Solskjaer reacts to Europa League win
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Mason Greenwood after the 17-year-old became Manchester United's youngest-ever scorer in European competition.
The Academy graduate struck the only goal on 73 minutes to seal a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan Premier League champions Astana in the Europa League.
Speaking to BT Sport and MUTV after the final whistle, the boss said he was satisfied with the performance and touched upon how important it was for Greenwood and fellow youngsters Axel Tuanzebe, Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes to be given the chance to start a European fixture under the lights at Old Trafford.
A GREAT MOMENT FOR GREENWOOD
“In and around the box he’s one of the best finishers we’ve got and I’m happy he got his goal. I’m sure he’ll go home tonight and be happy with that one.
“He’s a natural finisher and he’s confident in front of goal. He is able to go inside and finish with his left foot as we saw in the first half. He’s able to go outside and finish with his right, like in the second half. It’s a great attribute to have, to be not 50-50 but 60-60, because he’s better than 100 per cent.”
Ole praises Greenwood and Astana's keeper
The boss discusses Mason Greenwood, Astana's in-form goalkeeper and Sunday's trip to West Ham in our interview...
THE YOUNGSTERS SHONE
“If you want to make it as a Manchester United player, you have to handle the atmosphere, that’s for sure. It’s not an easy place to make your debut in a game like this when you don’t get a goal, but Mason won us the game so we’re very pleased for him. I thought Angel [Gomes] did well, [Tahith] Chong also showed glimpses, so they’ll be better for it.
“We think today was a great opportunity for them. We wouldn’t throw them in if we didn’t feel they were ready. You can still see they need game time. You get your rhythm when you play a game every week. Some of them won’t play against West Ham and then they’ll play against Rochdale next week."
WE MADE IT HARD FOR OURSELVES AT TIMES
“Maybe our players were thinking twice about what would have come naturally. If you’re 1-0 up, everyone is in rhythm and it just flows but [until then] it was like we had to force a goal. We made not the best decisions at times, with the cross and the last pass, and some of the finishes were at the keeper, or the keeper saved them. He played really well.
“In games like these, you can make sure you win the game in the first 20 minutes if you take one or two of the chances, and then you can enjoy it. You can see some of our lads needed games. It’s pleasing that we got three points and that’s it – we got off to a decent start in that respect.”
The story of United v Astana gallery
Looking for an alternative view of the game? Check out these images from Old Trafford.
WE’RE READY FOR SUNDAY
“We have prepared for the [West Ham] game already this week. We’ve had two games in our eyes or two games that we’ve been looking forward to. Tomorrow will be a recovery day for everyone and Saturday a preparation day, so we’re set for that one.”
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