Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Man Utd’s ‘Best Performance’ & Harry Maguire Being Captain Material

​Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has labelled his side’s win over Brighton on Sunday as the team’s ‘best performance’ of the season so far, while he also praised the leadership qualities of Harry Maguire. 

The Red Devils overcame Graham Potter’s men 3-1 at Old Trafford, with Andreas Pereira opening the scoring for the hosts before Davy Propper turned the ball into his own net to make it 2-0. Lewis Dunk pulled one back for the Seagulls, but Marcus Rashford restored the home side’s two-goal advantage only two minutes later.

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It was a convincing display from Solskjaer’s men, who have now scored three goals in both of their last two home matches – the last coming against Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday. 

Speaking after the game, the ​United boss was quick to praise his team’s performance. Solskjaer claimed, as ​quoted by the Evening Standard: “I think it’s our best performance of the season.

“You can go back to the Chelsea game, but today the reaction after they scored was fantastic and sometimes this season, when you get one or 2-0 up and go for the next one, how we didn’t end up five, six, or seven we don’t know. But [it was] exhilarating and entertaining and great to see the boys enjoy themselves.”

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Sunday’s win means the Red Devils have now won five out of their last six matches, with the only defeat in this time coming against Bournemouth. The Norwegian alluded to this, adding: “These six weeks since the international break when we started against Liverpool we’ve had five wins and a defeat, after the Liverpool game. 

“The ​Bournemouth game was disappointing, but we’ve had loads of answers to what we’re trying to do and if they don’t get confidence from this I don’t know what to tell them.

“It’s been great, these two games [Brighton and Partizan] with loads of attacking play, we should have had more goals, but the intentions are there, they’re going forward, enjoying themselves, attacking.”


When questioned about the manager’s decision to name centre-back and summer signing ​Maguire as captain instead of goalkeeper ​David de Gea, Solskjaer revealed: “Harry is captain material.

“So is David. David’s been here and done it many, many times, but Harry’s come in and been excellent in the dressing room and on the pitch and that was the decision. But he can become the long-term one.”  

It’s not the first time the Englishman has been handed the captain’s armband since his summer arrival and it appears as though the manager sees him as a potential successor to Ashley Young, who is the current club captain.

After the international break, United face a trip to take on Sheffield United, before facing Astana in the Europa League. 

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Twitter Reacts to Marcus Rashford Scoring a Goal, Doing a Flip-Flap & Missing a Sitter vs Brighton

​Marcus Rashford….inho?

In one of the more positive outings by Manchester United this season, an impressive attacking display somehow failed to produce more than three goals on Sunday – as Brighton’s defence struggled to contain the potency of Anthony Martial, Daniel James and the young English striker.

Needing victory to banish memories of an uninspiring defeat to Bournemouth last time out, an all-round positive display from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men acted as the perfect tonic heading into another international break.


Having come under criticism this season for some below-par outings, ​Rashford stole the show at Old Trafford with some positive, exciting play that had fans remembering exactly why the United number ten is among the finest talents in the country.

In recent weeks he has began to forge a partnership with Martial that demonstrates fine link-up play, off-the-ball running and individual skill that is painting a far brighter picture in the north-west to the one that has been underwhelming at best so far this campaign.

One of the main reasons for the slight upturn in form recently has been the 22-year-old, who has made Old Trafford his home with some interesting facts being coughed up by Opta in the wake of Sunday’s clash.

The forward scored his 30th goal for the ​Red Devils at Old Trafford, with six of those having come in the 2019/20 season. Only in the 2017/18 campaign has he netted more home goals in a single season for the club (nine), a number which is he most likely to smash this time around.

Fans on Twitter were loving what they saw, in particular the partnership he and ​Martial are beginning to forge.

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​​Two scrappy goals set United on their way in the first half, but with ​Brighton pushing further up in the second half in search of a route back into the match, United, and Rashford in particular, looked lethal on the break.


​​As the Seagulls grabbed the goal they needed, it looked as if it was going to be another similar story for Solskjaer’s men.

That, however, was until United broke again and Rashford did the business. Rather convincingly, it must be said.


​​Then the other side to Rashford’s game creeped in.

Seemingly only able to score great goals, he was presented with the perfect opportunity to put the game to bed. 

