Ole Gunnar Solskjær: ‘You can’t lay down and say this is over’
Manchester United manager says his side got a reality check but can hit back
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaves the pitch with David De Gea and team mates after the Champions League Round of 16 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images
Ole Gunnar Solskjær said Manchester United cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves after Paris Saint-Germain inflicted a first defeat of his caretaker tenure.
Asked what his message to the players was after a 2-0 defeat that was United’s heaviest at home in European competition, Solskjær looked forward to their next game, in the FA Cup on Monday, saying: “Not to be sorry for themselves. Anyone who feels sorry for themselves probably won’t play against Chelsea.
“Today is a reality check for us. Mountains are there to be climbed, you can’t lay down and say this is over. We will go there, play our game and improve from today.
“They had the momentum after the first goal and controlled the game. You could see we hadn’t played at this level for a while and we will have to learn. It was an experience that can go either way, it’s not going to be a season-defining one, it’s one we have to learn from.”
Goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappé gave PSG the win, while Paul Pogba was sent off in the 89th minute after picking up two yellow cards.
Solskjær said of the second booking: “Paul Pogba is trying to get his body across and Dani Alves is clever enough to put his foot in there. Paul wants to shield the ball, he’s unlucky.”
Solskjær refused to blame the defeat on injuries to Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, who went off either side of the break.
“You can’t say that’s a reason, we had quality players to come on but Lingard and Martial give us something and let’s hope they are not too serious,” he said. “They are muscle injuries, we have to wait a couple of days [to see].”
Solskjær was curt regarding the disappointing display of Alexis Sánchez, who replaced Lingard. “He needs to find himself, because we know there’s a quality player there,” he said.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were without the injured Neymar and Edinson Cavani in attack but the former United forward Ángel Di María shone instead, creating each goal.
The Argentinian was booed and he had objects thrown at him by the home support; United may face charges from Uefa as a result.
Tuchel said: “Ángel Di María is very competitive. If you tease him, it does not make him weaker.” – Guardian service