Solskjaer

Solskjaer reacts to pre-season victory against Derby

Sunday 18 July 2021 15:43

Manchester United enjoyed a positive start to pre-season with victory against Derby County and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased with his side's performance.

Tahith Chong put United ahead in the first half after winning the ball high up the pitch. Ole made nine changes at half-time and one of the substitutes, Facundo Pellistri, doubled United's lead after rounding the goalkeeper.

It's the first of five pre-season games for the Reds and there were plenty of positives to take away, mainly related to fitness but also the good performances of a number of young players as well as new signing Tom Heaton.

"I think you can see that they [Derby] may be a week ahead of us in their pre-season," Solskjaer told MUTV post-match.

"It was the first game for us, and it takes a little bit of time to get into that match mode. But we've won the game and it's good for these kids to feel that they've won the game."

Derby 1 Manchester United 2 article

The Reds get off to a winning start at Pride Park in our first pre-season friendly.

Chong's opening goal came after the Dutch winger was quick to react to a loose touch from Max Bird. He charged forward towards the Derby defender, robbed him of the ball and eventually finished. With the 22-year-old about to head on loan to Birmingham City, Solskjaer was happy with his performance.

"He did well to win the ball and I thought maybe he should have finished far corner," Ole commented, "but well done to keep going and he's got the talent so good luck for his time at Birmingham."

At half-time, the boss was eager to see his side enjoying the game more. Despite the beating 30-degree heat at pitch level, the Reds showed plenty more promise after the break and Facundo Pellistri was particularly bright.

"A very good goal," Solskjaer said of the Uruguayan's strike.

"A good pass [from Shoretire] as you say, his first touch sets him up and he's very good at dribbling and he's composed, so there's no trouble going past the 'keeper. It thought he was bright."

The aim now is to build on this in pre-season, ready for the start of the Premier League season on 14 August.

"There'll be more [minutes] for some of the most experienced ones, of course," Solskjaer said.

Pellistri celebrates his first United goal.

"There'll probably be less and less for the kids - that's just the way it goes. We have to start better than last season. We didn't get off to a decent start at all and now it's first one under the belt.

"I think the Premier League is more competitive [than it used to be]. We had [when I was a player] maybe one competitor every season so, of course, the first six or seven games, it's very important to stay there. You don't win the league in the first six or seven games, but you can lose the chance of winning the league."

United now head off for a week's training camp ahead of next Saturday's friendly against QPR at Loftus Road.

Highlights: Derby 1 United 2 Video

Highlights: Derby 1 United 2

Goals from Chong and Pellistri helped the Reds to victory at Pride Park on Sunday...

"It's [about] learning for the young ones and it's also for the experienced ones to show what's needed, what's done and of course some singing - that's always good for them," Solskjaer said, looking forward.

"You need to get the personality out of them. We want to see that they're confident players. They're good players so why not see that they're confident."

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