Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: We can't expect to go and turn teams over
(Photo by CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that his team “can’t expect" to go and turn teams over after they drew 1-1 at home to West Ham United

Michail Antonio put the Hammers ahead from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, after Paul Pogba’s handball in the area was picked up on by VAR. 

United responded well in the second-half and drew level six minutes after the break when Mason Greenwood played a neat give-and-go with Anthony Martial, kept his composure in the box and drilled the ball into the bottom corner. 

The Reds sit third in the table on goal difference going into the final day of the season. Chelsea sit fourth and Leicester City, who host United on Sunday, are fifth and are just one point outside of the top four.

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The effort and results since the restart has been fantastic

The Reds have been one of the form teams since the Premier League returned in June. United suffered their first defeat since the restart when they lost in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at the weekend. 

Solskjaer said the plan after the restart was to hit the ground running and the United boss has been pleased with the effort of the squad going into the final game of the season. 

“When we started after the lockdown, we really had to go for it,” Solskjaer said in his press conference. “We had to go for goal different and points. The effort has been fantastic and the results have been fantastic. 

“You’d like to win against Southampton, then you concede in the last second. Today, we conceded a penalty in the last second of the first-half, but we have given ourselves a fantastic opportunity and a great starting point for Sunday.” 

West Ham were given the chance to take the lead at the end of the first-half when Pogba raised his hands to block Declan Rice’s shot. The referee initially waved play on, but VAR awarded a penalty and Solskjaer believes it was a “natural reaction” from the French midfielder. 

He continued: “On the penalty, it’s a natural reaction. Paul’s held his hands up knowing that he should have took it in the mush instead. 

“It’s a natural reaction if that ball comes flying at you at 100 miles an hour, so it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway.”

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Greenwood has been top class since bursting into the first team

United got the reaction they were looking for going into the second-half. Starting on the front foot, the Reds were rewarded for their attacking prowess after equalising just six minutes after half-time.  

Greenwood, on his 50th appearance for the club, scored his 17th goal of the season and Solskjaer was full of praise for the youngster, who has been “top class” since breaking into the first team. 

The United boss said: “He’s bailed us out a few times and he’s done it again. He’s been absolutely top class ever since we gave him an opportunity. 

“The last game of last season was his first start, he was the best player in that game and he’s just grown and grown in confidence, belief and he just trusts himself that his talent, his qualities and his attributes are at the highest level. 

“You see him in training, you expect him to hit the target, even the chance in the first-half when the runner blocked it. That was also a very good strike, a fantastic hit. The kid is going from strength to strength.”

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West Ham played with a lot of confidence

West Ham frustrated the hosts for large periods of the game. The Hammers took the lead in the first-half and United had to come from behind in the game to pick up a crucial point in their pursuit of Champions League football. 

Solskjaer praised the organisation of their opponents at Old Trafford and feels the Hammers played with a lot of confidence. The United boss admitted that he “didn’t get the performance” he wanted from his side. 

“We’ve come back again in a game that we’ve gone behind and got the result we needed, but we didn’t get the performance we wanted," Solskjaer said.

“We lacked control in the game due to a very well organised and a very confident West Ham team. You can see they played with so much confidence, they kept us defending. 

“We defended very well. David has shown why we keep him in that goal. He made a great save. I’m very, very pleased with everyone's reaction in the second-half.” 

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