Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told Manchester United players they needed to be more clinical after a dominant first-half against Aston Villa.
United trailed 1-0 at half-time and ended up losing their only pre-season friendly at Villa Park after squandering several presentable chances either side of Ollie Watkins’ 16th-minute winner.
Solskjaer substituted Ighalo and Marcus Rashford in the second-half following their impotent displays and the United manager reiterated the need to be ruthless in front of goal.
“That’s what we said at half-time,” Solskjaer told MUTV. “Some great football at times, get into some fantastic positions, and maybe that’s the lack of sharpness, lack of lungs, maybe. Because it’s early doors but we need to be more clinical and then you go home happy.”
Lee Grant came on in the second-half and was encouraged by United’s overall performance, despite the loss.
“Really good one, lots and lots of positives to take,” Grant said. “You can look at the scoreline but I don’t think anyone is taking too much notice of that, even the Villa players and staff.
“We played really well, lots and lots of good stuff to take away from it but most importantly – the gaffer stressed it to us before the game – it was a continuation of the work we’ve been doing in training, especially from the physical aspect. And some valuable minutes in the tank for quite a few players there.
“It’s totally bizarre (the pre-season), unlike any other. Of course, it’s been sporadic in its makeup but we’ve coped really well as a football club. The staff have managed to put together a really nice framework to work and, of course, be ready for next week, which is the most important thing.”