Manchester United News and Notes: Solskjaer, De Gea, Fernandes

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Chelsea FC hosted Manchester United at Stamford Bridge with the two sides playing to a nil-nil draw in which nobody lost, technically. Except for those who watched it. It was boring, most certainly, as the two English giants clubs have now finished their league meetings with over 180 minutes played with no goals scored.

It’s hard to make a case that the United of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are more compelling and entertaining than how they were under Louis van Gaal or Jose Mourinho. (For the Chelsea news and notes go here) Take a look at the tweet below, it really says it all:

United probably deserved a penalty when Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi committed a clear handball, but it wasn’t called. After the match, Solskjaer said that he thinks opponents have been working the refs against them, and that the opposition have had an influence on calls now going against them.

“They probably thought his [Hudson-Odoi’s] hand was in a very natural position when he flicked the ball,” Solskjaer said.

“It’s gone now. We should have had a penalty and that’s clear. I’m a bit concerned that we don’t get those penalties after what noises were made a month or two ago about us getting penalties. So clearly there is a point of managers influencing the referees which they shouldn’t do.”

Both Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard have openly questioned the number of penalty kicks that United have been awarded this season. Solskjaer said:

“That’s just the nature of us as managers isn’t it, that anything that goes against you, you probably want to highlight. If something goes for other teams, you’d like to try to stop that probably. But I trust the referees not to be influenced by it.

“I was very surprised by the decision today when I looked at the video. Live, I didn’t think it was a penalty so I can understand why he didn’t give it straight away but when you look at the video, it is not a very natural position to have your hand in.”

You really can’t declare anybody a man of the match for United, but the one who comes the closest is probably goalkeeper David de Gea.

david de gea

He had a really nice save or two, and he made it clear that he’s not about to yield his starting position to Dean Henderson any time soon.

One footballer who is often man of the match for United is Bruno Fernandes. The jokes about where and what United would be without him are pretty much spot on. They’d likely be somewhere in the lower table if not for the Portugese magnifico. However, today he was totally shut down by N’Golo Kante.

The Frenchman, who had Fernandes in his back pocket all day, was the true man of the match. United remain in second place with the result and they’ll next be in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Crystal Palace.

They gained a point on Leicester City in the standings this week for second place, but fell 12 points behind league leading Manchester City.

With only 12 matches left on the slate, it’s hard for anybody to still consider them league title contenders.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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  1. Patrick kubali says

    United tried their best but that was it after final results

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