Todos parecen ver los males del United… menos Solskjaer

El Manchester United no se plantea un cambio en el banquillo de Old Trafford, y eso a pesar de que la mayoría coincide en que el rendimiento del equipo está siendo muy pobre pese a la llegada en verano de Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane y Jadon Sancho. Gary Neville afirmó anoche, tras la derrota ante el Leicester, que “no harán nada con el técnico, al final el club está estable en ese sentido con respecto a lo que ha pasado en los últimos 10 años y reconocen que van a pasar por estos momentos”.

Aún así, Neville no se privó de criticar la labor de técnico y jugadores. “No son lo suficientemente buenos. En el momento en que empiecen a jugar en equipos medio decentes, tendrán problemas”, afirmó el comentarista en Sky Sports. Solskjaer parece no estar todavía en peligro, pero el aluvión de críticas al juego del equipo está siendo hoy constante, procedentes de diferentes voces con autoridad del fútbol inglés.

Escudo/Bandera M. United

Premier League

*Datos actualizados a fecha 17 de octubre de 2021

“Las actuaciones del equipo han sido muy malas durante toda la temporada. Ha habido algunos grandes goles, pero el rendimiento general ha sido de mala calidad. Ha sido complicado y desaliñado de ver, así que cuando juegas contra un equipo que tiene una organización, una metodología, te van a separar y eso es lo que sucede. Fueron desarmados por el Everton, por el Aston Villa, por el Villarreal… Hoy, Leicester, medio equipo decente, buen equipo”, continuó.

Para el ex diablo rojo, el problema reside en la falta de equilibrio de las alineaciones de Solskjaer: “No son lo suficientemente buenos sin la posesión, son los más débiles de los que están en la cima de la liga sin una sombra de duda en términos de presión general, no presionan. Hemos visto al equipo elegido hoy con Greenwood, Sancho, Ronaldo, Pogba y Fernandes. No me gustaría ser defensa en ese equipo”.

John Barnes señala a los cuatro delanteros

El excentrocampista del United, Hargreaves, criticó la pobre defensa del equipo de Solskjaer, que fue superado con demasiada facilidad por los equipos de la oposición que los contraatacaron: “Han jugado así toda la temporada. Prácticamente en todos los partidos que he visto han tenido momentos sublimes en los que se han salvado por la brillantez individual, pero nunca han tenido el control de los juegos. Todos los equipos, ya sea Villa, Villarreal, Everton, todos los partidos que concedieron malos contraataques, fueron castigados por jugadores que son excelentes en el contraataque”,

Otro exinternacional, John Barnes señaló en especial a las grandes estrellas del United: “Cuando están tan abiertos, los cuatro delanteros realmente no retroceden, hay demasiado espacio para jugadores de calidad. Ese resultado estaba llegando”.

Sancho glänzt als Vorbereiter: England zerlegt Andorra

Keine Probleme hatte England beim standesgemäßen 5:0 gegen Andorra. Neben Jadon Sancho konnten dabei auch zwei andere Spieler aus Manchester glänzen.

Flanke, Tor: Tammy Abraham bedankt sich bei Jadon Sancho (re.) für dessen Assist. 

Flanke, Tor: Tammy Abraham bedankt sich bei Jadon Sancho (re.) für dessen Assist. 

imago images/PA Images

Der Sieg war eingeplant, und der Sieg wurde eingefahren: Gegen Andorra gab sich England keine Blöße und fertigte den Außenseiter ab. Dabei begann es auch erwartungsgemäß im Estadi Nacional, in dem am Freitag noch ein Feuer ausgebrochen war. Die Three Lions drückten die Hausherren von Beginn an tief in deren Hälfte und kontrollierten das Spiel. Phasenweise wiesen die Gäste knapp 90 Prozent Ballbesitz auf.

Sancho und Foden servieren

Das erste Tor war also früh überfällig: Nach tollem Zuspiel von ManCitys Foden und feiner Annahme von Sancho legte der Ex-Borusse für Chilwell ab, der einschob (17.). Fast das selbe Spiel auch beim 2:0: Erneut chippte der auffällige und spielfreudige Foden die Kugel in die Tiefe, dieses Mal verwertete aber Saka (40.) und stellte den Pausenstand her. 

