Monday, August 19, 2019

´I think it´s been decided´ – Lukaku backs Solskjaer for United job after PSG miracle

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 7 Mar 2019

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Romelu Lukaku believes the decision to keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as full-time manager has been decided after Manchester United’s incredible Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain.

United overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit to reach the quarter-finals on away goals thanks to Wednesday’s dramatic 3-1 victory over PSG in Paris.

Marcus Rashford’s 94th-minute penalty saw United become the first Champions League team to progress having lost by two or more goals at home in the first leg of a knockout tie.

United’s comeback only further enhanced Solskjaer’s chances of permanently replacing Jose Mourinho – the Norwegian with just one defeat to his name in all competitions since arriving on a caretaker basis in December.

After his two-goal performance, United striker Lukaku told beIN SPORTS: “I think it’s been decided. I think he’s gonna get it, he should get it.

“People were talking after the first four games because, with all due respect, we played against lesser opposition. But then we won against Tottenham away, Arsenal away, Chelsea away and now this game [against PSG]. What else does he have to do?

“He keeps us hungry and we as players want more. It’s a good time to be part of this team.”

Lukaku, who has scored six goals in three matches, added: “He’s done a lot. Personally, he had a plan. He wanted me really sharp in 3-4 weeks. That’s what happened. I did a lot of work. Now I can say I’m fully fit.

“For the team, he made us play offensive football. He’s given young players confidence. He can be tough but knows when to give compliments at the right time. In training, there’s a lot of small games and focus on offensive aspects, and that’s what players like.”

United were depleted for the trip to Paris, with Paul Pogba suspended and Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez and Antonio Valencia injured.

But led by Lukaku’s brace and Rashford’s stoppage-time penalty, United advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2013-14.

“Belief. Character. If we look at their side, we know they’re good at keeping the ball and playing the ball in the right spaces,” Lukaku said. “But today, Ole told Rashford and I to screen the holding midfielders. That’s what we did. And on the counter, when we had chances we had to pounce and we did.

“I was confident two days before the game when the manager said we were playing a front two with Marcus. Try to be compact and quick on the break. We knew we could make a difference at any time. Just never give up until the referee blows the whistle and that’s what we do.”

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