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‘We attacked every time!’ – Solskjaer fires back at Klopp & sends message to misfiring Man Utd forwards



The Red Devils boss has defended his tactics following criticisms from the German that they defended deep in their box at Anfield last time out.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Jurgen Klopp’s suggestion that his side were too defensive in their 0-0 draw against Liverpool but still wants to see an improvement from his attackers in Sunday’s FA Cup clash.

United face their Merseyside opponents for the second successive week, having been held to a goalless draw in the league last weekend, with a place in the FA Cup fifth round at stake at Old Trafford.

Klopp criticised United for what he deemed to be a very defensive performance last time out but Solskjaer has defended his tactics and believes they would have paid off had his team been more precise with their passing.

The Norwegian said: “We attacked every time we got the ball, maybe too much. We kept giving it away, that was the challenge. We went forward too quickly.

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“The thought that we weren’t attacking, I don’t understand that one. We kept giving it away. It’s the quality of what we did, we need to do better. We tried to press them high. It’s not easy, they played well, they played their way out of our press. We didn’t go out there to drop deep and try to soak up the pressure.

“They had five midfielders out there to play out plus a ‘keeper who is very capable. When you look back at it, I think it was a good game by the two teams. We played against a top Liverpool team. Yes, [Virgil] van Dijk is not there but everyone’s got an injury or two here or there. I was very pleased with the performance when I looked at it after.”

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United were caught offside on eight occasions at Anfield on Sunday, with Marcus Rashford being flagged five times, and Solskjaer thinks that time and the improving relationships between his players will solve that problem.

He added: “They’re eager [to get in behind the defence], of course, but it’s also a way we want to attack quickly. It’s not that you have to attack quickly every time, it’s a decision you’ve got to make there and then.

“Of course, it’s in our DNA that if you see a pass, do it. Do it well. I didn’t think we executed the passes well enough. Some of the runs were maybe too eager, especially at Anfield. I felt one or two times there we could’ve been one-on-one with the ‘keeper.

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“For us, it’s about fine-tuning, getting better, getting used to each other. Edinson [Cavani] is new, Bruno [Fernandes] has not been here a year yet. We’ll get there.”

Indeed, of United’s impressive array of forward options that includes Anthony Martial, Rashford, Cavani and Mason Greenwood, only the Uruguayan has found the net in the last five matches.

And with Solskjaer planning to rotate on Sunday, it remains to be seen who will be given the responsibility in attack against the Premier League champions.

“We’ll rotate, that’s for sure,” he said. We’ll put a decent team together, of course, a team I feel can win the game. The focus is now on the FA Cup. We know it’s a difficult tie.”


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