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Football Reporting


Man Utd boss Solskjaer admits Martial won’t be spared criticism after shock defeat to Sheffield United

The 25-year-old played the full match against the Blades but was unable to prevent his side from falling to the league’s bottom team

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that Anthony Martial won’t be spared from criticism after Manchester United were stunned 2-1 by rock-bottom Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Chris Wilder’s side got just their second win of the season in the match, with Oliver Burke scoring a 74th-minute winner against Solskjaer’s title-chasing outfit.

Martial started and played the full match against the Blades but was unable to generate much in attack as he was often peripheral on the night. 

The France international has netted just five times in 25 appearances this season and although Solskjaer backed the forward, he also said he won’t be spared from criticism.

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“I think the whole team will probably get criticism tonight and myself as well,” Solskjaer said in his post-game press conference. “I don’t think Anthony is exempt from that.

“We all should be criticised because we didn’t perform. Anthony is working really hard in training, working on his finishing and movement. I’ve got no qualms that he will come good.”

When asked to take stock of what went wrong on the night, Solskjaer pointed to a number of different reasons.

“There are many facets to a game,” the Norwegian said. “Today we didn’t pass with enough quality and not enough rhythm, tempo and quality in our passing, not enough runs in behind when we should have – there were spaces there at times, especially in the first half.

“The boys have been terrific for the last few months, really consistent high performance levels. Tonight was our night to not hit those levels and when you don’t in the Premier League you don’t get those results.”

United are now a point behind table-topping Man City with one more game played, and Solskjaer knows his side will have to refocus quickly ahead of Saturday’s game against a resurgent Arsenal.

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“Of course [there is] no time to feel sorry, there’s a game on Saturday,” Solskjaer said. “We have to bounce back. We’ve done it before, this group of players have done it so many times.

“We expect our performance to be so much better on Saturday. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves for too long, when I see them in the morning [we will] get the focus on the weekend.”

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