Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reacted to Paul Pogba’s admission he was ‘out of breath’ during Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal last weekend.
Manchester United‘s recent momentum was halted following a disappointing defeat to the Gunners on Sunday, their loss continuing a concerning recent record at home with the club having taken just a point from four Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford so far this season.
The defeat leaves the Red Devils 15th in the division following an indifferent start to the campaign with Pogba amongst the players to have struggled during the clash, the midfielder’s rash challenge on Hector Bellerin allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.
The France international – who missed the start of the season after testing positive for coronavirus – apologised following the result for his ‘stupid mistake’ and Solskjaer has discussed the star’s reaction ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Istanbul Basaksehir.
“Every player is frustrated after the defeat,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “We need consistency from every one of our players.
“Paul has had a difficult period with injury, with COVID, so I think we have seen plenty of positives.”
Following the clash, Pogba made a surprise admission that he was maybe ‘a bit out of breath’ during the time of his clumsy challenge on Bellerin, raising question marks regarding the player’s fitness.
“I cost us the goal today with the penalty,” he told the BBC. “Like I say, details. We have to do better, the team, myself, it starts with me.
“I felt like I touched him a bit, I knew I was in the box, I shouldn’t have given a penalty away like that. Maybe I was a bit out of breath, it made me do this stupid mistake.”
Solskjaer, however, refused to be drawn on the player’s excuse or concerns over his fitness and says the 27-year-old knows he should have ‘dealt with the incident better’.
“Any situation you’re a fit lad and Paul knows that exact incident, he could have dealt with better and he’s held his hand up,” Solskjaer added. “But that’s how it is in a game of football. It’s high tempo and intensity.
“As I’ve said, the fitter you are the more you can do. And that goes for every footballer around the world.”