Solskjaer: Old Trafford is magic
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had his say on the pulsating 2-1 victory over Villarreal at Old Trafford.
Despite falling behind to the Europa League holders, the Reds breathed life into our Champions League campaign with a stirring comeback, thanks to goals from Alex Telles and, at the death, Cristiano Ronaldo.
It was just like old times for Ronaldo and Ole at the Theatre of Dreams and the boss gave his verdict on the three points to MUTV, BT Sport and at his press conference...
"That's what happens here at Old Trafford. It's happened so many times before and, of course, we had to throw caution to the wind and we got lucky in the end. Sometimes it's not about pass there, pass there - it's the crowd. The Stretford End has sucked a few balls in before. I know that. That's probably what happens and, when you've got Cristiano on the pitch, there's always a chance. Second half, it was still open and they deserved to lead but you know Old Trafford is magic. Champions League, Old Trafford, sometimes that history can help us and tonight Cristiano came up with a good goal and Alex scored a fantastic goal."
THE RONALDO EFFECT
"Seriously, he's so good in front of goal. He has an impact on everyone - the crowd, the players, the whole club. He’s done that so many times. You saw him against Ireland a month ago and he missed a penalty early, didn’t touch the ball much but scores two great headers in the last two minutes. That is just what he has done throughout his career. He is so strong mentally. He just stays in the game. I have seen him all day today; the way he has built himself up for this game, how focused he has been and, when he gets that one chance, it is a goal. He had a couple of half-decent headers in the first half that could have ended with chances but the true mark of a very, very good finisher is that he keeps calm when the chance arrives.”
CREDIT TO THE VISITORS
“It's not that easy to give just one [quality of theirs] because there are many, they are a very good team. They came here with the belief and trust and confidence to play football, technical football, passes on the floor and the goal they scored, for example, was played straight through us. Very good passing play. A very well coached team."
THE CONTEXT OF THE GROUP
“We gave ourselves a difficult job, of course, with the sending off last game against Young Boys. To get the three points at home is important, we know we need to get to 10 points, maybe 12, to go through, so it was a massive result for the team and, of course, for the spirit of the team. It is a better way of winning a game than the way we lost a couple of weeks ago. That’s football - it is highs and lows and, today, we get a result that we are delighted about.”
DE GEA IN TOP FORM
"David was fantastic, he did absolutely brilliant tonight but I didn't like how open we were. We wanted to go more attacking, we played with two no.8s, wide wingers, a centre-forward and Scotty [McTominay] was left a little bit on his own defensively. The two centre-backs did well to stop a few counter-attacks but David was exceptional."
"It's massive for the players, of course. Just to win games in this fashion, after we lost the game in Bern in that fashion, it's great. So I'd rather have a win and a defeat than two draws. Atalanta are a good team. Every game is hard at this level. You can see results yesterday that you don't really believe when you see them but that's European football now. The margins are so fine."