Sport Soccer

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Solskjaer manages to find a silver lining after Manchester United's latest limp display in the Europa League

Manchester United's manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer flashes a thumbs up to fans after the Europa League Group L draw with AZ Alkmaar. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong
Manchester United's manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer flashes a thumbs up to fans after the Europa League Group L draw with AZ Alkmaar. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer painted an upbeat image of his side's limp performance in their 0-0 draw against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League, even though they failed to register a single shot on target in Holland.

United's latest uninspiring performance ensured they have failed to win any of their last 10 away matches in all competitions, with keeper David De Gea called upon to ensure they were not condemned to a defeat against a side currently sitting in third place in the Dutch league.

"Very happy with the boys, we come away with a good performance," declared a surprisingly satisfied Solskjaer, who continues to offer up positive verdicts on his players despite their increasingly worrying form.

"Good performance against a good opponent on a very bad surface.

"If you get your draws away from home and win your home games you’ll be fine. We go to Belgrade wanting a win and that sets up up nicely."

Teenager defender Brandon Williams earned praise from Solskjaer after his debut performance, yet this latest United display did little to lift the mood after he oversaw the club's worst start to a domestic season in 30 years.

Manchester United's Brandon Williams (left) in action during the Europa League Group L draw with AZ Alkmaar
Manchester United's Brandon Williams (left) in action during the Europa League Group L draw with AZ Alkmaar

United defender Diogo Dalot suggested the condition of the artificial surface at the Kyocera Stadium contributed to a disappointing display from the visitors.

"Tough game, difficult pitch, difficult opponent, they play very well," he told MUTV. "We keep a clean sheet and it's a good point away from home.

"It was difficult. We're Man United and we need to be ready for every challenge. We don't use it as an excuse but it was difficult.

"I don't want to say every time that the pitch was difficult but we need to pass good and cross good. We need to keep the positives, look to improve and I think today was positive with the clean sheet.

"David (De Gea) did some good saves. He's there for doing that and we’re there to stop as much as we can. we try until the end and we did some good defending against a good team."

Meanwhile, United suffered another injury scare after Jesse Lingard limped off in the closing stages, with Solskjaer confirming his winger was feeling tightness in his hamstring.

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