Auch die zweite Hälfte der Partie, die erstmals in der Geschichte der englischen Nationalmannschaft von einem weiblichen Schiedsrichterteam geleitet worden war, gehörte dem Vize-Europameister – und wieder war Sancho beteiligt. Eine Flanke des ManUnited-Neuzugangs lenkte Abraham ins Tor (59.).

Grealishs Premierentreffer

In der 73. kam für Sancho dann Grealish – und auch der Rekordtransfer von Manchester City drehte auf. Zunächst holte er einen Foulelfmeter heraus, den Ward-Prowse verschoss, den Abpraller aber versenkte (79.). Sieben Minuten später durfte Grealish dann selbst nach feinem Dribbling seinen ersten Treffer im Trikot der Three Lions feiern und traf zum 5:0-Endstand.

Spitzenreiter England bleibt damit in Gruppe I weiterhin auf Kurs. Für Andorra setzt es im sechsten Pflichtspiel gegen die Gäste die sechste Niederlage.

Foden y Sancho, demasiado para Andorra

Inglaterra continúa su camino casi triunfal hacia el próximo Mundial. Siete partidos, seis victorias y un empate. Además, sólo dos goles recibidos. El conjunto de Gareth Southgate pasó por encima de Andorra, que nada pudo hacer ante la reciente finalista de la Eurocopa. Los goles de Chilwell, Saka, Abraham, Ward-Prowse y Grealish pusieron un 0-5 que demostró la amplia diferencia entre ambas selecciones.

El gran protagonista del encuentro, o como mínimo de la primera parte en la que todo quedó sentenciado, fue Foden. El centrocampista del Manchester City se inventó dos pases magistrales que provocaron dos goles. El primero lo recibió Sancho entre líneas y luego asistió a Chilwell, mientras que el segundo fue directamente dirigido a Saka, que remató en el área. Después de haberse perdido la final de la Eurocopa y el comienzo de esta temporada por una lesión, Foden ha regresado por todo lo alto y ya se ha confirmado como indispensable tanto para Guardiola como para Southgate.

En el segundo tiempo, Abraham dejó su huella con un gol, que se añadió a su titularidad como nueve tras el gran inicio de campaña en la Roma. Además, el gol también supuso la segunda asistencia de Sancho, otro que comenzó entre los once titulares, una característica que todavía no ha confirmado en el Manchester United.

En el tramo final, Grealish entró desde el banquillo y provocó un penalti que Ward-Prowse se encargó de tirar… y de fallar, aunque consiguió meter el rebote. Luego, Grealish culminó un contraataque con el 0-5 para dejar a Inglaterra liderando su grupo con 5 puntos de ventaja sobre Polonia.

 

Cambios

Lima (30′, Christian Garcia), Fikayo Tomori (59′, John Stones), Emili García (62′, Lima), Jordi Aláez (63′, Cristian Martínez), Cucu (63′, Aarón Sánchez), Grealish (72′, Jadon Sancho), Mason Mount (72′, Jesse Lingard), Ollie Watkins (79′, Tammy Abraham), Joan Cervós (81′, Jordi Rubio)

Goles

0-1, 16′: Ben Chilwell, 0-2, 39′: Bukayo Saka, 0-3, 58′: Tammy Abraham, 0-4, 78′: Ward-Prowse, 0-5, 85′: Grealish

Tarjetas

Cristian Martínez (41′,Amarilla) John Stones (41′,Amarilla) Jadon Sancho (45′,Amarilla) Marc Rebés (54′,Amarilla) Coady (84′,Amarilla

Clasificación

Southgate’s decisions and Ranieri’s appointment break the actual internet – The Warm-Up

TUESDAY’S BIG STORIES

What’s Gareth up to eh?

Oh no, not an England squad rant. Trying. To. Resist. But. Can’t… And Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram going down hasn’t helped either…

Football

Southgate holds Hudson-Odoi talks with Ghana switch looming – report

13 HOURS AGO

Right. Shall we all just take a moment to consider what it takes to get into Gareth Southgate’s England squad? If you’re Ben Chilwell, 231 minutes of football this season warrants a call-up – which includes just the one Premier League appearance. Hmm.

