Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists ‘the disappointment of defeats’ will push Manchester United on as they bid to make their first final at the FIFTH attempt under Norwegian boss following Europa League quarter-final victory
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he is hoping to make it fifth time lucky with Manchester United after the club fell short in four semi-finals across last season and the current campaign under his leadership.
Solskjaer watched on at Old Trafford as United took a routine 2-0 victory over Granada to seal passage to the Europa League semi-finals with a commanding 4-0 aggregate scoreline.
Now, only Roma stand in United’s way of making a European final under Solskjaer, and the Norwegian is under no false pretenses that the task will be a difficult one.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is bidding to reach a final with Manchester United in the Europa League
‘Let’s hope so,’ said Solskjaer, when asked by reporters if United can now put their semi-finals curse to bed, following the final whistle on Thursday.
‘You know, when you get to a semi, that’s the nature of the game – you’re playing against good teams.
‘We played against some good teams but we relish the chance again to go to a final.
‘I’ve seen the determination, the attitude in every player that we want to go one further.
‘The disappointment of the defeats that we’ve had, they give us the motivation to go one step further and hopefully end the season on a high.’
Edinson Cavani volleyed home early on in the contest as United dominated proceedings
Marcus Rashford’s strike and a late Bruno Fernandes penalty in Granada last week put the Red Devils in control of their quarter-final tie against the European debutants.
United followed that up with another 2-0 win on Thursday, when Edinson Cavani’s early volley and a late Jesus Vallejo own goal sealed a 4-0 aggregate triumph and the club’s 18th continental semi-final.
Roma stand between Solskjaer’s side and the Gdansk finale – a tie which brings back memories of United’s remarkable 8-3 aggregate triumph against the Italian side in the 2007 Champions League quarter-finals.
Solskjaer was involved in both legs and the current Giallorossi side includes Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling – starters when United won the Europa League in 2017.
Roma will meet United in the semi-finals after eliminating Ajax in the last eight
‘We lost the away game but the odd thing was the manager (Sir Alex Ferguson) was so happy after that defeat – I’ve never seen him that happy after losing a game,’ the United boss said, having provided an assist in the 2-1 away loss before coming on in the 7-1 Old Trafford triumph.
‘He was so confident we were going to win the home game so [it was a] surreal experience, really.
‘We need to make the most of it. We’ve got a chance to go to a final.
‘Today, well done. Disciplined job, professional and not really under too much pressure.’