‘No Man Utd inquest after Blades loss’

January 28, 2021
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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says there will be “no big inquest” despite a shock 2-1 home defeat by bottom team Sheffield United.

Solskjaer’s side would have regained top spot in the Premier League, going back above Manchester City, with a win over the Blades at Old Trafford.

“There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves,” said Solskjaer, whose team travel to in-form Arsenal on Saturday.

“Other teams have lost and bounced back – and we have done it before.”

After the trip to Arsenal, United’s next two games are against Southampton and Everton at Old Trafford – where they have suffered all four of their Premier League defeats this season.

“I expect our performance to be much better on Saturday,” added the Norwegian after Wednesday’s defeat.

“When I see them in the morning, I expect to see their mood back up.”

United have launched a surprise title challenge on the back of a 12-match unbeaten run, but produced a lacklustre performance against a Blades side they were expected to beat.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand said Solskjaer’s side – who stay second – missed the opportunity to underline their title credentials to neighbours City.

On Tuesday, Pep Guardiola’s side leapfrogged United by winning 5-0 at West Brom.

“City laid the gauntlet down and put West Brom to bed. Manchester United have to answer the next day,” former England captain Ferdinand said on BT Sport.

“If you’re going to be a title-chasing team, these are the games. You have to bring your A-game every week – bottom of the table, it doesn’t matter.

“What we have said for many months is the inconsistencies of individuals in this team are holding them back. We thought we’d seen the back of it.

“It’s not the end of the world. But it is a reality check for players.”

‘Two wrong decisions and a lack of spark’

Solskjaer agreed with his former team-mate Ferdinand that United’s display was a far cry from the performances that have seen them emerge as potential title contenders.

But the United boss was also annoyed by what he described as “two wrong decisions” by referee Peter Bankes, which Solskjaer felt could have had an impact on the result.

The Blades took a shock first-half lead through Kean Bryan’s header from a corner, with United keeper David de Gea complaining he had been fouled by striker Billy Sharp as tried to collect the ball.

Then, United’s Anthony Martial had a goal ruled out as Harry Maguire was adjudged to have fouled Blades keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

United skipper Maguire headed in a second-half equaliser before substitute Oliver Burke side-footed in the winner, via a deflection off Axel Tuanzebe.

“I’m disappointed we couldn’t get to the heights of the last few months’ football we played,” said Solskjaer.

“That little spark, that edge, we didn’t have that. Nor the extra creativity, imagination and the X-factor we’ve had.

“And the two wrong decisions, that’s how it is. It’s that kind of season – inconsistent – and the referee missed those two.”

Match of the Day pundits Dion Dublin and Martin Keown agreed with Solskjaer that United had been hard done by with those two decisions.

Former Manchester United striker Dublin said Sharp had “impeded” De Gea after “clocking him”, while ex-Arsenal defender Keown added Ramsdale “got away with one” because he felt there was “not enough contact” from Maguire.

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