Solskjaer looks on the bright side after Astana defeat

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (PA Images)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (PA Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reckons there are many positives to take from his young team's defeat at Astana on Thursday.

The 6,000-mile round trip to face Astana is the furthest the Red Devils have ever travelled for a continental match, just as they have never had to contend with the kind of cold experienced around Nur-Sultan.

It was far warmer inside the Astana Arena due to the roof under which United's young side started the Europa League tie brightly, with stand-in captain Jesse Lingard opening the scoring with a fizzing low finish.

But already eliminated and previously pointless Astana grew into the Group L encounter, with Dmitri Shomko's strike and an own goal from United debutant Di'Shon Bernard sealing a surprise 2-1 win for the hosts.

"Definitely (there are positives)," manager Solskjaer said.

"Of course, we're disappointed with the end result but I thought we started the game fantastically, the boys took control of the game, scored a fantastic goal.

"The response after they scored two was also good. Of course, I'm disappointed with that 10-minute spell, you could feel pressure was coming. We couldn't get on the ball as we did.

"But some fantastic performances by the three young lads who made their debuts, all were excellent.

"I think some of these (young players I brought to Kazakhstan) might benefit from going out on loan because they need men's football and today, they got the taste of it, some of them.

"But some are also knocking on the door for us. You could see the way we dominated midfield. I thought Dylan (Levitt) and Jimmy (James Garner) playing together - it's nice to see midfielders dominating the game.

"Di'Shon was so composed. Ethan (Laird), especially first-half, was marauding down the right-hand side, so some of these have done themselves a good favour."

- TeamTalk Media

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