Solskjaer blames ‘young referee’ for opening day CL defeat

Date published: Tuesday 14th September 2021 9:17 - Jason Soutar

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has blamed young referee Francois Letexier for his team’s defeat to Young Boys.

The Red Devils were beaten 2-1 on Tuesday night by the Swiss outfit despite going 1-0 up early on courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo goal.

However, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the first-half for a clumsy challenge and Young Boys were able to dominate the whole second half as a result.


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In the second period Ronaldo went down in the box under a Mohamed Camara challenge and Solskjaer has suggested Letexier was too inexperienced to handle the situation.

“You can never be surprised by the man, he scored another goal, he should have had a penalty and sending off the other way,” he said after an embarrassing night.

“He pounced on that mistake. He’s exceptional but we have to look after him and it felt like the right moment to take him off.

“He shoves him with his arm and he’s one-on-one with the keeper but [the referee] probably didn’t do it as he’d have had to send him off and that’s sometimes what you get with young refs.”

In the end United were outdone by an individual error as substitute Jesse Lingard provided a short backpass to David De Gea that was pounced on by Theoson Siebatcheu who converted past De Gea.

“Lack of concentration, make mistakes and you get punished,” Solskjaer added. “You get done. We did that last year, we conceded two sloppy counter-attacks against Basaksehir and lost that game in the last seconds today.

“Jesse wants to play it safe and misplaces the pass, concedes the goal, that happens in football. Harry hindsight is a very good player, if Jesse gets that chance again he turns, swivels and boots the ball the other way. Discipline is a huge part of the game. Aaron’s normally a very, very astute tackler, one of the best in the world.

“We know we’ve given ourselves a more difficult task, we did last year when everyone thought we were through after two games (against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig). You need 10 or 12 points, win your home games, one away from home. We’ve lost the opportunity to get three points but we’ve got two home games next and got to focus on those two.”

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