Football

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can relax until his next loss: Peter Schmeichel

United legend says pressure on manager eased for now after 2-1 win over Spurs

Despite returning to winning ways after Manchester United defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 yesterday morning (Singapore time), Peter Schmeichel believes the victory earns manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer only a temporary reprieve.

United forward Marcus Rashford's double ensured Jose Mourinho's return to Old Trafford ended in his first English Premier League defeat for his new club, who had scored through Dele Alli.

Mourinho's predecessor Mauricio Pochettino is one of the men linked with Solskjaer's job, following a rocky start to the campaign for the Red Devils.

While the win lifts the pressure off the Norwegian's shoulders, Schmeichel insists that the same questions will be asked when United lose again.

"The result will give him a few days peace and quiet for sure," the former United goalkeeper told Amazon Prime.

"It will last until the next game he loses. He's got a really young team and we should never forget that, and he will have ups and downs with this team.

"He is under pressure. He is the next one, maybe Marco Silva at Everton is probably in front of him for being sacked...

"This game could not have come at a worse time for Ole, in terms of that pressure. Because it's Jose Mourinho, the manager that he succeeds, and he goes out there and he puts a team out and he gets them winning.

"They have a setback from the first half, he still turns them around for the second half and, for me, if people would just focus on that and see that Ole is doing a really, really good job."

Mourinho, sacked by United last year after 2½ seasons in charge, admitted that his former team deserved the win and had plenty of praise for Rashford.

"We didn't start well at all. For the first 30 minutes they were the best team... and because of the way we conceded the second goal, they deserved to win," said the Portuguese.

He added: "When Rashford plays from the left, he is really dangerous and I gave the players the best information about it. His first goal is a typical Rashford goal coming on the inside. Our boys knew that clearly."

Solskjaer was unsurprisingly even more fulsome in his praise of the England international.

"It's the best he's had under me. He was mature, strong against good Premier League players," the Norwegian said.

"It's like he was back on the playground... We want them to have fun, there's nothing dangerous out there - just 75,00 people, wanting to see the best."

GOOD AGAINST TOP SIDES

Mourinho noted that Solskjaer's side, held by Aston Villa and Sheffield United in their last two league games, had delivered their best displays against the top-rated teams.

"United results against the best teams this season have been good. Chelsea, Liverpool, Leicester," he said.

"For the way they play, it is easier for them. They are not afraid to have a defensive approach. It is easier for them against better teams, against teams who want more of the ball."

United perhaps can take heart from Mourinho's analysis as they face champions Manchester City on Sunday morning (Singapore time).

Added former England and Spurs winger Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 Live: "Man United obviously enjoy playing the big teams. Everyone is saying that Man City will beat them at the weekend, but you never know.

"They've got pace to play on the counter with Daniel James and Rashford. And, if the midfield of Scott McTominay and Fred play like that at the weekend, you never know."

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