Solskjaer's verdict on Brighton 2 United 3
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised his Manchester United players for the fighting spirit shown against Brighton & Hove Albion, after the Reds dramatically won 3-2 at the Amex Stadium.
Marcus Rashford then put us 2-1 up midway through the second half but, frustratingly, it looked like three points had been taken away when Solly March levelled in the 95th minute.
In a remarkable conclusion, VAR awarded United a penalty after Maguire’s header struck the hand of Maupay and Bruno Fernandes duly scored to clinch an unpredictable victory on the south coast.
While Solskajer was not pleased with United’s overall performance, the manager was delighted by the never-say-die attitude on display and commended his players for fighting until the very end…
Here’s our interview with the boss…
Solskjaer praises Bruno's steely mindsetVideo
“The consequences of the PSG were maybe more severe but, at this point of the season, it’s vital for us to get three points. It’s been a long, long time since we’ve won a game at the end, maybe towards the PSG game? Last season, we had so many draws. Was it 12 or something? I can’t remember how many, but we didn’t win late on in games like we used to do at this club. It’s a part of the history of this club, so I’m very happy and pleased with that.”
It was a rollercoaster of emotions though, because when that goal goes in for 2-2, we’re all flattened by that, aren’t we?
“Of course, they’ve dug in, they worked hard. We know we’re not fit yet. You can see they’re fitter than us. They are one of the fittest teams in the league, so we knew it was going to be a difficult game physically because we’re not there yet. We’ll get there but the reaction was brilliant to both goals. We didn’t play before the first goal and that’s something we need to address. The reaction to the last one as well was great.”
“He’s very strong mentally. That’s a big part of being a penalty-taker. Goalkeepers and penalty-takers need to keep their focus and concentration and be mentally strong. Bruno has got one of the strongest mentalities I’ve come across.”
It was a great strike from Marcus as well…
“I’m very happy for Marcus to get that goal. He was just a couple of inches offside on a counter-attack we had, with a great cross from Mason [Greenwood]. We did see some moments that we didn’t see last week. We’re getting a little bit better but I think we need to admit sometimes you get away with one, and today we probably didn’t deserve more than one point.”
Brighton 2 United 3: Ole's press conferenceVideo
“Of course you are. We need to stop crosses better. We need to block off in the box better, of course [they hit the] crossbar a few times. David [De Gea] had most under control but they did create chances and, with better finishing ,they would have had three points.”
You come back here on Wednesday, it’s not going to be like that is it?
“I wouldn’t mind, however we win in the cup. You just want to go through. We’re looking forward to Wednesday again.”
Fernandes: We know we can do much betterVideo
Check out what the manager said on BT Sport…
How do you sum that up?
“You can’t sum it up at all really. Emotions, drama. We got away with one, to be fair. I have to say.”
Did you think the chance had gone?
“When they equalised you thought that’s two points lost. Maybe one point was what we deserved. I don’t think we deserved more, but that character they showed deserved more. As in the reaction to the first goal, we started playing, the reaction to the second goal. We went straight to the other end and created a corner. That’s a big thing for us compared to last season. We had too many draws. We were the team that had the fewest defeats apart from Liverpool. So that’s a big plus for us.”
They hit the post five times – were you expecting more from your side?
“First of all, you have to be happy Jose’s not here to measure the goal posts! It might have been a smaller goal! They created too much for my liking. They’re a difficult team to play against. We tried to press but they’ve got really good ball-players at the back. They played really well so we didn’t get there. When we’re low, you can see we don’t have the legs and sharpness still. But we’ll get there.”
“That was early on in the second half. Whatever happened there, it wouldn’t be the defining moment. Yes it’s in front of him. Paul [Pogba]’s running behind him but he’s not attempting to get on to the lad so, for me, there’s no contact there.”
You got the result but there’s a lot of work still to be done?
“Plenty of work. The players know that. We got away with one. Sometimes you’ve just got to take the points and know we need to improve a lot. Last week was very disappointing, we didn’t get anything from the game. Today, we showed character, the response a couple of times. That’s big pluses and the lads showed quality: strikers, forwards, creating chances. David’s making an important save from Trossard. There were some pluses as well.”