Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains how Odion Ighalo has hit ground running at Man Utd

2 min


By David Mcdonnell

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Odion Ighalo for the wonder strike that sparked Manchester United’s rampant victory.

United made the return leg at Old Trafford next week – as well as their place in the Europa League quarter-finals – a formality with their five-goal mauling of the Austrian league leaders.

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Ighalo set United on their way with a stunning strike and set up Dan James for the second goal, with Solskjaer admitting the 30-year-old loan signing is playing his way to landing a permanent deal.

“The boys were fantastic, they deserve a lot of praise and credit for the way they went about the job,” said Solskjaer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains how Odion Ighalo has hit ground running at Man Utd

“There was a lot of quality in our finishing, some fantastic goals and a lot of football we should be proud of.

“Odion has done really well since he’s come in. He will improve and get better and has qualities we saw in him that we needed and they are qualities we will still need next season.

“He’s a goalscorer and a striker. He knows his job and what his role is in the team.

“He’s very good with his back to goal and a good link player, but best thing about him is his personality. He’s got the lot, really.

“He had three touches before he hit the ball and all were high quality to make space for himself. The strike on the half-volley was great timing, no-one would have saved that.”

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Juan Mata scored United’s third, with subs Andreas Pereira and Mason Greenwood adding the fourth and fifth respectively, to stretch their unbeaten run to 11 games, scoring 29 and conceding just two.

With UEFA meeting on Tuesday to decide whether to suspend all European competitions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, United’s emphatic win may ultimately count for nothing.

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But Solskjaer dismissed that view and said: “For us it counts, because we know what we can do.

“It matters for us in terms of seeing the improvement in the team. We’ll just have to wait for the outcome of the UEFA meeting.”

Solskjaer also claimed Paul Pogba, who has not played since Boxing Day since undergoing ankle surgery, will be at United next season, despite the midfielder having agitated for a move.

“Paul is our player, he’s got two years left on his contract – a year plus the optoin of another year,” said Solskjaer. “So you can expect Paul to be here, yes.”

This content was originally published here.

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