Manchester United had a slow start to the season after being denied a pre-season thanks to the delay imposed by the Covid break.
After losing our opening game against Crystal Palace, we beat Brighton with a penalty in the 100th minute, before losing 6-1 to Tottenham Hotspur. We were 2-1 down when Anthony Martial retaliated to Erik Lamela pushing him in the face. After a VAR check, Martial was inexplicably the only player shown a red card.
Reflecting on the game ahead of Sunday’s game against Spurs, Solskjaer has talked to the press about the impact of that game.
I think the players will remember that game with a lot of pain and their pride has been hurt. Our professional pride has been hurt, the manner we lost is not worthy of ourselves and our team and we know that. We gave ourselves a difficult game by having 10 men. Pre-season was short and we weren’t up to the standard required, but we were so poor and I’m pretty, pretty sure that we’ll see some players wanting to prove that we’re better than that.
The biggest thing that we’ve improved on is our fitness levels, because we were way short of what they were at. It was our third game, was it? Third game and we didn’t look anything like [them] and we got conned into a red card and that’s something that we have to be aware of. That we can’t react like this, because we know that, in games, there’ll be situations that you’ll be wound up and we’ve learnt a lot from that and I’m sure we’ll have a better performance this time round.
Harry Kane is rumoured to be a transfer target for United so will be keen to impress this weekend. He has 10 goals in his last 10 appearances, so any Sportsbook would give you good odds on him scoring against United on Sunday. The England captain has scored four goals in 14 games against United and will be keen to add to that tally on Sunday, something Solskjaer claims they’ve prepared for.
When you play against one of the best centre forwards in European football, it is something that we prepare for and I think every team when they play Tottenham or England, you know Harry Kane’s qualities, but we prepare the defenders for every single opposition and opponent. You know the season that Son and Kane have had, the relationship they’ve had. Of course, that’s one of Tottenham’s strengths and they’ve got other quality players as well that we have to be aware of.
Jose Mourinho has played down the importance of the thrashing his current team dished out to his former team in their last meeting.
I believe that 6-1 doesn’t reflect the reality. It can happen. Of course it can happen, between two great, the results they can happen in an isolated way. I go much more in the direction of the other two previous matches between us and United.
We lost 2-1 at Old Trafford, with the penalty, and we draw 1-1 at home last season, also with a penalty. I think this is more the reality. We are not far from each other so I think it is going to be a difficult match for both.
If Solksjaer is going to use that result I don’t know. If it was the opposite. If it was my team losing 6-1 to them I would just say to my guys that it happened once and it’s not going to happen twice. This doesn’t reflect the reality. The game is going to be tight and we can win, but I don’t know, maybe Solksjaer has different things.