Ole Gunnar Solskjaer paid tribute to Manchester United’s defensive team performance as a combination of David De Gea’s heroics and a spirited rear-guard meant Marcus Rashford’s first-half strike was enough to clinch a 1-0 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
Rashford found the net on the stroke of half-time after an inch-perfect crossfield ball from Paul Pogba, while some superb David De Gea saves and spirited defending resulted in a sixth successive success under Solskjaer.
This is what the Norwegian had to say to MUTV, Sky Sports and other reporters after the game…
OUR TACTICAL PLAN WORKED
“We attacked quickly with pace. Obviously, the goal was fantastically taken by Rashford, but you know the defensive job Jesse [Lingard] did and the pass from Paul [Pogba] is half the goal. The goal is why I put Anthony [Martial] and Rashford wide of Jesse because Jesse is more of a link player and he can drop in whereas Rash and Anthony are more direct towards goal and that is why we put that plan in place and it worked. We worked on it for a week and we have seen Spurs and we thought that was going to be a good plan and it is good that we have different ways of playing against different teams and I think that we showed that we are ready to compete, especially in the first half when I thought we were excellent. The second half we could have scored two or three ourselves so it wasn’t that one-sided even though they really did put us under pressure. I am happy. I said to the boys to be proud because they followed the plan to perfection in the first half. We thought they were going to come as they did and it worked a treat.”
DAVID DE GEA’S HEROICS
“[David was] fantastic. Obviously when you make 11 saves that is a top, top performance but then again I thought that one or two were really good saves and then the rest of them you would expect David to save. He is the best goalkeeper in the world, I have said it many times. It is about positioning and concentration to be in the right position. Maybe one or two of them were uncatchable, but the saves he makes are because he is so in tune with the game. He is following the game, moving all the time. They don’t always look fantastic because he is in the right position.”
IT WAS A DEFENSIVE TEAM PERFORMANCE
“We defended well as a team. Victor [Lindelof] and Phil [Jones] were excellent at centre-back. When you play against Harry Kane you will always be tested and when they put Llorente on I thought we defended well with Nemanja [Matic] and Ander [Herrera] in front of them. It was just a complete defensive team performance.”
ON RASHFORD’S GOAL
““I am going to tell you what I thought: when he came through I was thinking about the near post, hard, high, near post! But it was a fantastically-taken shot. It is a difficult skill. If it bounces for you then you can hit it on the outside, so you can curl it the other way, but this was as straight as a die. It is a fantastic finish that just shows practice makes perfect, because he has been practicing lately in that position. When you are 21, playing for Man United, scoring the goals he does, of course you are going to be confident. He has the right to be confident because he is playing at the top of his game at the moment.”