September 18, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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Solskjaer says draw was best Manchester derby of his reign

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said their 0-0 derby draw at home to Manchester City on Saturday was the best display against Pep Guardiola’s side during his time in charge.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said their 0-0 derby draw at home to Manchester City on Saturday was the best display against Pep Guardiola’s side during his time in charge.

Manchester United won last season’s Premier League fixture 2-0 but the Norwegian felt this was a more complete display.

This was in spite of the lack of incident and excitement at an empty Old Trafford.

“In my time against Manchester City that’s the best performance we have had. Not the best result but the best performance,” said Solskjaer.

“It was a tight game. I know we beat them a few times last season but those were different games,” he added, noting the contrast with his side’s counter-attacking approach in previous encounters.

“Tactically we knew they were going to give us some problems but defensively we were excellent. I’m delighted with the defensive shape. With the ball we didn’t create as much as we wanted to.

“They probably had the bigger moments in open play. Everyone should be happy with a draw,” he said.

Manchester United’s conservative approach came after their exit from the UEFA Champions League with a 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig in Germany on Tuesday.

Solskjaer conceded it had been a tough few days.

“It’s a mental challenge when that happens to you (going out of the Champions League). The mental energy you spend trying to recover from Tuesday is huge,” he said.

Guardiola thought the game needed to be put in perspective.

“It’s a good point. It’s Old Trafford, we cannot forget. They are so fast upfront. It’s Manchester United. Most parts of the game we were good,” he said.

“It was a tight game but sometimes the opponent’s defence is strong. And if you make a mistake, they punish you on the counter attack.

“We know we can show more intensity but when you attack they can punish you on the counter. We would love to have more chances,” added the Spaniard.

“We have to build from here. Without spectators it looks like it lacks intensity but from the touchline I see the players fight.”

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