Solskjaer happy with attacking United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted by Manchester United's attacking quality and cutting edge as they sealed their place in the last 32 of the Europa League.
Partizan Belgrade proved tricky opposition in Serbia a fortnight ago, but United made light work of them on Thursday evening to reach the last 32 with two Group L games to spare.
United’s improved attack was key to the 3-0 victory at Old Trafford. Having mustered just one shot on target across their previous two Europa League matches, they had seven against Partizan as they dominated the tie.
Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all scored classy goals as Solskjaer’s men showed bite and creativity in the final third and the Norwegian was rewarded for fielding an attacking line-up.
Greenwood’s strike was his third for the senior side this season, while Martial now has five for the campaign in all competitions and Rashford eight.
“Very happy,” Solskjaer said afterwards. “That was the reason we played the three of them as well. We felt if we played a strong team and created chances, we needed players out there to take them.
“I am very pleased with all those finishes. All three goals were high class.”
United can now focus on domestic matters safe in the knowledge they are through to the last 32 in Europe, while victory in their final match against AZ Alkmaar on December 12 will ensure a top seeding in the last 32, no matter what result when play Astana in Kazakhstan in three weeks.
The Red Devils return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host Brighton, hoping to respond to last weekend’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth.
In contrast to their smooth progress in the Europa League, Solskjaer’s side have struggled in the top flight and are down in 10th place, 10 points adrift of Chelsea in fourth and 18 behind leaders Liverpool.
Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.