May 15, 2021

Man Utd

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Man United manager Solskjaer sends message to Man City over title race

3 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has piled the pressure on Manchester City in the final weeks of the Premier League season after telling them: “Bigger leads have been given away.”

A win over Burnley at Old Trafford today will see Manchester United close the gap at the top to eight points with six games remaining and would also bring up a fifth consecutive league success for Solskjaer’s in-form side.

City remain strong favourites to regain their Premier League crown but United frittered away an eight-point lead with six games to go in 2011/12 and other sides have stumbled when the finish line is in sight.

Solskjaer is refusing to give up on ending United’s seven-year title drought just yet and while he admits it’s still unlikely that his side can reel in City, he’s attempted to up the ante on Pep Guardiola’s side with a few mind games.

“Every game is important to Manchester United and we aren’t going to just give points away easily,” said Solskjaer.

“Can we catch City? Stranger things have happened in football. Bigger leads have been given away.

“Of course, they have been very strong and it’s probably too much to hope and ask for.

“But as long as we do our job then that’s the main thing. We have got to win every game in the league. We know that.

“After that we can only hope that something happens to City.

“We can’t control what they do. We’ve got to play it one game at a time because we’ve got some difficult matches left ourselves.”

After today’s fixture with the Clarets United don’t return to action until next Sunday, at Leeds United, as they enjoy a first midweek rest this season. City face a trip to Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

Even if the title does remain out of reach, Solskjaer could end United’s almost four-year wait for silverware with the Europa League after a 4-0 aggregate success against Granada in the quarter-finals.


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United now face Roma in the last four, their fifth semi-final in two seasons. They reached the same stage of this competition a year ago but were beaten in a one-legged tie by Sevilla despite taking an early lead.

Solskjaer admits that defeat, in what turned out to be the final game of last season, stung and it has been a motivating factor for his side in this competition since February.

“We are aiming to finish the season on a high – and the best possible way to do that would be to win the Europa League,” he said.

“That’s something we have been working on and thinking about for almost a year.

“The way we went out of the semi-final last season really hurt us.

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Manchester United are in the semi-finals of the Europa League after Edinson Cavani’s volley helped the Reds complete a 4-0 aggregate win over Granada and set up a last four clash against Roma.

It’s back to Premier League action this weekend when Burnley visit Old Trafford on Sunday.

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“You can see from the focus the players have in the Europa League games that this time they want to go all the way to the final and lift the trophy.

“Last year is definitely driving us on. Sometimes you get extra motivation from setbacks. Sometimes setbacks can derail you, but sometimes they can really spur you on.

“We’ve lost four semi-finals as a group and I’ve seen the determination to go all the way this time.

“We’re really looking forward to Roma.”

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