James found him with a perfectly weighted goal, it was just to be tapped in. 

If only it was that simple.




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​​He, and United, missed a few, to be fair.



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​​That’s all well and good.

But did you see the flip flap?

DID YOU SEE THE SKILL?

You probably have, but sod it, it’s worth seeing 176 times more. Rashford went full Ronaldinho and RINSED Davy Propper. It was the stuff of FIFA Street dreams.


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​​All in all it was a job well done for Rashford and co. You just feel, it could (and should) have been so many more on a day where missed chances were aplenty.

Nevertheless, the feeling after the match was one of mixed emotions. Rashford showcasing his fine raw ability, but equally, frustrating with some poor misses.




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​​Mixed emotions, indeed.

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Scott McTominay Could Miss ‘8 Weeks’ With Ankle Injury After Being Stretchered Off Against Brighton

​Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay is facing a potentially lengthy spell on the sidelines after appearing to roll his ankle against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

The 22-year-old was involved in United’s second goal in their 3-1 win over Graham Potter’s side, but McTominay’s afternoon ended on a sour note when he was forced off the pitch after rolling his ankle in added time.

McTominay had been one of Manchester United’s most impressive players on Sunday, but the Scotland international is now likely to have a lengthy spell on the sidelines – especially if he’s damaged his ligaments.

Scott McTominay

Following the match, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed: “He [McTominay] went over on his ankle. It’s a painful one. I had one and was out for eight weeks but sometimes back in two. Scan tomorrow. Scotty is not one for rolling around.”

United hit the ground running against Brighton and took the lead after Andreas Pereira’s left-footed effort was deflected into the back of the net by Dale Stephens.

McTominay then appeared to double their lead soon after when the ball pinballed around the penalty area, although the goal ultimately went down as an own goal from Netherlands international Davy Pröpper.

Lewis Dunk pulled one goal back for Brighton in the second half, but within minutes Marcus Rashford restored Manchester United’s two-goal lead which cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar.

While it was a vital return to winning ways – and most importantly a promising performance – attention will now be set on Mctominay’s fitness after the youngster cemented his place in Manchester United’s midfield.

McTominay will likely be forced to drop out of Scotland’s squad for their upcoming international fixtures against Cyprus and Kazakhstan.


For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!

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Manchester United Must Put the Bournemouth Defeat Aside and Show Genuine Progression in November

Despite defeat to Bournemouth at the start of November, Manchester United have shown important signs of improvement in recent weeks in both the Premier League and in the cup competitions. 

On Wednesday 23 October, United were without an away win since that remarkable victory in the French capital against Paris Saint-Germain back in March in the UEFA Champions League.

Just one week later, United had picked up not just one victory on the road but three, with the success at Chelsea in the Carabao Cup particularly impressive, given that the Blues had won their previous seven games, coupled with the fact United had beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge just three times in 18 years before Wednesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer,Daniel James

While on paper people will say it was only Partizan Belgrade and Norwich – the two other sides United defeated away from home in this period – these are still crucial victories as United hadn’t been beating sides of this low calibre away this term.

Defeats at Newcastle and West Ham in the Premier League along with a turgid draw against AZ Alkmaar are just a few of the samplings that United have offered up on the road since August.

Therefore, it was of crucial importance that United kept this run of form going when they travelled to the south coast to face Bournemouth at the start of November, to show everyone that the team were in fact making genuine progress. 

As the game kicked off, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been desperate to make it four wins in a row to show his critics that United had really turned a corner.

Yet, as United supporters have become accustomed to in recent years, they let everyone down again, performing poorly for large periods in that 1-0 defeat. 

As the full time whistle blew, it felt that United had taken a major step back, and the encouraging work of the previous week had all been undone.

Joshua King

The midfield three of Scott McTominay, Fred and Andreas Pereira looked void of creativity and ideas whilst up front Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial failed to influence the game in any manner. 

The quality that Solskjaer’s side had offered up in the games preceding this was simply not on offer, as all ​Bournemouth had to do was sit in, defend well and take an opportunity when it came – which they did successfully through Josh King.

So, taking that performance into account, is there the need for the ‘crisis’ label to come flying out again thick and fast?

