Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Mountains are there to be climbed: Solskjaer optimistic despite first United defeat

Mountains are there to be climbed: Solskjaer optimistic despite first United defeat

The cagey first half affair clearly attested that United was nervous.

However, despite their injuries, PSG is still a very talented side, so if United want to have a legitimate shot at getting through to the next round, they need to exit this first leg with a victory.

Not because PSG had hurried them, but because the occasion seemed to have gone to their heads. They did not have a central defensive partnership of the quality of Thiago Silva and Kimpembe, a midfielder of the quality of Marco Verratti or even Marquinhos, or a player with the speed, skill and strength of Mbappe.

But the lack of a response to losing Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard in quick succession to injury towards the end of the first half underlined why planning on overhauling the squad needs to start straight away.

Solskjaer insisted his United side must treat their chastening defeat as a learning experience and demanded a response ahead of Monday's FA Cup fifth round trip to Chelsea and their following Premier League game at home to title challengers Liverpool.

Instead of falling off the pace, they could have improved. "After the first goal everything changed", insisted the Spaniard.

Sanchez told United's coaches at half-time that he had injured his leg in the incident and they made the decision to allow him to warm-up during the interval out on the pitch, instead of being part of the team-talk.

Solskjaer was still Cardiff manager when United last won a knockout phase game in the Champions League - against Olympiakos under David Moyes in March 2014.

After holding the French champions to 0-0 at the break, United emerged for the second half without either Lingard or Martial, who were replaced by Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez.

But ultimately United did not have an answer when PSG raised their game. A repeat of that 3-0 win in Paris next month would take United through to the quarterfinals.

"We were pressing okay and they were not feeling good with the ball". "It will be hard and it's a mountain to climb but it's not impossible".

"Don't be sorry, [it is] something we have to learn from", Solskjaer said of the message he will give his players.

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