Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is often seeking a ‘spark’ from his Manchester United players and in the absence of any flicker he let off some fireworks against Brighton.
United trailed at half-time for the fourth time this season at Old Trafford and on the three previous occasions they lost. With ‘progress’ the buzzword at United as they endeavour to better last season’s third-place finish, beating Brighton was a progressive step.
Not that it felt that way. Brighton were one of the best sides United came up against prior to the weekend win and will be scratching their heads as to how they have ended up pointless after two impressive performances against them six months apart.
United were not as fortunate as they were at the Amex in September and Mason Greenwood‘s maturity continued with his scruffy winner. Greenwood may have been the only one the ‘Hairdryer’ was not switched on during the interval.
Solskjaer was so audibly angry he directed his ire at Luke Shaw, faultless in recent months. The brusque Bruno Fernandes had some choice words for his manager.
In his interview with the broadcasters, Solskjaer said: “Sometimes after international breaks it takes time, and then maybe the fireworks have to be lit at half-time.”
During his post-match Zoom debrief, Solskjaer added: “Hairdryer? Sometimes you just have to raise your voice, sometimes you keep calm and composed, it doesn’t really matter what I did today, what matters is that we got the half-time to talk things through.
“Sometimes it’s louder than other times. Sometimes you can actually get your message across and speak slowly and not so loud. It doesn’t really matter what I did today.”
“We’ve done that a few times this season. We’re getting used to it, you don’t really want to be in a position 1-0 down.
“It was a sloppy mistake in midfield [for Brighton’s goal] and then we don’t stop the cross, we don’t defend the cross, so we gave ourselves work to do and I think we’ve done that so many times this season that the team doesn’t panic.
“We have to build momentum, we have to move the ball quicker, move more in tandem with each other and the two goals we scored were good goals and we deserved to win the game in the end, I think.”