Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned that Manchester United must have patience and quality to break down Crystal Palace.
United face Palace at Selhurst Park tonight, looking to stretch their unbeaten Premier League away run to 21 games. Roy Hodgson’s side shocked Solskjaer’s men 3-1 at Old Trafford in the opening game of the season, but United have tended to play far better on the road.
Star player Wilfried Zaha — once of United — is a doubt for the Eagles tonight, but Solskjaer is not taking Palace lightly and is keen for his players to rediscover some form in South London.
“We need to get back to winning ways. We want three points,” he told United’s in-house media.
“We know it’s going to be a battle. We’ve got to be really precise and show high quality in the last third because they’re not going to give you both, you have to earn them and we’ve got to defend well against their set-plays and counterattacks.
“You could say patience but also you need the quality because he does have a great record of organising his teams. They have some very experienced players that know the game. We felt that early on in the first game of the season of course. They counterattacked a few times against us and scored. So we’ve got a score to settle to be honest.”
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Manchester United were denied a penalty in controversial fashion against Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were furious that Callum Hudson-Odoi wasn’t penalised for a handball, as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge. The point leaves United 12 points behind leaders Man City, with Crystal Palace the next opponents.
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On Zaha specifically, Solskjaer added: “You know Wilf is a top-quality player but we have players who can deal with whether or not Wilf is fit. They also have other great individuals, tricky players who can cause you bother.
“I don’t think it’s any different with or without Wilf. When you’re in the Premier League, you always have top players against you.”
He also reminded his players that Palace could spring a tactical surprise and wants a measured performance from his United side.
He added: “Roy might have something up his sleeve, but of course if we manage to press them back and dominate the game you know that there’s always going to be a chance of them counterattacking and breaking.
“As I said, Roy’s teams have always had that stubbornness and resilience. We just have to, as you said, be patient, but we also want to start quickly and play with tempo, quality and lots of movement. It’s a good challenge for us.”