Solskjaer defends Paul Pogba/Hints Man United will not sign new centre-half following Brighton win

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was this afternoon drawn on a number of topics surrounding his squad, on the back of the club’s last-gasp win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Fernandes at the death

The Red Devils made the trip to the Amex earlier today, for their 2nd Premier League outing of the campaign.

United of course headed into proceedings in search of a bounce-back performance, having been completely outplayed en route to a 3-1 opening day defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last time out.

And, though their performance once again left a lot to be desired, when all was said and done, bounce back was precisely what the Manchester giants managed.

A thrilling affair in East Sussex eventually saw United emerge on the right side of a 3-2 scoreline.

It was Brighton who opened the afternoon’s scoring with 40 minutes on the clock, courtesy of Neal Maupay’s cheeky penalty finish.

The Seagulls, though, failed to hold out until the interval, allowing United to pull level when Lewis Dunk put through his own net.

Solskjaer’s men then turned the clash on its head early in the 2nd-half, as a moment of brilliance on the part of Marcus Rashford saw the English international turn Ben White inside out, before slotting him with his left foot.

Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford celebrates after he scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP)

Just when it appeared as though the matchup’s scoring had come to a close, though, an action-packed 2-minute spell saw Brighton level things up, only to have their share of the spoils torn away at the death.

Moments after the unmarked Solly March nodded home at the back post with 95 minutes on the clock, Harry Maguire’s headed effort at the other end was inexplicably handled by goalscorer Maupay.

Despite the final-whistle having already blown, a spot-kick was therefore awarded following a VAR check.

And the always reliable Bruno Fernandes went on to prove the hero for Manchester United once more, slotting home from 12 yards with the last kick of the game.

Highlights: Brighton 2-3 Man United

‘Enough good centre-backs’

Whilst the Red Devils, in the end, got the job done this afternoon, anyone to have actually taken in the action at the Amex will have been well aware of how fortunate the visitors’ result proved.

Brighton hit the woodwork on a remarkable 5 occasions, amid a largely dominant performance.

As such, despite bagging all 3 points, a number of Manchester United’s stars were understandably singled out for criticism on the back of the full-time whistle today.

One such player was Paul Pogba, who’s lacklustre display eventually resulted in the Frenchman being hooked shortly after the hour-mark.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was therefore inevitably drawn on the struggles of his midfield string-puller during his post-match press conference, after Pogba also disappointed in the club’s season opener last weekend.

The United boss, though, was quick to point to a lack of match fitness as key, assuring that, once Pogba is back firing on all cylinders, ‘he’ll just get better and better’:

‘He missed a lot of pre-season because of his illness.’

‘He’s not had internationals or the friendly against Villa.’

‘The two 65 minutes he’s had will help him along and he’ll just get better and better.’

Solskjaer was also drawn on the situation at the heart of his side’s backline, after Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof once again failed to impress as a pairing at the Amex.

Despite widespread calls for a new central defender to be introduced to the club’s squad, though, Solskjaer remained adamant that he has enough quality at his disposal to be successful over the course of the season ahead:

‘We’ve got many defenders here and I put Eric [Bailly] on to bolster the defence, following the runs of [Leandro] Trossard and [Neal] Maupay.’

‘So, for me, we’ve got enough good centre-backs here at the moment.’

Quotes via Goal

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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