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Seven games that will dictate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United future

13 February 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjær was handed his first defeat as United caretaker manager after the French club outclassed his side.

"French football has to go as far as possible in the European Cup, so we have to stop being afraid".

"So, we have the opportunity to reach the next round, but we have to repeat what we've done today, because this team [Man Utd] have history in this competition as we haven't". That has to be the focus now.

Their final league position, in particular, is what actually will define United's season and I am sure that is the way Ole will look at it too, when he decides on his priorities in the next few weeks.

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This is a bump in the road for him, but United were up against an extremely good team and that is the only reason they were second-best. United need a coach to make a difference at this level, in the way that Tuchel did by overcoming injury and tactical headaches to secure victory. Indeed, United are unbeaten in four games in all competitions against the Gunners and have emerged victorious from their last two trips to North London.

It was a dispiriting evening for Solskjaer, who had sparked such enthusiasm among United's players and fans since replacing the sacked Jose Mourinho in December. "You can see that we've not played games at this level for a while".

I don't think there is much that Solskjaer could have done differently against PSG, and he was not helped by having Martial and Lingard both forced off. A frustrated Paul Pogba, who often had three opponents around him when he had the ball, was sent off for a second yellow card with two minutes to go. "We showed character to beat one of the best teams in the world in Manchester United". Yes, we won, but we still need to play at Parc des Princes.

Pogba has been the best player in the Premier League since Solskjaer took charge, and he has played a key role in setting up so many of United's goals as well as scoring some himself.

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But Tuchel recognised he was United's most influential player and used Marquinhos to nullify him completely. United's attacks also foundered on Thiago Silva, the Brazilian centre back, who is such a clever player.

"I think there has to be some realism in terms of where this group of players are at".

United did hold their own in the first half of a frenetic match but PSG dealt with what they had to offer. "I think the past is the past, and you create history, don't tell them".

"For me, to feel these emotions, to share them with my teammates, it is something that I can not be without".

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Germany global Draxler admits Pogba is "capable of everything", but is optimistic PSG can nullify him at Old Trafford.

Seven games that will dictate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United future