Where’s the consistency? – Solskjaer on refereeingManchester United “have to put up a fight” and will not “give away” the Premier League title early, insists manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United drew at lowly West Brom and are second in the table, ahead of Leicester on goal difference, but seven points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side, who have won 15 games in a row in all competitions, also have a game in hand on both sides.
Solskjaer said his side need to “put City under pressure”.
He told BBC Sport: “Let’s just build momentum and win games. They [City] are in good form. Us and Leicester have to put up a fight.”
Asked if his side are still in the title race, captain Harry Maguire said: “Of course we are. We have to go again and win the next one and then the next one.”
‘We won’t let City run away with it’Bruno Fernandes scored his 14th league goal of the season with a stunning volleyUnited had moved two points clear of their rivals on 20 January by beating Fulham, but suffered a shock home defeat by bottom side Sheffield United in their next league game, allowing City to seize the initiative.
It was the start of a poor run of just one victory in their last five games, the latest setback being a 1-1 draw against a struggling West Brom side who are second from bottom in the table.
Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “I said we shouldn’t be talked about [in the title race]. A compliment for the boys we got into position we are now.
“We won’t let them [Manchester City] run away with it – we’re playing them soon. We’re not giving it away early – no we’re not.”
United fell behind after just 83 seconds at The Hawthorns courtesy of Mbaye Diagne’s header and salvaged a point through Bruno Fernandes’ stunning volley.
Solskjaer added: “I am disappointed. We want to get three points on the board and challenge teams above us. We gave ourselves a difficult start going 1-0 down after a minute.”
‘VAR must have been asleep’United thought they had the chance to win the game when referee Craig Pawson pointed to the penalty spot after Maguire was bundled over in the box by Semi Ajayi, though the United defender did look in an offside position.
Following consulation with VAR Jon Moss and reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor, Pawson decided there was not enough contact and overturned his original decision.
“We were so certain it was a penalty,” said Maguire. “Not sure why they needed to send him [the referee] to a monitor. The clip was minimal but it was a penalty. It seems like the decisions are going against us.”
Diagne could’ve scored a hat-trick – AllardyceSolskjaer told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s a foul and a clear penalty if he [referee] allows it to go on. I think Harry is offside when Bruno Fernandes hits the ball. Somebody must have been asleep.
“Too many times… one week it’s a foul, one week not a foul, one week a penalty and another week it’s not a penalty.”
Allardyce felt it would have been a “absolute injustice” had the penalty been awarded and United scored the winner from spot.
He added: “The confusing thing is Harry Maguire is offside before it. What should have been the decision is that this is offside so let’s play on. I’m massively confused.”