Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blamed two mistakes by the referee for his side’s shock defeat to bottom struggling Sheffield United.
The Reds missed the opportunity to go ahead of Premier League title rivals Manchester City at the top after suffering a 1 – 2 defeat at Old Trafford that saw Sheffield United end United’s 13-game unbeaten run.
Sheffield United had not won away from Bramall Lane all season in the league but they went ahead after 23 minutes with a goal from Kean Bryan, captain Harry Maguire headed in an equaliser after 64 minutes and the Blades stunned the Reds again in the 74th minute when they scored a second through Oliver Burke.
Solskjaer who believe that the referee should have disallowed Sheffield’s opening goal, for a push by Billy Sharp on goalkeeper De Gea, and was wrong to disallow a similar United effort, ruled out for a Harry Maguire foul on the Sheffield United goalkeeper, also lamented on his players sloppy defending that contributed to the unexpected loss.
The manager made six changes from the Reds’ side that had performed so well in the thrilling FA Cup win against Liverpool over the weekend but a slow start for Solskjaer’s side coupled with a strong Sheffield defence made Wednesday’s night match a tough hurdle.
Speaking after the defeat Solskjaer said, “We had all the possession but when you concede two bad goals it’s always going to be difficult.
“We didn’t create big enough chances to score enough goals. That magic was missing, that little bit extra. They defended well, fair play to them but we didn’t have the right ideas or solutions.
“The first goal is a foul, Billy Sharp runs into David de Gea. At the other end, no foul for the disallowed goal for us but it’s that kind of season. Two mistakes by the referee.”
“It wasn’t to be, the second goal we conceded is so poor, so sloppy. Easy. We stopped getting out to the ball, three or four bad decisions which are out of character. There will be no big inquest. There have been so many odd results this season, but with the world, as it is we have been the most consistent team, it hit us today.”
Manchester United’s next match is a trip to Arsenal on Saturday and Solskjaer believes his side needs to dust off the sad feeling and move on.
“We’ll get over it tonight and start again tomorrow. Saturday, it’s Arsenal and a big performance is needed as they’re in good form, in good shape and have done well against us before. We know we have to lift ourselves”, he said.