Solskjaer led Manchester United to Germany to play against Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the final game of the Champions League group stage. All the Premier League club needed to do was to either win or draw the match to scale through to the round of 16.
Unfortunately for Manchester United, within the first 17 minutes of the match, RB Leipzig had already scored two goals. When the second half resumed, Leipzig made it three. United waited until the 80th minute before they were able to score a goal. The match ended 3-2, thanks to an own goal scored by Konate in the 82nd minute.
The defeat took Manchester United from the top of Group H to the third spot which means that the club has dropped from the Champions League to the Europa League.
After the match, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport that Manchester United started too late to fight for a come back which didn’t happen. He went on to describe United’s 3-2 defeat in the hands of Leipzig as being unlucky.
“I thought we were unlucky towards the end. The character and the effort were there”, Solskjaer said.
“We weren’t good enough. In a difficult group, we started well but the big turning point was the defeat to Istanbul. That’s where we lost points that we should have had…
“We didn’t perform as a team well enough and that’s always the manager’s responsibility, to get everyone ready.
“We knew they were going to come at us, we knew they were going to put crosses in the box and unfortunately we conceded two goals and we never got going.
“In games earlier [this season] when we’ve conceded the first goal, we’ve played pretty well.
“Today we just didn’t turn up until they scored the second goal. Suddenly then we started playing again.
“We had one chance maybe at 1-0 – Mason (Greenwood) had a good chance there – but after 2-0 we started playing.
“Second half was one-way traffic more or less and the one chance they had, they managed to score.
“So, 3-0 is going to be difficult but they all gave everything, very good character, effort. I can’t fault anyone and we were close to getting the third.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blasts Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola
On Paul Pogba, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blasted the agent of the French midfielder, Mino Raiola, for saying that the player is not happy at the club because he is not playing the kind of football he wants. The coach reminded the agent that football is a team game and that is squad is united.
“The squad is fine – they’re a team and they stick together,” Solskjaer said.
“As soon as Paul’s agent realizes this is a team sport and we work together, the better. That’s probably maybe the last thing I say on that. I don’t want to spend energy on that.
“You’ll have to ask Paul. I’m not going to speak for him. Paul’s focused on doing his best for the team. He’s working hard in training.
After Mino Raiola’s comments about Paul Pogba’s stay at United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer benched him ahead of United’s game against RB Leipzig. The France international waited until the second half of the match before he had his chance to play.
When he came into the game, he was able to influence the situation of the match and his effort helped United to score two goals before the match ended in favor of the host.