Solskjaer offers predictable defence of calamitous Pogba handball

Date published: Wednesday 22nd July 2020 10:00

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised a certain teen sensation for once again bailing his side out, and commented on the calamitous handball conceded by Paul Pogba.

Pogba bizarrely conceded a penalty when raising his arms to block a shot to prevent being hit in the face.

The decision was derided by Man Utd legend Gary Neville on commentary, and ensured Utd had to settle for a draw in the contest.

Choosing to initially focus on the positives, Solskjaer said post-match: “Well, going into half-time we knew that’s not the result we wanted and a draw or a 1-0 win or a 2-0 win was more or less the same outcome for us.

“Then we have the same starting point on Sunday.

“You can’t expect to go and turn teams over and score three or five like we did to have a different scenario for Sunday.

“When we started after the lockdown, we had to go for it. We really had to go for it – we had to go for goal difference, we had to go for points.

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“The effort has been fantastic and the results have been fantastic.

“Of course, you’d like to win against Southampton, you concede in the last second, and here today you concede a penalty in the last second of the first half.

“But we’ve given ourselves a fantastic opportunity and a great starting point for Sunday.”

Greenwood was the key man on Wednesday evening, taking his tally to 17 in all competitions to go level with George Best, Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney in terms of single season goal tallies for teenage United players.

“He’s bailed us out a few times and he’s done it again,” Solskjaer said.

“He’s been absolutely top class ever since we gave him an opportunity.

“I think Cardiff in the last game of last season was his first start and he was our best player in that game and he’s grown and grown in confidence and belief.

“He trusts himself that his talent, his qualities, attributes, they actually work at the highest level.”

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Greenwood’s goal saved Pogba’s blushes in particular. The midfielder put his hands in front of his face when blocking a Declan Rice fizzer and saw Antonio put away the penalty awarded by the video assistant referee.

“It’s a natural reaction,” Solskjaer said. “Paul’s held his hand up in knowing that he should have took it in the mush instead.

“But it’s a natural reaction if that ball comes flying at you at 100mph. It wouldn’t have made a difference anyway.”

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