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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left red faced over pre-match comments after Leeds draw

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left red faced by his pre-match prediction after his Manchester United side were held to a goalless draw with Leeds on Sunday.

United travelled to Elland Road on the back of a five game winning streak in the Premier League and could have extended their lead over third-placed Leicester, who play on Monday.

Having shared a thrilling 6-2 encounter with the same opponents at Old Trafford back in December, the latest clash between the sides promised to be another high-scoring affair.

And Solskjaer was of that mindset when discussing the potential outcome earlier in the week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left ruing his pre-match comments after drawing against Leeds

“It’s not going to be 0-0, I can guarantee it’s not going to be 0-0,” Solskjaer had said confidently in the build-up.

“It’s two teams who want to attack and attack as quickly as they can.”

What transpired was anything but, as Leeds sat deep for much of the afternoon in a planned attempt to reduce United’s chances and limit their space in the final third.

It worked a treat for the hosts, who came out of the fixture with a point to show for their efforts having largely forced United into just pot shots from distance.

Marcus Rashford had arguably United’s best chance as early as the seventh minute but his first touch let him down and took him wide of the goal when through one on one, eventually firing his shot wide.

Rashford was later denied by Illan Meslier from a free-kick while Bruno Fernandes saw three efforts fail to bear fruit in the second half.

Despite getting his prediction remarkably wrong, speaking after the game Solskjaer was back in the business of discussing guarantees.

Asked if his side deserved to win, the United boss told Sky Sports: “There’s no guarantees in football that’s for sure. I thought we played well, dominated the second half, just didn’t have the ball to fall correctly for us in the moments we had.

“When two teams meet you create problems, you solve problems, they give you things to think about and we made them adjust to us. We put a really big shift in. I have seen Leeds run over teams in the second half and it was the opposite.”

Quizzed on whether he felt it was a missed opportunity for his team, Solskjaer replied: “You don’t lose momentum, we are disappointed not to win but the boys have a lot of respect for Leeds. This is not going to be something we look back on as derailing our season.”

United captain Harry Maguire was in agreement with his manager.

“It was tight. We had control of the game without punishing them,” Maguire said. “We knew how they would play, our attacking players love a one v one but today it wasn’t to be.

“We kept them to a minimum, we were solid. We just couldn’t find that edge. The intensity was there, both teams were trying to play the right way.”

United now switch their attentions to their Europa League semi-final first leg with Roma on Thursday, with Maguire declaring: “It’s a big week for us.”




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