Published On: Mon, Jul 27th, 2020

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s brilliant message to players before key Leicester win | Football | Sport


Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he told players they were already winners BEFORE their 2-0 win over Leicester on Sunday. The Red Devils went into the showdown knowing that, should they avoid defeat, they’d be back in the Champions League. And United put the Foxes to the sword with Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard both on target.

Manchester United survived some scares against Leicester to book their place in next season’s Champions League.

Fernandes scored the opening goal of the afternoon, with the 25-year-old finding the net from the penalty spot after Anthony Martial was fouled in the area.

And Lingard then made the points safe late on, capitalising on a mistake from Foxes shot-stopper Kasper Schmeichel in the process.

United went into the game under immense pressure but, to their credit, came through it.

And Solskjaer, speaking to MUTV, has revealed he told the players they were already winners before the crunch showdown.

“The players and the staff have worked so hard,” said the Norwegian.

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“I told them this morning, we’ve won [already] because we’ve come together as a team.

“Your viewers, our fans, know that as well. We are going places and we’ve got a team you can like. You can see the DNA of Manchester United. At least that’s what I feel.

“Today was not a classic Manchester United performance but, in the first half, we controlled it and, in the second half, when they had to come for us, we defended really well.”

In a separate interview, Solskjaer hailed his squad for getting the job done.

“It’s been like a mini-tournament this restart, and you can see it,” he said after steering United to third in the Premier League table.

“We’ve been a bit tired, leggy.

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“I think the boys have done a great achievement, you know where we were earlier in the season to end up third is fantastic for them.

“It’s a wonderful achievement by everyone. Today wasn’t a classic but that doesn’t matter, but we need to learn to win these games that we need a result in.”

United captain Harry Maguire also spoke after the game and admitted that United had to keep improving if they’re to beat Liverpool and Manchester City to the Premier League title next season.

“To finish third in the Premier League, that’s where we expect to be and we expect to be in the Champions League,” Maguire told Sky Sports.

“Obviously the last few years have been tough and at the start of the season people didn’t expect us to be in the top four at the end of the season, but we had great belief in ourselves.

“At the start of the season we were far too inconsistent – dropping points and performances weren’t good enough in parts of games and we’d get punished.

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“We’ve been a lot better of late and it’s come from an unpromising position that shows the great character we’ve got in this group.”

Maguire also thinks the signing of Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January has been key, adding: “Obviously bringing Bruno in, in January, has made a big difference.

“Obviously, he scored the goal to put us 1-0 up today. But we’ve just worked tirelessly hard on the training pitch and knew we needed to get better.

“Our top performances were good at the start of the season but we just dropped too much in-between games and we dropped so many silly points when we shouldn’t have dropped points.

“I think defending set-plays is huge as well. We were finding ourselves going 1-0 behind in games and it was tough to break teams down. That’s improved a lot, apart from the goal we conceded against Southampton.

“But it’s showing great character from the lads to come back to get what we set out to at the start of the season. To finish third in the Premier League should be a minimum requirement from this club, but next season we have to keep improving and building.”

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