Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Solskjaer: We were back to our old selves

Thursday 18 February 2021 20:48

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has supplied his verdict on Manchester United's 4-0 win over Real Sociedad in the Europa League.

The manager feels his side were back to something approaching our best form after goals from Bruno Fernandes (2), Marcus Rashford and Daniel James put the Reds in a commanding position ahead of next week's second leg at Old Trafford.

After the game at the Allianz Stadium, he spoke with MUTV and BT Sport, plus in a press conference...

Ole: We targeted the spaces in behind Video

Ole: We targeted the spaces in behind

The United boss was thrilled with the Reds' 4-0 victory in Turin...

"We spoke about it before the game that we need to be back to ourselves. Not more direct but attack quicker, see where there is a chance and we knew it was an away game, even if it was at a neutral venue, we knew the goals were going to count more for us. So why not take a risk, go forward, risk some balls in behind? We knew they would have a high line and not have the same pace as Marcus and Dan so we targeted those spaces. We just wanted to be back to ourselves again. The last few weeks, I don’t know how you say it in English but it’s been staccato, stop start and we’ve not really performed. It was about finding ourselves, being positive, having courage and running until you have to come off."

"Every team attacks you, they do have attacks, so it’s about finding the moments when you have space in behind, or if you have space in between, or if you have space around them. We feel that we are a work in progress, we are learning. The season has been a little bit inconsistent. We’ve not been able to win lately, but the little X-Factor, I feel we got back today. We played well, we were more clinical in front of goal, of course even though we had a few chances before we got the first one. Definitely, when we got the second one, the game opened up and we found ourselves in loads of space."

"We do create chances and he [Bruno] gets them. He’s good at finding spaces and his technical ability when it comes to chances is top class. Two very good goals. Bruno always wants to do the next thing correctly. He wants to do the next thing at the best of his ability and that is a very good attribute and quality to have. You never rest on your laurels. If he scores two, he wants three, if he gets an assist, he wants another one. He drives everyone on, of course, sometimes he drives too much and wants to do too much. Tonight, he played his position really well and was in the spaces we wanted him and we can see how efficient he is."

"Today was a decision we made [to play Mason up front] because, with Marcus and Dan, we felt the spaces behind the full-backs tonight were going to be important. We had Mason in the middle, dropping off and getting on the ball, and he’ll keep playing sometimes up front and sometimes wide. We’ll find his position later on but we probably need a year or two before he’s a full-grown number nine."

Talking Points: Four-midable Reds


Read our alternative take on a hugely impressive European performance by United.

"We didn’t get anything back from last season’s Europa League run, that’s for sure. We can talk about being in the semi-final and, in the end, we got nothing out of that so maybe sometimes you could look at it not being worth it. But I think the experience from last season has helped this team, these boys, and we have got to learn from experiences on the job. That’s the only way of learning from your mistakes to correct them. I’ve got to say the semi-final defeat last season is still in the back of our heads. Of course, it hurts. We played a very good Sevilla team and felt we should have gone all the way."

"Of course, it’s such a tight schedule and, as you saw today, we rotated quite a bit and made some changes after about an hour. It’s good for minutes and for form and for everyone. We’ve got to make changes, keep freshening up and then Sunday already, here we go again."