Ole Gunnar Solskjaer jumped to the defence of Donny van de Beek after Manchester United’s FA Cup win over West Ham.
Man Utd required a goal from Scott McTominay in extra time to book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.
McTominay’s goal was the only one of the entire 120 minutes, as it took United longer than they would have liked to get past a tricky opponent.
Manager Solskjaer gave opportunities to some players who have not been regular starters. For example, Van de Beek started in the attacking midfield role.
The Dutchman has struggled to find regular gametime since his move from Ajax in the summer. He has still only started two Premier League games.
Van de Beek has, in fairness, started all three of their games in the FA Cup so far. But on the latest of those appearances, he failed to impose himself.
He was substituted in the 73rd minute for Bruno Fernandes, the man whose form has made it hard for Van de Beek to break into the team.
Despite taking him off, though, Solskjaer insisted that Van de Beek played well.
“I thought in the first half, we and Donny played really well,” Solskjaer said.
“We created spaces and he was part of that. He did his job neat and tidy, had a half chance.
“In the second half, the whole team fell off a little bit and we just wanted to make a few changes.”
Solskjaer wanted to finish in 90 minutes
Overall, Solskjaer was happy with the pressure his side put on West Ham – but wanted them to be more clinical to get the job done in time.
“I felt we dominated. I thought we were in complete control of the first half,” he told BBC Sport.
“In the second half it became more of a game. When it’s only one nil and we are wasteful, anything can happen to us – we knew that from the last game [Everton].
“It’s just about finishing the game off but we’re through. We’re in the hat and that’s what we wanted.
“I think we got about 15 to 17 shots in the end but we need to be more clinical. We should’ve finished the game off earlier and finished in 90 minutes but sometimes it doesn’t happen.”
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