If you’re Tammy Abraham, four goals to kick-start your Roma career in style also warrants a call-up. Deserved.

All this after Reece James was initially named in the squad despite Thomas Tuchel revealing last week he was training in the swimming pool and no one at England had thought to contact Chelsea.

Now James is out, with Chilwell replacing him as a full-back option, while Abraham has been handed a call-up with seemingly no explanation attached four days after the original 23-man squad was named and five days before England face Andorra away.

He’ll compete with captain Harry Kane and Ollie Watkins for a start, but where was he originally?

Southgate already openly admitted Jadon Sancho does not deserve a place based on current performances, but feels “invested” in the Manchester United winger and wants to help him go up another level.

So what exactly is the criteria? His explanations create a web of confusion for those knocking on the door but getting no reply. There seems to be little reward for the actual in-form English players. Conor Gallagher, Demarai Gray, Ivan Toney and Andros Townsend immediately spring to mind, and the quartet all feature in the top 50 Premier League players in terms of rating this season so far on WhoScored.com. Yes, yes, by no means a barometer Southgate is consulting, but of the 11 English players in the top 50, only Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jack Grealish and Declan Rice are in the squad (Dwight McNeil, Jarrod Bowen, Mason Greenwood and Aaron Wan-Bissaka the other overlooked players).

If he doesn’t consider form, though, then Abraham’s inclusion contradicts this, to tangle matters, but it’s getting difficult to keep up. There’s also Jude Bellingham and Mason Greenwood, who both missed out.

“They don’t come as a pair but they’re both in similar situations, they are young players with heavy workloads at the moment,” Southgate had said last week, which seems fair of course, although Sancho is only a year older than Greenwood, and also played the Euros when the latter did not. Again, consistency is somewhat lacking, and okay I’ll shut up now.

Welcome Claudio

Some say Watford’s media team are already drafting the “we wish Claudio Ranieri well for the future” article and social media posts.

Yes indeed, it’s another very original take on Watford’s hire-and-fire policy, but is anyone expecting this to last the season?

If Watford slip further down the Premier League table, Ranieri won’t be hanging around, if they remain 15th – and yes, they’re still 15th and not rooted to the bottom of the table – then it’s unlikely Ranieri will hang around either.

The only possibility of Ranieri staying till the summer is if they somehow improve on their standing, but what exactly the expectations are remains unclear given they hadn’t started all that terribly anyway.

They’ve hired the man who miraculously steered Leicester to the league. They’ve also hired the man who was sacked by Fulham after just 106 days. The Pozzo family probably (you never know) don’t expect the former to happen, but let’s face it, this has echoes of when Ranieri joined Fulham in a November and was sacked by the following February. Stopwatches at the ready, this could be quick.

Mbappe’s £197m gift rejected

Kicking off the tradition of footballers speaking their mind around the international break is Monsieur Mbappe, who told a radio station (why is it always a radio station?!) about his desire to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

“I asked to leave,” he told RMC Sport. “Because at the moment that I did not want to extend my contract I wanted the club to have a transfer fee to get a replacement of quality.

It (PSG) is a club that has brought me a lot. I have always been happy, the four years I have spent here, and I still am.

Ancelotti tells PSG forward Mbappe there is nowhere better to play than Real Madrid

“I wanted everyone to come out of this stronger, that we leave hand in hand, to make a good deal and I respected that. I said, ‘If you don’t want me to go, I will stay’.”

Y’see, he was just trying to be helpful. He wanted to gift the club a tidy £197m or so and fulfil his dream of playing for Real Madrid. Instead, that’ll likely happen next year, and PSG will get nothing in return for the departure of the future Ballon d’Or winner (one day, surely, you’d think).

IN THE CHANNELS

Ted Lasso fans may be intrigued to know future episodes of the show will be able to use Premier League footage, jerseys and the actual trophy after striking a licensing agreement. Pretty cool.

RETRO CORNER

Let’s go back to a time before WhatsApp and Instagram were even launched, all the way back to… 2008? And yes, a thrilling meeting between Liverpool and Manchester City – who served up a treat on Sunday – as Dirk Kuyt scored an injury-time winner against a City side who took a 2-0 lead through Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido.

