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Champions League

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vows to address Man Utd weakness after West Ham let-off


United are level on points with rivals Chelsea and Liverpool after an unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign but Solskjaer was not impressed with one aspect of his side’s latest performance

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer post-West Ham United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has vowed to address the weakness in his Manchester United side after surviving a late scare against West Ham.

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United bounced back from the disappointment of a midweek defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League to grab all three points at the London Stadium on Sunday.

But it was only down to David de Gea’s late penalty save from Mark Noble that ensured the win, having already come from behind to take the lead.

And Solskjaer was less than impressed with United’s work in the defensive third and felt it is an area they must address to move forward as a team.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists his side must defend better
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Action Images via Reuters)

“We have to work better defensively, no doubt,” Solskjaer said after the victory. “In the first half, we were too easy to play through.

“We will work on it because there is no respite when you play football. I’ve spoken about how you can’t take rests when you defend.”

United went with Solskjaer’s favoured double pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay in midfield, with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood ahead of them.

But the United boss was not pleased with his side’s cautiousness when out of possession, particularly when Said Benrahma was given room on the edge of the box before his deflected shot found its way in.

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“We dropped into a back six [for the goal] and there were too many spaces, he added. “We were too late to charge the ball. We’ve already sorted that and spoke about that at half-time.”

Nevertheless, United were eventually able to emerge from the clash with the win, keeping them level on points with Chelsea and Liverpool.

And Solskjaer was happy with the way his side reacted after going behind, with an immediate reply from Ronaldo before a late stunner from Jesse Lingard securing their eventual victory.

“It was better in the second half and a great response,” he added. “That was a big thing for me – how do you react when you go 1-0 down?”

‘It was a very, very good five minutes for us.”

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Solskjaer also heaped praise on Lingard for the way he reacted to his calamitous back pass against Young Boys, praising the midfielder for his decisive contribution.

“He said sorry after Tuesday and everyone said that’s not necessary. He came on [today] and was brilliant.

“It was a great goal. I’m so happy for Jesse. Of course, he had a tough evening on Tuesday, but he’s knuckled down and has worked hard again.

“He’s been the same bright, positive lad, and what a goal. So happy for him. It was a great pass from Nemanja [Matic] and a good turn by Jesse.

“[It was] a great response to their goal. I thought we played some very good football first half, but then we need to defend better.”

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