May 13, 2021

Man Utd

News

Man United manager Solskjaer recalls Sir Alex Ferguson reaction to Roma result

2 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is relishing an encounter with Roma in 14 years on from Manchester United‘s 7-1 drubbing of the Italian side.

United have drawn Roma in the Europa League semi-finals, evoking memories of the unforgettable thrashing of the Italian side in the 2007 Champions League quarter-finals. Solskjaer came on in the tie – his last appearance for United in Europe – having assisted Wayne Rooney‘s vital away goal in the 2-1 away defeat in the first leg.

Sir Alex Ferguson was sanguine with United’s loss as they were reduced to 10 men after Paul Scholes was sent off for two bookable offences. Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher, current members of the United coaching staff, started in the return leg, with Carrick scoring twice in the seven-goal rout.

“Yeah, of course I remember,” Solskjaer said. “We lost the away game but the odd thing was the manager was so happy after that defeat, I’ve never seen him as happy after losing because he was so confident of winning the home game. Surreal experience, really.

“We need to make the most of it, we’ve got a chance to go to a final. Today: well done, disciplined job, professional and not really under too much pressure.”

United will come up against former players Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the last four of the Europa League after the pair helped the club to their only triumph in the competition.

Mkhitaryan scored in United’s 2-0 final victory over Ajax in Stockholm in 2017 and Smalling started at centre-back. Smalling has been plagued by injuries this season but Mkhitaryan lined up in Roma’s 1-1 draw with Ajax which took them through 3-2 on aggregate to meet United.

United have reached five semi-finals in a little over two years on Solskjaer’s watch but have lost the previous four and the club has not appeared in a final since the FA Cup final in 2018.



United 7 (Carrick X2, Smith, Rooney, Ronaldo X2, Evra) -1 Roma (De Rossi)
United 7 (Carrick X2, Smith, Rooney, Ronaldo X2, Evra) -1 Roma (De Rossi)

“Roma is a fantastic club with a great history, great tradition and fantastic players through the years,” Solskjaer added. “They still have many, many good players. Players we know as well.

“When you get to a semi that’s the nature of the game, you play against some good teams. We’ve played against some good teams, relishing the chance again to go to a final.

“I’ve seen the determination, the attitude in every player that we wanna go one further because the disappointment of the defeats we’ve had give us the motivation to go one step further and end the season on a high.”

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