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Solskjaer: Greenwood reaping the rewards of hard work after matching Rooney record

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Apr 2021

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Mason Greenwood is reaping the rewards of his hard work on the training ground after helping Manchester United to a 3-1 win over Burnley.

The England international scored twice in Sunday’s clash at Old Trafford, either side of a James Tarkowski equaliser, as United made it five Premier League victories in a row.

It is the third league game running Greenwood has scored in and takes his tally in the competition to 15, making him United’s joint-top scoring teenager alongside Wayne Rooney.

Greenwood’s opener was a well-taken first-time finish and the second saw the academy product cut in from the right and fire in a deflected shot six minutes from time.

Solskjaer is especially pleased with the way the youngster, who struggled for goals in the first half of the season, is developing his attacking game with age.

“I’m very happy for him. He’s mixing up his game. He goes inside and outside, he’s maturing all the time. It’s lovely to see,” Solskjaer told BBC Sport. 

“He’s put the work in on the training ground and reaps the rewards. Last season he was young, now he’s had almost two seasons in the first team. 

“Especially in the last three or four months I’ve seen how mature he is on the training ground and he plays with maturity and understanding. 

“He’s very creative but plays simple when he has to.”

Greenwood has scored more top-flight goals than any other teenager in Europe’s top five leagues since the start of 2019-20 (15), one more than Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.

“I’ve kept myself focussed. I knew my goals would come and kept my head down and I’ve taken my opportunities,” Greenwood told Sky Sports.

“I’m happy I’m playing a lot. Ole trusts me and I do my best on the pitch and try to help my team-mates and it’s showing on the pitch.”

Asked about the manner of his goals, Greenwood said: “I like to do that, cut inside like that. I did it last season but you have to mix it up so defenders don’t catch you out.”

Half-time substitute Edinson Cavani added a late third to wrap up a win for United that moves them to within eight points of leaders Manchester City with six games to play.

With United on their best winning league run since January 2019 when winning six in a row, Greenwood is refusing to give up on catching City.

“You can never be sure – they might slip up. But we just have to concentrate on our next games,” he said.

“Anything’s possible. Hopefully they drop some points but we just have to keep focussed on our games.”

United have won 19 of their 32 league games this term, which is one more than they managed throughout the 2019-20 campaign, and face a trip to Leeds United next weekend.

“We will keep concentrating on what we’re doing and keep winning,” Solskjaer added. “We need to keep the momentum going. It is always about the next game.”

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