Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has responded to criticism from Roy Keane after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal in their Premier League clash on Sunday night. The Red Devils were beaten courtesy of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty. And the Norwegian was far from happy after the game.
United went into the match against Arsenal on a high after recently beating RB Leipzig 5-0 in the Champions League.
But their wretched Premier League form at Old Trafford continued, with the Gunners managing their first league win at the stadium since 2006.
Aubameyang was the hero of the hour for Arsenal, with the 31-year-old scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot after Paul Pogba had fouled Hector Bellerin inside the area.
After the game Keane was critical of United, saying: “We spoke before the game about saying being on the front foot, being aggressive, you’re the home team, and there were none of those things.
“On top of all there was a lack of energy, enthusiasm, a real lack of quality and that really concerned me in the second half when they were getting in half decent positions and chasing the match but (there was) no quality. No composure.
“Some of the performances were really poor. Ole must be scratching his head.
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“We kept talking after the Spurs game and whether they turned a corner (after that game). It’s the longest corner ever.”
And Solskjaer has now responded to Keane’s comments, telling the club’s official website: “First half, there were no tackles and no fight and football is now about creating that atmosphere yourself.
“These games against Arsenal were always fiery and fierce with tackles flying.
“We didn’t have the tempo and intensity today, I can agree with [him on] that absolutely. I was disappointed with our first-half performance.”
Solskjaer wants a reaction from United when they face Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey on Wednesday night (5.55pm).
“For me, 0-0 was written all over it. First half, we were very disappointed with the performance,” said the Norwegian.
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“Second half, I thought that’s a better performance.
“We were putting some pressure on them. Of course, we gave a soft penalty away which is disappointing, unnecessary really, but things like this happen.
“We seemed a bit leggy. I know these players well enough. They’ll be disappointed tonight and go back to their families but be ready again on Wednesday night for a big game [against Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey].”
Meanwhile, Keane also slammed Marcus Rashford for poor body language shown in the defeat to Arsenal.
“I looked at Rashford closely today who has had a lot of plaudits over the past few months and he’s still a young man, but his body language was shocking, really shocking,” he said.
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“He was shrugging his shoulders when things weren’t going his way. You roll your sleeves up at Manchester United.
“(When) things aren’t going your way, that’s when you look at your leaders and characters.”
“I don’t see any leaders out there (at United), right through the whole team from the experienced players.
“You are expected to roll sleeves up, that’s what characters at Man United are about. Like Nobby Stiles, heart of a lion.
“Ole is in management, you have to trust the players because your job relies on the pitch. You’re going to trust those players out there? God help us.”
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