Per BBC Sport, in case you were interested in the line-ups:

  • Man City XI: Hart, Zabaleta, Dunne, Richards, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Kompany, Elano (Petrov 85), Robinho (Evans 80), Jo (Fernandes 70).
  • Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Hamann, Ben-Haim, Sturridge.
  • Sent Off: Zabaleta (67).
  • Goals: Ireland 19, Garrido 41.
  • Liverpool XI: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio (Dossena 70), Mascherano (Keane 71), Kuyt, Gerrard, Alonso, Riera (Benayoun 81), Torres.
  • Subs not Used: Cavalieri, Agger, Babel, Leiva Lucas.
  • Goals: Torres 55, 73, Kuyt 90.

COMING UP

The internationals are drawing ever closer, but tonight you have some Women’s Champions League to tuck into – including WLS leaders’ Arsenal and their big trip to holders Barcelona – and a large helping of EFL Trophy, National League and FA Cup qualifying action. If you’re looking for something to do tonight, why not find out who’s playing near you. Anyone for Marine vs Atherton Collieries?

Premier League

Watford confirm Ranieri appointment on two-year deal

16 HOURS AGO

Premier League

Solskjaer rebuffs questions over Sancho form after winger misses out on England squad

02/10/2021 AT 09:18

Solskjaer rebuffs questions over Sancho form after winger misses out on England squad

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rebuffed claims that Jadon Sancho had struggled form this season and backed the winger to shine for Manchester United.

Sancho is yet to register a goal or assist for Manchester United this season since making a £73m move from Borussia Dortmund this summer.

And after missing out on a call-up to the latest England squad, manager Gareth Southgate suggested his recent form had not warranted inclusion.

Premier League

Rashford back in full Manchester United training

12 HOURS AGO

But, following Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Villarreal in midweek – arguably Sancho’s best performance in United shirt – Solskjaer dismissed Southgate’s comments and the significance of his England omission.

“Was that interview done before Wednesday night?” he said when Southgate’s comments, made on Thursday afternoon, were put to him.

“Jadon was exceptional, he was electric. The crowd loved him and I think he felt that connection.

“He was direct, positive, he went past the full-back numerous times. Yes, he’s not scored yet but I thought, ‘that’s Jadon and we’re going to see lots of that’.

“Gareth has also said it’s important that Jadon knows (England) believe in him and are invested in him.”

Mason Greenwood célèbre son but lors de Wolverhampton – Manchester United lors de la 3e journée de Premier League

Image credit: Getty Images

United striker Mason Greenwood was also left out of the latest England squad despite his fine club form.

“Gareth has also said it’s important that Jadon knows (England) believe in him and are invested in him.”

But there was also good news from the United camp as Marcus Rashford returned to full contact training and could be available for United’s competitive run of fixtures ahead.

“Gareth has also said it’s important that Jadon knows (England) believe in him and are invested in him.”

Premier League

Opinion: Lingard currently a better fit for Man Utd than Sancho

19/09/2021 AT 16:37

Premier League

Woodward ‘more confident than ever’ despite Man Utd’s financial losses

17/09/2021 AT 16:10

Opinion: Lingard currently a better fit for Man Utd than Sancho

West Ham fans were already well aware of what Jesse Lingard could do before the 28-year-old netted a late winner against David Moyes’ side for Manchester United on Sunday. Of course, Lingard provided more than a few of these match-deciding moments for the Hammers last season.

Now back at parent club United, Lingard is proving himself as a valuable member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad. His stunning winner against West Ham came just one week after he found the back of the net in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United with the Old Trafford club now sitting joint-top of the Premier League in no small part due to Lingard’s contribution.

Lingard was also at fault for the damaging Champions League defeat suffered to Young Boys, with the 28-year-old’s sloppy back pass pounced on in stoppage time, but his impact off the bench just days later at the London Stadium was a better reflection of what he can offer Manchester United.

Premier League

Woodward ‘more confident than ever’ despite Man Utd’s financial losses

17/09/2021 AT 16:10

This is in stark contrast to Jadon Sancho’s offering over the early part of the season. Solskjaer introduced Sancho off the bench against West Ham at the same time as Lingard, but while the latter made a match-winning difference, the former struggled to impose himself. The final 17 minutes passed him by just like almost every match so far this season.

