Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended the formation change halfway through his team’s Champions League defeat by Young Boys, as well as his decision to eliminate both Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes with the game on the balance sheet.
United took an early lead in Switzerland when Ronaldo scored his third goal in only his second game since returning to the club. But the Young Boys put pressure on after Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off and scored two goals in the second half, including a stoppage-time winner.
“They saw signs towards the end of the first half that they were going to change it and cross with the full-back,” Solskjaer said of ManUtd.com of his move to a back three at halftime.
“I thought we did very well. We were a little lazy to go out and block the cross to the first goal, a bit of bad luck because it is deflected by Luke and then the last goal, that’s just a shame.
After the Young Boys equalized, Solskjaer seemed keen to settle for a draw as he replaced Ronaldo and Fernandes with Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic respectively.
“The game was gone for 70 odd minutes, [Ronaldo and Fernandes] had run a lot, both on Saturday and today. The artificial turf also takes its toll and we wanted Nemanja’s experience to hold the ball and Jesse’s legs, “the United boss of Sky Sports is quoted as saying.
“Ronaldo is exceptional … but we have to take care of him too and it was the right moment to take him off.”
Solskjaer was also keen to defend Lingard, who gave the Young Boys the winner with a lax pass.
“Jesse wants to play it safe and misses a pass and we concede a goal. It happens in football. Harry Hindsight is a very good player. If Jesse could have that chance again, he’ll turn it the other way. But we will learn from it, “said the United boss.
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