UCL Review: Late goals from United stun Juventus

By George Davis, Alex Jordan and Chris Taylor November 07, 2018

Goals from Juan Mata and an own goal saw United come-from-behind to Stun Juventus 2-1 in Turin.

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  • Solskjaer regrets Sanchez's Reading setback Solskjaer regrets Sanchez's Reading setback

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Alexis Sanchez pushed himself too hard on his return to the Manchester United starting line-up.

    Sanchez missed all of United's matches in December due to a hamstring injury but appeared from the bench during the 2-0 victory at Newcastle United on January 2.

    The Chile forward started the win over Reading in the third round of the FA Cup by the same scoreline three days later, only to make way after 64 minutes and be sidelined for last weekend's trip to Tottenham.

    Solskjaer confirmed Sanchez has trained all week with his United team-mates ahead of Brighton and Hove Albion's visit to Old Trafford but suggested the 30-year-old former Arsenal star might have to adopt a more patient approach.

    "He loves to play football. He's been hindered by injury – I know all about injuries and how frustrating that can be and how eager you are to get back," the caretaker manager told a news conference.

    "In the Reading game, maybe he should have told me at half-time, 'I need to come off now'. The 15 or 20 minutes he played in the second half, maybe that was a bit too much for him and that gave him a setback.

    "He's chomping at the bit, he's working hard in training. His attitude in training has been fantastic and he wants to play.

    "I'm looking forward to seeing him and I've got loads of good players to choose from."

    One man to have found himself down the selectorial pecking order is Scotland international Scott McTominay.

    The 22-year-old also made his only start under Solskjaer in the cup tie against Reading and was picked in a Premier League squad for the first time in his tenure at Spurs – coming on at the death as United saw out a 1-0 triumph.

    Celtic have been linked to a loan move for the midfielder but Solskjaer, who will be without Marouane Fellaini for up to a month due to a calf injury, did not sound keen on the idea of any January departures.

    "Scott is working hard, he's a young boy that I believe in. We're working on his contract," he added.

    "With the injury to Felli as well and the squad we have, I'm not too sure that we're going to see any movement at all."

  • Solskjaer backs Mourinho to return to football's big time Solskjaer backs Mourinho to return to football's big time

    Jose Mourinho's desire to return to elite football is not misplaced in the view of his Manchester United successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    Mourinho made his first major media appearance since being sacked by United last month when he featured as part of beIN Sports' coverage of the Asian Cup on Thursday.

    The 55-year-old insisted he would "stay where I belong; I belong to top-level football", despite the dispiriting nature of his final months at Old Trafford.

    United are a team transformed under caretaker manager Solskjaer, last weekend's 1-0 triumph at Tottenham making it six wins out of six in all competitions, but the former Norway striker was in no mood to besmirch the achievements of a man who has won major titles in four countries.

    "Why shouldn't he [be ambitious]?" Solskjaer said at a news conference to preview Saturday's Premier League match against Brighton and Hove Albion.

    "He's a fantastic manager, with the results he's had, I don't think he'll be struggling to find work."

    Mourinho also made elusions to player power undermining his regime at United – an issue Solskjaer was understandably unwilling to be drawn on.

    "I can't really comment on everything he says," he said. "I'm enjoying working with these boys and that's all I can say."

    Marouane Fellaini has proved a divisive figure with the United fanbase but was a reliable lieutenant in Mourinho's eyes.

    The Belgium midfielder has not featured in the league since a brief substitute cameo during Solskjaer's first game in charge, a 5-1 win at Cardiff City, and is now facing a month on the sidelines with a calf injury.

    "He'll be at least three or four weeks, he's got a calf problem," Solskjaer explained.

    "And that's sad because there are X-factors in different players and we all know Felli's X-factor. He'll be working hard to get back when all the big games are coming."

    When considering that or other selectorial headaches, Solskjaer will soon be doing so from the comfort of a home in the Manchester area.

    The 45-year-old has been hotel-based since taking over at United but has no intention of imitating Mourinho's infamous residency at The Lowry.

    "I'm still in the hotel but I've found a place so it won't be too long," he added.

    "I've been driving around a bit to find my bearings again. I've got mates and friends here so I've been to see a few if them. It's not like I'm stuck in the hotel on my own."

  • Solskjaer's United turnaround no easy task, says Hughton Solskjaer's United turnaround no easy task, says Hughton

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be given due credit for the turnaround he has overseen at Manchester United, according to Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton.

    Brighton beat United 3-2 at the Amex Stadium in August, the first setback of an underwhelming opening half of the season that led to Jose Mourinho being sacked last month.

    Fans' favourite Solskjaer has overseen six consecutive wins in all competitions, although ex-United midfielder Paul Ince was dismissive of this feat – suggesting, "anyone could have gone in and done what he's done".

    That is certainly not a view shared by Hughton as he prepares to take his team to Old Trafford on Saturday.

    "I don't think it could be anybody," he told reporters. "As a manager you know how difficult any game is, even if you are manager at Man United or Man City - Jurgen Klopp spoke last week about how difficult [Liverpool] winning here at Brighton was.

    "I don't think just anybody could have gone in and had the record he has now. I think you have to give him credit for that.

    "Having watched their games – and I was there at Tottenham last week – you can see they are playing really well. The results speak for themselves. They have been able to win games and score goals.

    "Any manager coming in after Mourinho couldn't have done any more - the results and performances indicate that whatever way he has done it, and I don't know what way that is, he's got results.

    "They haven't lost for six games and are on the back of a win at Tottenham who are a very, very good team. You have to give him a lot of praise for that."

    United are level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal heading into the weekend, with Unai Emery's team hosting fellow Champions League aspirants Chelsea.

    Brighton were unbeaten in four matches across all competitions before last weekend's 1-0 reverse to Liverpool and lie 13th in the top flight.

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