Signed for £73m to bring even more cutting edge to Manchester United’s attack, Sancho has been a shadow of the player who notched 50 goals and 64 assists in just 137 appearances for Borussia Dortmund. Dropped from the team that lost to Young Boys, the 21-year-old has been a peripheral figure.

At the time of Sancho’s arrival at Old Trafford, it appeared that Lingard might be forced out of Manchester United as a consequence. Now, though, it’s clear Lingard is a better fit for Solskjaer’s side than the £73m winger signed to be his replacement. If Solskjaer has to pick one over the other, Lingard deserves the nod.

At his best, Sancho is one of the most devastating wide men in the European game. He is capable of stretching the pitch on the break in a matter of seconds, but so much of his play in the final third is about constructing passing triangles to create openings and Manchester United don’t do much of this. Solskjaer might have signed Sancho to address this, but it’s impossible to form triangles with just one corner.

Solskjaer has previously spoken about his desire to have a fluid, interchangeable frontline much like the one that achieved so much success at United between 2007 and 2009 – Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez. This goes some way to explaining why he prioritised the signing of Sancho, who can play on the left or right.

The problem is that Solskjaer seems reluctant to use Sancho on the right, where there is a width deficiency, while on the left side the onus is on Luke Shaw to break to the byline. This sees Sancho forced to cut inside where he is frequently faced with a lack of options ahead of him.

This wouldn’t be such an issue if Manchester United had the ability to play through low defensive blocks, but in this scenario they frequently rely on a moment of brilliance from in front of the opposition backline and this is where Lingard, not afraid to get an early shot away, produces his best work.

“Mistakes happen in football, you have to overcome those things,” Lingard said after the win over West Ham, reflecting on a whirlwind week. “I’ve been working hard to overcome last week. It wasn’t easy but to get some minutes today and score was brilliant.” The biggest turnaround Lingard has completed recently, though, concerns his Manchester United career and how that has impacted on Sancho.

Transfers

Liverpool, Bayern and Barca battle over Salzburg youngster – Paper Round

16/09/2021 AT 22:36

Champions League

‘You get it with young refs’ – Solskjaer questions referee after Young Boys loss

14/09/2021 AT 20:58

Woodward 'more confident than ever' despite Man Utd's financial losses

Manchester United recorded an operating loss of £36.9m last season as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, but their executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward says United are “on the right track”.

Speaking on an earnings conference call to the club’s investors, Woodward said: “The team has made a strong start in the league and everyone at the club is feeling excited about the rest of the campaign.

“We significantly strengthened the squad over the summer, with the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton.

Premier League

Parker: Man United won’t win the league until they sort out their midfield

2 HOURS AGO

“These signings have demonstrated our continued ability to attract some of the world’s best footballers to Old Trafford, and our firm commitment to helping Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] deliver success on the pitch.

While squad-building is a constant process, we are more confident than ever that we are on the right track.

United made a net loss of £92.2m, up 297.4 per cent from £23.2m in 2020, which was largely due to a £66.6m non-cash tax charge.

In the 12 months to 30 June, the club made £254.8m from broadcasters which was 81.7 per cent up on the previous year’s £140.2m.

United’s figures showed the club’s net debt stands at £419.1m which is down from £474.4m last year.

The club’s wage bill was up 13.6 percent to £322.6m while total revenue has dropped down from £509m to £494.1m.

United’s net debt stands at £419.5m, down from £474.1m last year thanks to season ticket revenues and a favourable exchange rate.

Woodward will leave his role at the end of 2021. He announced his departure shortly after involving the club in a proposed plans for a breakaway European Super League back in April.

Champions League

Inside Europe: PSG’s to lose? Ronaldo to shine? Predicting this year’s Champions League

14/09/2021 AT 14:49

Premier League

Townsend wonder-biff has Everton fans dreaming again – The Warm-Up

14/09/2021 AT 08:03

De fichaje galáctico a chasco

Era el fichaje del verano. Primero se anunció un principio de acuerdo, gasta la confirmación oficial el pasado 23 de julio. Tras un par de años preparando el terreno, el Manchester United confirmó el bombazo del verano: el fichaje de Jadon Sancho por 85 millones de euros. Llegó a la ciudad como un estrellón, como un elegido para llevar al club de nuevo a la cima de Inglaterra y, quién sabe, de Europa. Pero toda esa euforia con el inglés vino a menos tras el fichaje de Raphael Varane y, sobre todo, de Cristiano Ronaldo.

