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'We were in it until the last kick!' - Solskjaer claims Man Utd made 'strides forward' in 2-0 defeat to Liverpool

14:29 GMT+4 21/01/2020
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Jurgen Klopp Manchester United Liverpool 2019-20
The Red Devils have faced criticism of their recruitment and current standards on the back of a reversal at Anfield, but their manager sees positives

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims Manchester United made “strides forward” in their last outing against Liverpool, despite suffering a 2-0 defeat to the runaway Premier League leaders.

The Red Devils headed to Anfield on Sunday fully aware that they faced the toughest of tasks against old adversaries.

Liverpool have swept aside all comers on the domestic scene this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side boasting a 16-point advantage at the top of the table.

They collected a 21st victory of the campaign when seeing off United, but they did not have things all their own way.

Solskjaer saw his side squander opportunities to take something from the game, having already become the first team to take points off the Reds back in October, and is looking to take positives from that.

Further criticism has been aimed at United on the back of a reversal against arch-rivals, with Gary Neville among those to have questioned the recruitment overseen by the current board, but the man calling the shots on the field sees things heading in the right direction.

Solskjaer told reporters ahead of a home date with Burnley on Wednesday: "For me now, we've lost to Liverpool, a team that you all say are fantastic and we've been in the game until the last kick of the ball.

"And, for me, that's strides forward.

"And, of course, we're disappointed in losing the game. We don't want to be behind them in the league, but there were signs there that we are on the right track, definitely.

"And, for me, now is not the time to speak about recruitment. We're looking to the next game against Burnley. We're always looking to improve the squad and to improve the club but for my mind, now is not the time, Gary, to start this discussion.

"You can look back at history and, of course, we know we're not where we want to be and should be and historically where we have been. It's just down to us now to work better.

"I've been here 13 months, my experience with the players we've brought in has been good, so no complaints whatsoever."

Solskjaer has been in the Old Trafford dugout for over a year now, having previously enjoyed considerable success with United as a player.

He knows all about the pressure and expectation at one of the biggest clubs on the planet and accepts that criticism comes with the territory when things are not going as planned.

The Norwegian added to MUTV: “It always is at Manchester United that we want to win and are disappointed we didn’t.

“We go to a hard ground and we’re in the game until the last kick of the ball, we looked like getting something from it.

“Proud we never gave in. Hung in at times but we played well. Stuff to look back at and think we’re getting closer.”