Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Martial and Lingard injuries open the door to Gomes and Chong – Solskjaer

SoccerNews in English Premier League 15 Feb 2019

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Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels there is a chance for fringe players to step up after injuries to Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, with Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes likely to get opportunities.

United lost 2-0 in their Champions League last-16 first leg at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, with Martial and Lingard subsequently ruled out for at least two weeks with injuries they sustained in the match.

Their absences mean there are two places up for grabs in the United starting XI for upcoming games against Chelsea in the FA Cup and Liverpool in the league over the next nine days.

Solskjaer confirmed highly rated attackers Chong and Gomes – 19 and 18 years of age respectively – are likely to benefit, both of whom featured during the early stages of the Norwegian’s spell in charge.

But it is also an opportunity for Alexis Sanchez to finally deliver for the Red Devils, as the Chilean has endured a woeful time at the club so far.

“It’s a chance for anyone who plays – Alexis, Romelu [Lukaku], Chong or Angel,” Solskjaer told reporters on Friday.

“Anthony and Jesse have done really well for us, they’re vital in attack with their attributes, their pace.

“But then again, with Rom and Alexis, they’ve got different skillsets and will be able to show what they can do. So we just need to gel a team together for Monday.

“We’ve still got forward options, but Angel and Chong have been training with us all week and the weeks leading up to this, so there’s a big chance they’ll be involved.”

Monday’s FA Cup outing will be United’s first opportunity to respond to that chastening defeat to PSG, and Solskjaer says the team must provide a response.

“You’ve got to bounce back at this club,” he said. “You’ll always have challenges and away against Chelsea is one of the tougher challenges.

“Let’s make sure the next two days in training we’re ready on Monday. We know there was a spell against PSG for about 10 minutes when we lost our way a bit. Apart from that we weren’t too bad.”

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