En lo mediático, es lógico que Cristiano, de repente, se convierta en el ídolo de masas de nuevo a su regreso. El problema es que eso ha arrastrado a Sancho a un estatus menor. Comenzó ante el Leeds y el Southampton como suplente. Se estrenó en el once frente al Wolverhampton y repitió ante el Newcastle. En ambos fue sustituido, sin dejar por el camino ningún gol ni tampoco asistencias. Mientras, el portugués, en su redebut, hizo un doblete y fue vitoreado continuamente por su hinchada. También Sancho, aunque pasa de ser un bombazo a un segundo plano.

El colmo llegó en el encuentro de Champions ante el Young Boys. Cristiano hizo el primer gol a los 13 minutos de encuentro. Jadon Sancho, algo desaparecido, buscaba algo de incidencia, sin éxito por banda derecha. En el 35′, su gesto se torció. Wan-Bissaka careció de fortuna en un balón dividido, que concluyó en una patada temeraria que justificó de sobra su roja directa.

<figure id="sumario_1|foto" onclick="javascript:ampliaFoto(this, '/futbol/imagenes/2021/09/14/champions/1631642212_267363_1631642765_sumario_grande.jpg', '976', '976', 'BeSoccer Pro’);return false;” class=”item-multimedia”>

BeSoccer Pro

Solskjaer empezó a trabajar con sus ayudantes en la mejor solución para amarrar la victoria provisional. Sin un defensa, necesitaba quitar a un hombre de arriba para meter a Dalot. El elegido no fue Van de Beek, al que le dio la oportunidad de continuar. Tampoco Pogba ni Fred, integrantes de la medular. Bruno y Cristiano tienen mayor jerarquía. Sí, el elegido fue Jadon Sancho. Posteriormente, el técnico quiso conservar todavía más el marcador y retiró al mencionado Van de Beek para meter a Raphael Varane.

Un hecho a priori sin relevancia más allá de la circunstancia del partido que, sin embargo, sí esconde un mensaje. Jadon Sancho ha perdido los galones con los que llegó y ahora debe demostrar en el campo que está preparado para ser el líder de este United junto a los dos portugueses. Por el momento, parece que le ha ganado la partida a Greenwood y queda por ver qué decidirá Solskjaer cuando Cavani y Rashford se recuperen de sus respectivas lesiones. Entre tanto, el inglés debe alzar la cabeza y enseñar al mundo todo su potencial. Por el momento, así son las cosas y el fútbol, Cristiano le está eclipsando.

Solskjaers gruselige Statistik – und warum Sancho gleich wieder raus musste

Nach dem 1:2 in Bern steht Manchester United in zwei Wochen schon unter Druck. Die Zahlen sprechen nicht gerade für Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Musste in Bern die nächste CL-Pleite hinnehmen:&nbsp;Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Musste in Bern die nächste CL-Pleite hinnehmen: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

imago images/Pro Sports Images

Eine Sache hatte sich auch Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sehr gut gemerkt. Oder vielleicht sogar für den Fall der Fälle vorbereitet? Als am Dienstagabend alle Fragen zur (alles andere als unverdienten) Last-Minute-Niederlage in Bern beantwortet waren, kramte ManUniteds Trainer noch einen kleinen Mutmacher für seine Mannschaft hervor.

Da war nämlich was letztes Jahr, “als jeder dachte, dass wir nach zwei Spielen durch waren”. In Paris (2:1) und gegen Leipzig (5:0) hatte der englische Vizemeister zum Auftakt gewonnen und am Ende doch noch das Achtelfinale verpasst.

