Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to blame contentious officiating decisions for his side’s crushing 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace earlier this evening but did admit there were ‘not many’ positive to takes from the game.
United endured an abysmal display in their Premier League opener against Roy Hogdson’s Eagles earlier today before eventually falling to a devastating 3-1 defeat after a brace from ex-player Wilfried Zaha and an early opener from Jordan Ayew.
Despite a debut goal from new-signing Donny van de Beek United’s fate was ultimately sealed after a retaken spot-kick from Zaha was ordered in light of number-one David De Gea moving too far off his line during the first attempt.
There were no few stand-out displays from any player in red today as individual errors and lack of team cohesion reigned supreme.
Arguably the Reds are a product of their own failings as the club continue to stall in this summer’s transfer market, however, regardless of the lack of squad additions, today’s performance was inexcusable.
Speaking in light of today’s game, manager Solskjaer slammed his team’s performance but refused to blame contentious officiating as Palace took all three points, speaking to BBC Sport the Norwegian said: “We started too slow, definitely. The first 10-minutes they were miles sharper than us. Quicker to every ball.
“We gave some silly fouls away because we were too slow up and in the challenges.
“You can see they were more ready than us.”
When asked if the lack of pre-season could have played a role in his side’s poor performance, Solskjaer said: “Well it’s down to a few things but definitely the lack of preparation time for some of these players.
“This is the premier League, it’s not like a middle league in Europe. This is a top league and you play against very good players all the time.
“We paid the price maybe of going so far in Europe [last season] but then, these are the times we are in.”
Solskjaer went onto share his thoughts on the awarding of Palace’s dubious penalty, he said: “One, I didn’t think it was a penalty.
“Two, great save by David [De Gea] but three, it’s probably the right decision because he’s one inch off the line, is it?
“So, if you follow the rules it’s probably the right thing, the same as offsides so I can’t blame the referees in that respect, but it’s not a penalty in my view.”
The United manager ended his post match interview by admitting that there were very few positives to take away from today’s game, he said: “Not many [positives]. 90-minutes, game-time, preparation, fitness. That was more or less it because we were short and way off and we need to improve quickly.”