Will Enjoy as Long as I’m Interim Manager: Ole After United Win

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his team “always believed” they could overcome PSG.

Published
Football
2 min read

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his team "always believed" they could overcome Paris St Germain as he reflected on a stunning result to take them through to the Champions League quarter-finals.

A 3-1 win put United through on away goals, prompting more questions from the press about Solskjaer getting the job on a full-time basis. But as long as ‘Ole is still at the wheel’, Gunnar says he’s going to enjoy it.

“It’s been a fantastic time with the players, with the staff I’ve got working with me. I’m just going to enjoy this job as long as I’ve got it. If it’s another two months or three months or however long it is, I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to smile.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Solskjaer saluted Manchester United's never-say-die star as they became the first team in European Cup history to recover from losing the first leg of a knockout round tie 2-0 at home on Wednesday, 6 March.

Romelu Lukaku scored twice either side of Juan Bernat's equaliser before Marcus Rashford converted a controversial stoppage time VAR-awarded penalty to send United through on away goals.

It was an incredible result given United were without the suspended Paul Pogba as well as nine injured stars including Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera.

But United interim manager Solskjaer insisted he never doubted his players could do the unthinkable in the last 16 second leg in Paris.

“The belief in the boys was just what we hoped for. It was fantastic. You always know it is possible. With this club this is what we do. It’s Man Utd. It’s the Champions League. That’s what it does.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Faced with a daunting first leg deficit, Solskjaer admitted United desperately needed Lukaku's second minute goal to put the momentum back in their favour.

Once United had opened the scoring, Solskjaer felt the French champions were haunted by the ghosts of their previous failures from winning positions in the Champions League, including blowing a 4-0 lead against Barcelona two years ago.

"It was a great start. We started with a plan to get the first goal, but we didn't expect it to come so soon," he said.

"We wanted an open game with many goals and that's what happened.

"There is always some mental doubt because they (PSG) have had those experiences.

"Our boys are young and fresh which gave us more energy when we needed that goal." United had a huge slice of luck for the winner as VAR ruled that PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe, turning his back as he jumped, had handled a Diogo Dalot shot as it struck him on the arm in the penalty area.

Kimpembe barely extended his arm at all, but Rashford made the most of the opportunity as he calmly netted from the spot.

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