The answer is no. 

Since then, United have swept aside Partizan at home with this 3-0 victory, largely down to the brilliance of the front three of Rashford, Martial and, in particular, Mason Greenwood, with all three getting on the scoresheet.

On Martial specifically, ​his ​return from injury was a major reason for United’s upturn in form before the Bournemouth defeat, with the Frenchman one of the few in the squad who has got genuine world class ability, making him so important for the Mancunians.

His delightful chip over the onrushing Tim Krul against Norwich firstly illustrated what a superb finisher he is, but also the 23-year-old’s combination with Rashford in the build up showed how important he is in getting the best out of the English youngster, with Rashford notably struggling far more when Martial was absent earlier in the campaign.

Anthony Martial

With games against Brighton at home and then Sheffield United away still to come in the Premier League in November – with the latter a potential banana skin given Arsenal went to the Steel City and lost just last month – United must put the Bournemouth game behind them and play with the same level of intensity they did against Chelsea, Norwich and at home to Partizan on Thursday, keeping up a sustained level of pressure on their opponents for longer periods in matches.

The key for Solskjaer is coming up with a plan to break down sides who pack bodies in front of goal. They painfully lacked such a plan against Bournemouth.

While the return of Paul Pogba in December will help United cut open teams due to his superb passing ability and vision, the movement of Daniel James, Martial, Rashford and Greenwood in dragging the defenders out of position to create space will be essential if United are to record victories in their upcoming games.

If they do this and are also clinical in both boxes, United – who are now 13 points behind third placed Chelsea – should beat both Brighton and Sheffield United and go into December in confident mood with the season just about still alive.

f United can come through unscathed in the coming weeks, fixtures against Manchester City and Tottenham at the start of December will provide even greater showcases to display to everyone exactly where they are at.

Marcus Rashford

Against these top six rivals though, the style of playing on the break may be the only feasible way of getting a result, and it does seemingly work more effectively – with the game against Liverpool at Old Trafford an example – as there will be more space in behind as both City and Spurs will come out and attack. 

The upcoming weeks are so important for Solskjaer. The defeat at Bournemouth must become just a blip, and they have to continue the form they have shown in the other games recently and go on a run now and climb up the table.

There is more than enough ability in the side to start picking up wins on a consistent basis and make something of this season, starting at Old Trafford against Brighton on Sunday. 

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Reveals His Plans for Mason Greenwood’s Development at Man Utd

​Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed that teenager Mason Greenwood is not yet ready to be handed a more prominent role in the first team.

The 18-year-old has been involved in 12 first team games this season, and has scored three goals – including the winner in the Red Devils’ 1-0 Europa League victory over Astana in September. 

Brandon Williams,Mason Greenwood

However, Anthony Martial’s return from a thigh injury in the 3-1 win over Norwich at Carrow Road is likely to mean Greenwood spends more time in United’s developmental sides, evidenced by his appearance in the Under-21s win over Doncaster Rovers two days later.

That line of thinking would appear to have been confirmed by Solskjaer, with the Evening Standard carrying quotes from the Norwegian that suggest Greenwood will need to bide his time for now and work hard.

If he’d really stamped his authority in training every single day and been the best option, he would have played every game,” Solskjaer said.

“But, as a young boy you expect ups and downs, and he’s had some downs. But, I think he is on his way up again. Mason is going to have a very big career, but sometimes it is not the right time to play him. He knows why he hasn’t played as much.

“He needs to learn the man’s game. He’s gone up from the under-18s last year, so now he’s training with the first team every day and you can’t just turn that switch on and off. You’ve got to perform every day if you are going to be accepted by a group like this.”

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Solskjær further clarified why he will not listen to calls for Greenwood to play more at this stage, adding: “We’re taking our time with him. It’s been a difficult period. Anthony has been away, so to put all the weight on his shoulders wasn’t right either.

“I think we are finding the right balance between playing him, resting him and training him. You always get assessed on results now, but the DNA of this club – and it’s always been in our philosophy and my philosophy – is to give young players with the right attitude a chance.

If that takes a couple of years for him to really, really come through, it’s worth it for us. I’m managing for Manchester United, I’m not managing for me. I’m managing for the best way I think we can get the best out of Mason.”


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