Who is to blame for Manchester United’s current problems? Well, their failure to beat AZ Alkmaar wasn’t anything to do with the players according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Norwegian instead deciding to blame the pitch and the referee for their 0-0 draw in the Netherlands.
Manchester United‘s miserable away form showed no signs of picking up any time soon, the Old Trafford outfit producing a timid and uninspiring display as they failed to break down AZ Alkmaar, United finishing their 10th consecutive away game without a win.
While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a number of changes and played three teenagers, his teamsheet still boasted a host of experienced and so-called quality players, with United’s midfield including Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Fred, all costing a combined £120 million.
However, even considering the second-half introductions of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay, the Red Devils were unable to produce any noteworthy quality going forward, with United failing to have a single shot on target, and getting just seven touches in the Alkmaar box.
0 – Manchester United have failed to have a shot on target in a UEFA Europa League game for the first time in their history (25 games). Blunt. pic.twitter.com/f3ADg6Qow6
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 3, 2019
With no VAR in operation in the Europa League, United were seemingly denied a second-half penalty when Rashford was taken down in the box by Stijn Wuytens, though were also fortunate not to concede one themselves when Fred appeared to haul down Dani de Wit.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must have spent his afternoon watching a different game, praising the performance of his side, clinging onto the penalty that they weren’t given, while also blaming the ‘very bad’ plastic pitch.
“I’m very happy with the boys, we come away with a good performance,” Solskjaer told MUTV.
“It should have been three points, a nailed on penalty. You can’t even discuss it!
“It was a good performance against a good opponent on a very bad surface.”