t get up. Unfortunately, that’s football and how it is but then he disallows our goal [by Anthony Martial] and it’s another bad decision. That just sums up our night, it wasn’t to be. It is this kind of season, inconsistencies. It is going to be unpredictable but that is two mistakes by the referee.”.


“It wasn’t to be. We felt the momentum was going our way as we dominated possession, dominated territory but couldn’t create big enough chances. If you don’t when you play against teams in the Premier League, you can get punished and it was a sloppy goal, a very sloppy goal to concede. The second goal we conceded was just so poor. So sloppy. We lost the ball so easily. We get back into position but then we just stopped getting out to the ball. Absolutely three or four decisions there that were completely out of character. That is maybe down to the season it is as well."

Solskjaer was unhappy Anthony Martial's goal was disallowed


"Well, I think the whole team will probably get criticism tonight, and myself as well. I don't think Anthony is exempt from that. We all should be criticised because we didn't perform. I know Anto, he's been working really hard in training, working on his finishing, working on his movement, so I've got no doubts that he will come good."


“No big inquest. Of course we are disappointed. We have seen so many results this season being out of character and today, yes we're surprised, but with the world as it is we have been very consistent. We have been the most consistent team the last few months and it just hit us today. We dust off the sad feeling and go again. We’ll get over it tonight and start again tomorrow. Saturday it’s Arsenal and a big performance is needed as they’re in good form, good shape and have done well against us before. We know we have to lift ourselves.

“I just think it’s this kind of season, we’ve been terrific, our consistency has been absolutely top and we’ve won narrow games like this one so many times. When it doesn’t happen today, we’re disappointed of course we are because we know we can play better. But I don’t have time for a big, long inquest. We need to get over it and go again.”