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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains penalty decision


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he will not address Manchester United’s penalty-taking system after Paul Pogba squandered the chance to seal three points at Wolves.

Pogba earned a 68th minute penalty yet Marcus Rashford – United’s successful taker eight days earlier against Chelsea – stepped aside and Pogba had his effort palmed away by Rui Patricio.

Rashford scored in England’s World Cup shootout win over Colombia last year and completed United’s remarkable Champions League comeback with an added time spotkick at Paris Saint-Germain in March. Overall, Rashford has converted four out of four spotkicks.

Pogba netted eight United penalties last term but also missed three and Gary Neville fumed that the United players even debated who should take the penalty with the scoreline 1-1 at Molineux.

Although the decision cost United the chance to go top of the Premier League, Solskjaer refused to criticise Pogba and Rashford for sharing spotkick duties.

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“Not at all, the two of them are confident and good penalty takers,” Solskjaer said. “And I’ve been in that situation myself and missed a penalty for Norway, and when there are two names there it’s the one who’s the most confident.

“And Paul has scored so many before so absolutely no problem. It doesn’t have to be [one designated taker], no. Because sometimes in a game you do grow in confidence, sometimes ‘I don’t want to take it today because I had a bad day’. Absolutely no problem with players walking up and saying, ‘this is mine’.

“The two of them are the designated penalty shooters. It’s up to them there and then to decide that ‘this is mine’. Sometimes players feel they are confident enough – Paul has scored so many penalties for us, today Patricio made a good save.”

 

Rashford told Sky Sports: “Paul wanted to take it, so he took it. Everyone can miss a penalty. He’s scored countless of penalties for us. It’s normal to miss one. We go again in the next game, if we play how we did today then we will be fine.

“We decide who wants to take it. The confidence you are going to score the goal is always the same. We practice all the time. There is no reason why we shouldn’t score. It’s not on Pogba, it’s on the team.



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