Solskjaer refuses to get involved in Premier League title talk

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refuses to get involved in Premier League title talk and insists Manchester United are still ‘a work in a progress’, despite climbing to third in the table with Leeds win

  • Manchester United went third in the Premier League with their win over Leeds
  • But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to talk about his team as title contenders 
  • The Norwegian insists they are ‘a work in progress’ despite their impressive start
  • He also heaped praise on Scott McTominay, calling him a ‘physical monster’ 

Watching Manchester United hit Leeds for six on the weekend of his second anniversary in charge at Old Trafford, it would have been easy for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get a little carried away on Sunday.

As happy as he was with a scintillating display, however, the United manager was not ready to get dragged into any title talk after his side moved up to third in the table with a game in hand on the rest of the top-six.

‘It’s 13 games into the season, we’re not even at the halfway point,’ said Solskjaer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to get carried away after Manchester United thrashed Leeds

‘We’re a work in a progress. We’re getting better, fitter and stronger, but there’s still a few details to nail. Let’s talk about the title later on – the league position isn’t even something we’re looking at.

‘But it’s easier to sit here today and say I’m seeing more of a Man United team I like. I’ve really enjoyed the two years and I really enjoyed today.’

United won at home in the Premier League for only the second time this season, scoring twice as many goals in one game as the previous six combined.

Having criticised his team for their slow starts, Solskjaer saw Scott McTominay score twice in the opening three minutes. The Scotland midfielder also assisted on the fifth goal for Dan James before going off with a groin injury.

‘Scott is a physical monster,’ said Solskjaer. ‘He can win in the air and he wins tackles, but he’s so strong and quick as well.

‘He just ran into the space that we hoped he would get, and it was good work by the other players to create the space and good finishes.

United moved up to third in the table with a game in hand on the rest of the top-six on Sunday

‘I have to stop Scott from doing that sometimes. He used to be a striker as a kid and he is an attacking midfielder by nature. But when he sees space in front of him, why stop him?’ 

Solskjaer’s only complaint was the decision by referee Anthony Taylor to book Dan James when he went down in the box under Liam Cooper’s challenge.

‘Shocking refereeing,’ added the United boss. ‘It does do my head in when he gets a yellow card when he should have had a penalty – it’s a foul.

‘He’s almost been labelled as a diver before. But his pace is impossible to stop. If he (Cooper) turns ahead and runs with him, Dan’s past him.’

Leeds’ wide-open tactics were ruthlessly exploited as Marcelo Bielsa conceded six goals as a manager for the first time in nearly 29 years.

The Leeds boss was unrepentant, however, despite seeing his team thrashed in the first Premier League meeting between the two clubs since 2004.

Solskjaer saw Scott McTominay score two in the opening three minutes, calling him a ‘monster’

‘It’s very difficult to take,’ said Bielsa. ‘We’re very sad. I regret that we weren’t able to make more of the game. We will correct things, but we will not abandon the way we play.’

Stuart Dallas, who scored Leeds’ second goal, admitted that their style is always likely to leave them exposed.

‘We’re hurting a lot,’ said Dallas. ‘We know how much this meant to a lot of people and how big the game is.

‘The early goals knocked the wind out of us, but we tried to keep going right to the end. The way we play, we are going to be open to conceding goals.’

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