Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Talks Man United Injuries, Paul Pogba Red Card in PSG Loss | Bleacher Report
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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he is unaware of how serious the injuries suffered by Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard during the team’s UEFA Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain are.
The coach experienced defeat for the first time in his tenure on Tuesday, as goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe were enough to give the French champions an impressive 2-0 win on the night; Paul Pogba’s red card late on capped off a miserable evening for the Red Devils.
Speaking after the game about the Martial and Lingard knocks—the former was replaced at half-time by Juan Mata and the latter by Alexis Sanchez on the brink of the interval—Solskjaer said he’s hoping the issues aren’t too severe for either player, per Tom Caldon of the MailOnline.
“Jesse and Anthony give us something. Let’s hope they are not too serious,” he said. “They are muscle injuries so we will have to wait a couple of days.”
If United are to have any chance of overturning the deficit in this tie they will need all of their players fit for the second leg, with Martial and Lingard key among them. The team’s performance levels dropped significantly in the second period when the duo weren’t on the field.
With only the pace of Marcus Rashford to worry about up top, PSG were able to step forward and assert themselves on the game, dominating possession and pinning back their opponents. Bleacher Report’s Rob Blanchette commented on how detrimental the absence of Lingard and Martial was to the cause:
Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B
This shows how delicate #MUFC are and which positions need strengthening. Rashford, Lingard and Martial rightfully starters. We looked good first half. But Sanchez & Lukaku do not suit this system. So we will need to strengthen the bench in these roles.
James Ducker of the Daily Telegraph said he doesn’t believe Mata and Sanchez are natural fits for the way in which Solskjaer wants to play:
James Ducker @TelegraphDucker
United lost their belief, and the ability to press effectively, when Lingard and Martial went off. Mata was never going to be able to do that, and as for Sanchez … what has he become? Reality check after superb start under OGS. Will need Lingard and Martial back quickly https://t.co/omW3pD4s6T
While there are doubts as to whether or not Martial and Lingard will be available for the game in Paris, United will definitely be without Pogba due to suspension.
Big things were expected of the in-form midfielder on the night, but he was snuffed out of the game by Marco Verratti and Marquinhos. Eventually he was given a second yellow card late on for a high tackle, although Solskjaer said he felt as though Pogba was unfortunate.
ESPN FC’s Raphael Honigstein disagreed with the assessment of the Red Devils boss:
Raphael Honigstein @honigstein
Pogba’s “challenge” looks worse with every repeat. Lucky it was only a yellow.
With Pogba missing, not to mention that Lingard and Martial are doubts, it’s an enormous ask for United to turn this contest around in the French capital.
The game was an indicator of how far United have to go. Even without star forwards Neymar and Edinson Cavani, PSG were able to reach a level the Red Devils couldn’t deal with.