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Ole Solskjaer praises Bruno Fernandes


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on Bruno Fernandes after the Portuguese maestro proved the match winner as Manchester United saw off Copenhagen to advance to the Europa League semi finals.


United were made to work hard for their 1-0 victory on Monday, with the Danes forcing them to find a winner in extra time after a stoic defensive performance in Cologne, Germany.

But they managed to break the deadlock after 95 minutes when Fernandes stepped up to convert a spot kick after Anthony Martial was brought down in the penalty area during a threatening attack.

His strike was his 11th goal for United since joining from Sporting Lisbon in January, in what has proven to be an inspired move for the Old Trafford club.

Fernandes has become United’s designated penalty taker, but decided to steer clear of his tried and tested ‘jump’ run-up for the spot kick on Monday – instead driving the ball into the bottom corner without hesitation.

NobleSports pundict Adii had notedthat the Portuguese ‘There was no jump was there. The keeper was waiting for that jump. He just ran up to the ball, no jump, smashes it. Different technique, same result. 1-0 United.’

And United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that his star man has the ability to switch up different types of penalties to confuse goalkeepers.

‘He knows that keepers will wait for him to do the jump,’ the United manager said. ‘He practices both of them and he practices both sides so he’s got them sorted. Better than I was anyway!’

United advance to Sunday’s semi final where they will meet either Wolves or Sevilla, with the pair playing their quarter final on Tuesday in Duisburg.

The Red Devils beat Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in the FA Cup earlier this season, and should the west midlands club get past the Spaniards, it will be the fifth time the two clubs have met this season.

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Ole Gunnar insists on not getting pushed around

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he doesn’t get pushed around in discussions with Ed Woodward over the club’s transfer policy.

The Norweigan has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks due to an apparent lack of urgency when it comes to improving his squad – with some fans specifically angered by some of Solskjaer’s post-match interviews.

Ahead of Manchester United’s match against Norwich City this weekend, Solskjaer was asked about his relationship with the club’s executive vice-chairman and if he gets enough of a say in their immediate transfer plans.

“Of course I am, of course we’ve got open discussions,” Solskjaer stressed, as quoted by FourFourTwo. “I wouldn’t say to you what I say to him. We are building towards something, I’m almost getting bored myself talking about what we do have as a vision and a plan. But it doesn’t change from August until now.”

Solskjaer dodged questions about their apparent interest in Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes, while the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, James Maddison and Jack Grealish have also been linked with a January move to Old Trafford.

But the 46-year-old claims he’s still working towards a long-term plan with Manchester United and isn’t interested in making high-profile signings just to save face.

“I’m not going to protect myself,” he added. “I’m here to do the best for the club, what I think and we feel is right.

“I’ll never, ever put myself before the club. There’s no ‘i’ in Manchester and there’s no ‘i’ in this team. I could never, ever do that, that’s not me. I’m working for Man United.

“It wouldn’t always be the worst thing you can do to put a short-term fix in if it’s good for the group here and now, but you wouldn’t put yourself in a situation that you’ve done something that you regret in 18 months’ time.

“We’ve got to do due diligence – that’s character of players, quality of players and right fit into this squad.”