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Solskjaer praises Martial ‘composure’ but admits Man Utd ‘weren’t at the races’ against Brugge

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United ‘weren’t really at the races’ at times as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Club Brugges.

The Red Devils fell behind to a 15th minute goal from Emmanuel Dennis, the Nigerian lifting the ball over Sergio Romero who was in no mans land, only for Anthony Martial to score a fine solo effort nine minutes before the interval to secure a draw.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made six changes to the side that started Monday night’s 2-0 win against Chelsea, and the Norwegian admitted that his rotated side ‘switched off’ at the back on a number of occasions.

“It was a game with difficult conditions, and we gave them a goal on their goal kick and they gave us a goal on their throw-in, so two poor goals in [terms of] concentration from both teams,” Solskjaer told BT Sport.

“There were some moments that we switched off; they had a quick throw-in early on, there was a big chance after two minutes – we just turned our back to the game. That was a bit disappointing that we weren’t really at the races to start with, but [we got the] draw, we got the away goal, so we’re looking forward to next week.”

Brugge’s opener – which came from a long goal kick from former Liverpool ‘keeper Simon Mignolet – did come with an element of controversy. It appeared as though United should have been awarded a corner rather than it being a Brugges goal kick in the first place, while the ball seemed to be moving when Mignolet lumped it forward, though the goal was allowed to stand.

“What’s the point of VAR then? It is what it is, and there’s no use in complaining,” Solskjaer said. “But maybe it was a corner and the ball was rolling, definitely! But still, we shouldn’t switch off, we should look after that long pass anyway.”

“As I said, in the first two minutes, when they had the throw-in in the corner, we switched off, and they switched off on that goal kick as well. Well done by Mignolet to be fair, but we shouldn’t allow those goals. That’s too easy.”

Solskjaer was however impressed with the quality of Anthony Martial’s equaliser, the Norwegian admitting it could turn out to be an ‘important’ moment of the last 32 tie.

“Our goal, their boy throwing the ball square, great by Anthony Martial, worked hard, won the ball well, good composure, and it gave us the very important away goal.”

The second leg takes place at Old Trafford next Thursday evening, with a home game against Watford to come first for United on Sunday afternoon.

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