Läuft dieses Mal also einfach alles andersrum? “Wir wissen, dass wir uns eine schwierigere Aufgabe gestellt haben”, sagt Solskjaer zwar, rechnet aber auch einfach schon mal laut: “Man braucht zehn, vielleicht zwölf Punkte, man muss seine Heimspiele gewinnen und eines auswärts”. Also einfach in 14 Tagen gegen Villarreal gewinnen, dann gegen Atalanta und so weiter.

Wenn Fußball einfach wäre: “Normalerweise ist Aaron ein sehr kluger Zweikämpfer”

Nur ist Fußball ja leider nicht immer so einfach, der Abend in Bern als bester Beweis. Da war United dank des nächsten Treffers von Rückkehrer Cristiano Ronaldo perfekt gestartet, hatte sich dann aber selbst in die Bredouille gebracht. “Normalerweise”, meinte Solskjaer, “ist Aaron ein sehr, sehr kluger Zweikämpfer – einer der besten der Welt.” Nur in der 35. Minute war Rechtsverteidiger Wan-Bissaka etwas zu motiviert und sah aufgrund eines groben Foulspiels die Rote Karte.

Und United konzentrierte sich fortan aufs Verteidigen. Solskjaer brachte umgehend Außenverteidiger Diogo Dalot für Außenstürmer Jadon Sancho, zu Beginn des zweiten Durchgangs Innenverteidiger Raphael Varane für Mittelfeldspieler Donny van de Beek und anschließend noch Abräumer Nemanja Matic für Spielmacher Bruno Fernandes. “Wir haben gegen Ende der ersten Hälfte gemerkt, dass sie umschalten und Flanken schlagen wollten, deshalb wollten wir die Außenverteidiger einsetzen, und ich denke, wir haben das gut gemeistert.”

Von elf CL-Spielen als Trainer hat Solskjaer sieben verloren

Bern brachte insgesamt 19 Abschlüsse zustande, United neben dem frühen 1:0 noch einen einzigen. Nach dem 1:1 in der 66. Minute sah es für Solskjaer nach einem “wohlverdienten und guten Punkt in einem schwierigen Spiel” aus. Bis Jesse Lingard, für Ronaldo eingewechselt, sich in der fünften Minute der Nachspielzeit zu einem verheerenden Rückpass hinreißen ließ, den Jordan Siebatcheu zum Siegtreffer für Young Boys nutzte.

“Wir sind Menschen”, nahm Solskjaer Lingard in Schutz, “kein Fußballer macht gerne Fehler, aber das gehört offensichtlich zum Spiel dazu. Wir werden daraus lernen, er wird daraus lernen. Er wird sich wieder aufraffen und am Sonntag gegen West Ham wieder einsatzbereit sein.”

Was bleibt, ist der erste Kratzer nach der Ronaldo-Mania der letzten Tage. Und eine gruselige Statistik für Solskjaer: Der Norweger verlor am Dienstag sein siebtes von elf Champions-League-Spielen als ManUnited-Trainer. Aber wenigstens, so seine Rechnung, kommt gegen Villarreal erstmal keine weitere Niederlage hinzu.

Pogba edging towards signing new Man Utd contract – reports

Paul Pogba is leaning towards signing a new Manchester United after the club spent heavily on new players in the summer transfer window, according to reports.

No clear decision has been made surrounding the Frenchman’s future, but Sky Sports and The Athletic both report that the midfielder, who has one year left on his current contract, is now keener to sign a new deal.

United have signed Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho this transfer window and sit top of the Premier League table after their first four matches.

Premier League

‘Not impossible’ to leave Ronaldo out of Man Utd team – Solskjaer

8 HOURS AGO

According to David Ornstein at The Athletic, recent events “have had a profound effect on Pogba” and he could be persuaded to remain at Old Trafford.

Pogba is believed to have a fantastic relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, his team-mates and the coaching staff.

Should Pogba not sign a new deal then he will be able to leave the club on a free in the summer. Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly interested in signing him.

A decision is expected to be made on his future before January when the France World Cup winner can agree a pre-contract agreement with potential suitors.

Nine months ago Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola claimed it would be best if Pogba left United.

Serie A

Opinion: Life after Ronaldo sees Juventus confront bigger problems

A DAY AGO

Premier League

Opinion: Benefit and detriment of Ronaldo signing clear in Man Utd win

YESTERDAY AT 17:08