Later News Sep 15

Solskjaer defends his tactics as Manchester United are shown up by Young Boys

Manchester United took the first step towards their dream of finally winning the Europa League – which they have failed to do in their last two attempts – as they were beaten 2-1 by Young Boys in their opening Group F Champions League fixture this morning (SGT).


Cristiano Ronaldo made it three goals in two games as he scored on his second start since re-signing for United, but his goalscoring exploits were completely overshadowed by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who got himself sent off for a reckless challenge in the 35th minute, and by eternal ‘wonderkid’ Jesse Lingard, who provided the assist for Young Boys’ winner deep into stoppage time.


WATCH: Ronaldo prepares for United's Champions League opener


But for many, the blame for the defeat lies squarely at the feet of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, due to his decision to hide in his shell like a startled turtle in the aftermath of Wan-Bissaka’s red card – this saw him move to a back-five, while also taking off attacking players like Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, and Jadon Sancho.


Solskjaer, however, insists that he was right to close up shop and try to squeeze the joy out of the game.


WATCH: Solskjaer explains defensive substitutions in Young Boy defeat


“The signs were there last in five minutes of the first half that they were going to get get crosses in the box," said Solskjaer, whose United side had taken the lead in the 13th minute.


“Raphael [Varane], Victor [Lindelof] and Harry [Maguire] coped with it well. It was the best way of controlling them, but we should have done more with the ball.”


United captain Maguire also jumped to the defence of Solskjaer, as he said: “I think the majority of their (Young Boys’) chances came late in the first half when we were playing a back four and we couldn't really get out to stop the crosses, we couldn't defend the box well enough with the number of bodies they were throwing forward into the box.


“And then we've come out in the second half and we looked controlled without the ball, without being a huge threat on the counter-attack. We could have done more on the ball but without the ball, they didn't really create big opportunities. The first goal is unfortunate, the deflection, I don't know who it ends up going in off.


“The last goal is a mistake, it happens in football, but it's unfortunate again. In terms of the shape without the ball, I felt it was a lot better when we went to a back three or back five. With the counter-attacks, we could have done a little bit more.”


The loss leaves the Red Devils bottom of Group F, with Atalanta and Villarreal playing out a 2-2 draw in the other group match. United will qualify for the Europa League if they eventually finish third in the group.


The other English team involved in the Champions League this morning was current title holders Chelsea, who beat Zenit Saint Petersburg 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Romelu Lukaku.


WATCH: Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel hails world class Lukaku


The Belgian scored the only goal of the game in the 69th minute - his fourth goal in four games since signing for the Blues in the summer.


And Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel believes Lukaku has made his team complete.


"We did win also without Romelu and produced results. But he was the type of profile we were missing, not just because of the talent but because of the personality," Tuchel explained.


"He is such a humble guy, a super communicator in the dressing room, and that creates a certain energy around him in the team that we are proud of and what to have."




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