Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims his players are too nice and need to cause ‘more fuss’ if they believe Manchester United are the victim of wrong decisions.
Solskjaer revealed that the match delegate for last week’s shock home defeat by Sheffield United admitted the officials blundered twice — allowing the Blades’ opening goal to stand, then ruling out an effort by United.
Solskjaer feels his players could have argued their case more forcefully to persuade VAR and referee Peter Bankes to take a closer look at both incidents — but insisted he is not encouraging them to harangue officials.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says players need to challenge officials more over wrong decisions
‘Maybe we should have made more of a fuss about it. We are a bunch of nice lads,’ said Solskjaer before Tuesday’s game against Southampton at Old Trafford.
‘Maybe we should have really hung on to that or made them look at it before the game started again. So those are things we have to learn from and use as motivation.
‘You are not going to expect to get anything for free. There has been a narrative for too long about the decisions we have got for us.
‘But I don’t want my players to put unfair pressure on the referees. We leave them to it, that’s their job.’
Sheffield United’s opening goal was allowed to stand even though replays showed that Billy Sharp had barged into David de Gea before Kean Bryan headed in.
Then United had an equaliser by Anthony Martial ruled out for a similar incident when Harry Maguire challenged goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Kean Bryan opened the scoring but Billy Sharp appeared to foul goalkeeper David De Gea
VAR reviewed both incidents but decided there was no clear and obvious error. United went on to lose 2-1 to their bottom-of-the-table opponents.
Solskjaer has seen the report from the PGMOL match delegate, whose view was that both decisions were incorrect.
‘The momentum shifted for us with the Sheffield United game,’ said Solskjaer. ‘I don’t like to bring these up but I’ve got the delegate’s report on the referee and the two decisions were wrong.
‘They’ve admitted their goal should have been disallowed and our goal should have stood.
‘That’s a big, big momentum changer for us. I have absolutely no problem with human error and I understand why the decisions were made.
Anthony Martial had a goal disallowed for a prior foul on Aaron Ramsdale by Harry Maguire
‘Unfortunately they went against us and they were wrong. That’s football for you but that’s maybe what VAR should have been in use for.’
United have also been held to goalless draws by Liverpool and Arsenal in the last four games, dropping seven points as Manchester City have taken over at the top.
United badly need a win on Tuesday but Solskjaer said: ‘We cannot think about the title race.
‘Let’s get to the end of March or the end of the international break in April before we can even think about where we end up in the League.’