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Manchester United comeback ‘like the old days’ for Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared Manchester United’s dramatic 3-2 win over Southampton on Saturday to “the old days” of thrilling late victories. United went behind at Old Trafford to a Yan Valery strike in the first half and, having gone 2-1 up through Andreas Pereira and Romelu Lukaku, they were pegged back by James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick.
However, Lukaku struck another sublime goal in the 88th minute to secure three points that lift them back into the top four of the Premier League at the expense of Arsenal. And Solskjaer, who famously scored the injury-time winner in the 1999 Champions League final, felt there was an element of nostalgia to United’s triumph.
“The manner of it is like the old days,” he said. “I have been part of it so many times myself. I’m so pleased for the boys – they managed to claw three points out of this game. “You forget you are tired. You just run and you want that ball delivered around the box. We have done it so many times. As a manager, that is not the way you want to enjoy the first 90 minutes. You want to be comfortable.
“We should have been two up in the first five minutes. [There were] some great saves by the kid. Those two strikes for them – absolute quality.
“We spoke at half-time: get more urgency, get the ball in the box, and the strength of them [the fans] will suck the ball in. I don’t want to take too much from Andreas and Romelu as they were great finishes, but that is part of the history.”
Lukaku missed two good early chances that were saved by Angus Gunn before he struck twice with two clinical right-foot finishes.
“He is a quality goalscorer,” said Solskjaer of the Belgium striker, who scored the opening goal of the 3-1 win at Crystal Palace last time out. “We need to have him more in front of the goal, but he has done fantastic in his work rate, attitude, he loves scoring goals, he smiles every day, he does extra shooting in training. He has got the goalscorer’s quality.” Solskjaer also praised Pereira’s impact, as he scored his first league goal for the club with a sublime effort from 25 yards out.
“I’m so pleased for him, so happy,” he said. “He has gone through the academy, he has loads of energy and drive. Maybe we found a better position for him. He is more of a number eight or 10 than a six. “A goal and an assist, it is a nice day to remember. Young kids, when they get criticism, there is nothing better than seeing them grab their chance.”