LONDON: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told the rest of Europe Manchester United are the team to avoid after their sensational comeback against a dumbfounded Paris Saint-Germain.
Solskjaer’s side arrived in France looking to become the first side in the history of the Champions League to progress after suffering a first-leg home defeat by two goals. They were given little chance, not least because United had 10 first-team players out with injury and skipper Paul Pogba suspended after his red card in the first leg.
But a brace from Romelu Lukaku and an injury-time winner from the penalty spot from the nerveless Marcus Rashford gave United a remarkable win.
That has only added to the feelgood factor Solskjaer has created since becoming interim coach, and, now unexpectedly in the quarterfinals, the Norwegian is insisting he can lead the Reds to a fourth European Cup crown.
“Of course we fancy ourselves. We can go all the way,” the United coach, now red-hot favorite to be named Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor, said. “We just have to wait for the draw and take the game as it comes.”
It seems strange to say it, considering United’s packed trophy cabinet and habit of winning big matches, but this clash will go down as one of the most memorable results in the club’s storied history. Of the victory Solskjaer said: “We always believed (we could win). We set out the plan. It wasn’t about having the ball and outplaying (PSG).
“We had lots on injuries and suspensions and perhaps that was a good thing as we had a fresh team. Lots of energy we had to be humble enough to defend hard and we had the team to do that.”
Since he took over Mourinho Solskjaer has completely changed the atmosphere at United. Where once the club seemed defensive and downcast, the Norwegian has made it dynamic and delightful — all in the space of just over two months. It would be a huge shock if the man who has been beaten only once while in the Old Trafford dugout — the first leg against PSG — did not get the job long-term.
Of the potential to remain United coach, the 46-year-old said: “I keep doing this job as best as I can.
“It’s been a fantastic time with the players ... I’m going to enjoy this job as long as I’ve got it — I’m going to smile.”