Solskjaer counts on Man Utd beating Sevilla's press in Europa semis

Red Devils manager said he hoped his team would be third time lucky this season


REUTERS August 16, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN:

Manchester United will have to be on their toes and find ways to break Sevilla's press if they are to beat the Spanish side in Sunday's Europa League semi-final, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Saturday.

Sevilla have made Europe's second-tier competition their own in recent years, winning the title three times in a row between 2014-2016, and they finished fourth in La Liga under Julen Lopetegui after two seasons without a top-four finish.

Solskjaer said he hoped his team would be third time lucky this season after falling at the semi-final hurdle in the League Cup to Manchester City and in the FA Cup to Chelsea.

"We have to play our best game, play out of their press, be clever, be creative, step up in those big moments," Solskjaer told reporters. "These games will be decided on a set-piece or a piece of individual brilliance.

"It's time to step up for big players, big game moments. You have to have 100% focus. We have learnt it is very painful to lose a semi-final... We've been in them twice this season but we're not satisfied.

"In any game it is important to start well. If you start on the back foot, if you don't get first touches and tackle you go searching."

With United going deeper into the knockout stages and with the possibility of playing the final on Aug. 21, the club's window for a rest period before the new Premier League season kicks off on Sept. 12 only becomes shorter.

However, Solskjaer said he had "absolutely no concerns" about next season's start and looked at the Europa League tournament as their own pre-season.

"We can't complain because this is the world we are in now," the Norwegian manager said. "There is no point about me worrying about it.

"The authorities will give us as much rest as possible. We can give them a two-week holiday and it gives us two weeks to prepare for the first game."

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