Solskjaer: Big moments will be key against Sevilla

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified the “big moments” as key to success for Manchester United against Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League semi-final.

The Reds have lost just once since January in all competitions, but face a Spanish side who are unbeaten in 19 in La Liga and the Europa League.

Julen Lopetgui’s side are experts in this tournament, with five successes on the club’s CV, the last coming in 2016.

United succeeded the Andalusians as trophy winners in 2017 and the showdown in Cologne is going to be a close shoot-out with the boss identifying the areas we will have to triumph in to get through to next Friday’s final at Stadion Koln.

United v Sevilla: Pre-match press conferenceVideo

“It is a very well organised team, [with an] aggressive style of play [and] pressing. They have got some very good individuals so we have to play our best game,” he told the pre-match press conference in Germany.

“We have to be able to keep the ball when we can and play out of their press and we have got to be clever and creative and we have, of course, got to step up in the big moments, the last pass, the finish because these games will be decided on so often either a set piece or a piece of individual brilliance by some players.

“You know that when you come to a semi-final you are playing against big teams, good teams with quality. And it is time to step up for big players, big game moments.

“You have to have 100 per cent focus because any little moment can change the game, can win you the game, can lose you the game.

“We want to be direct and we want to be positive in our football. I think we’ve shown now when teams drop we can create chances.”

The manager was speaking at a media briefing also attended by our midfielder Bruno Fernandes.

The January signing from Sporting Lisbon is the competition's leading goalscorer, with seven strikes across his spells in Portugal and with the Reds and Solskjaer will look to the Portuguese playmaker to have an influence.

“The man next to me (Fernandes) has been instrumental in creating chances on the counter-attack and in established play,” Ole said.

“We’ll have to see how the game pans out - do you get the first goal? That’s important in games like this.

“In any game it’s important to start well. We talk about it. We practise and we’re prepared for a good start. Definitely, against good teams, if you go chasing, if you start on the back foot, if you don’t get your first touches, or your first tackle, you’ll be going searching a little bit.

“You’re playing against a team full of quality and if we don’t get touches of the ball it will be hard.”

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