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Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

09:54 29 Oct 2020


Andy Mitten says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has proven to plenty of football people, including some Manchester United fans, that he can make the big calls to win big games.

A second-half hat-trick from substitute Marcus Rashford last night helped United ease to a 5-0 Champions League group win over the visiting RB Leipzig, with Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial (penalty) also on the scoresheet.

Solskjaer's tenure has had its ups and downs, with critics often saying he doesn't possess the managerial nous to lead at a club at this level.

However, United We Stand editor Mitten told OTB AM earlier that the Norwegian is getting tactics spot on of late.

"In the space of a week Manchester United have beaten the Champions League finalists away and beaten the Champions League semi-finalists at home, five-nil. Five-nil.

"It's two incredibly good results, and surprising both of them. RB Leipzig are top of the Bundesliga, they're unbeaten, they didn't lose a single away game in the Champions League last season.

"After Manchester United went ahead after 21 minutes with Mason Greenwood's first ever shot in the Champions League, I think we saw from the Germans just how good they are.

"They were not on the back foot at all, they pressured Manchester United. United are looking fitter, they're adapting very well to the frequent changes of formations in games."

Mitten also addressed the criticism levelled at the United boss, saying there were plenty who were having to put forward their mea culpa after recent performances.

"They're beating the best teams in the world now. I don't expect Manchester United to be winning the Champions League, or not even coming close if I'm honest - but they're not making a bad fist of it so far!

"Compare the mood now after the two games with the mood online when that draw was made, and there so many Manchester United fans saying 'We'll be out by Christmas, we're going back into the Europa League.'

"There was just this prevailing wall of absolute doom, and I hope that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is laughing his socks off this morning.

"He's still got a long way to go, he's still got a big job to do, but that was a fantastic result last night, as it was in Paris a week ago."

The negative mood online was particularly evident before the Newcastle win at St James' Park recently, according to Mitten.

"I trust him. I mean he makes mistakes, but he sees that team every day and he's far better qualified to pick it than the critics who are absolutely slaughtering the formations before the games have begun.

"Now fans are entitled to have an opinion, but before Newcastle a couple of weeks ago the vitriol was pugnacious, it really was.

"These are people calling themselves Manchester United fans, and then United won 4-1. There's a little bit of 'I've got to hold my hands up' - well there's quite a lot of that going on at the moment!

"The league table doesn't make for good reading, but the season is still very young and United have got a game in hand. I don't expect United to win the Premier League this year, but I am seeing an increase in sophistication with the tactics, something which Ole Gunnar's critics have used as a stick to beat him.

"And yet he beat Manchester City away twice last year, Chelsea away twice last year, Paris Saint-Germain away twice, he's beaten some of the best teams in the world, and he's making midgame changes."

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Andy Mitten Champions League Man United Mufc Ole Gunnar Solskjaer PSG RB Leipzig Solskjaer

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