After the UEFA Europa League quarter-final victory over Granada on April 15, the Norwegian tactician told the press that he didn’t know Roma and hasn’t seen them play. The statement infuriated the fans of the Italian club and decided to start a campaign urging Roma to make Solskjaer never forget Roma.
Roma will be at the Old Trafford later today, April 29, at 20:00 to play against the Premier League club that has been struggling to get into a cup final since 2018 under the era of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Before now, Manchester United and Roma have met 6 times in all competitions in which Manchester United recorded 4 wins and a draw while Roma recorded just a win against the Red Devils.
They will visit Old Trafford to ensure that the woes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued at the club. Recall that the Norwegian tactician has led Manchester United to at least three successive semi-final games but failed to win any of them. Hence, he and his team are condemned to scale through this round to break the jinx.
But breaking the jinx was not his major concern during the pre-match press conference ahead of the match. Solskjaer was dragged back to his comment against Roma and was given the chance to clarify himself ahead of the must-win game.
The Manchester United coach said: “Of course I’d watched them, but I hadn’t analyzed and hadn’t seen them in depth.
“It’s a fantastic club with a great history. I’ve actually got two prized possessions back home, a (Francesco) Totti shirt and a (Daniele) De Rossi shirt that I swapped with them, actually signed. So I know about the history, I know about the quality.
“With Chris (Smalling) being there last season, we followed them. We’ve analyzed them down to the ground since we drew them and we are ready for them.
“It was not meant as any disrespect, and I think everyone knows that. I’ve got loads of respect for them.”
On his difficulty in winning a trophy for Manchester United as a coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “It will be a dream come true the day I can lift a trophy for this club as a manager, of course.
“That’s what we’re building for. We’ve been close, we’re building step by step, but to take the next step it’s ifs and buts and this and that. You always talk about that.
“But for this team and myself, our ambition this season is to finish with lifting a trophy and being able to celebrate. I know how much that can mean for a group moving forward.”