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Solskjaer defends Cavani's start at Man Utd

03:51 GMT 24/12/2020
Edinson Cavani Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United GFX
The Norwegian took exception to claims the veteran striker has been sluggish since arriving at Old Trafford

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Edinson Cavani's "big impact" at Manchester United after reaching the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Cavani drilled in a brilliant 88th-minute goal before Anthony Martial sealed United's 2-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

The Uruguay international's goal came from his fourth shot on target in the match, which was one more than Everton managed as a team.

Cavani has scored four goals in 12 games for United this season and Solskjaer praised the striker while dismissing any suggestions the 33-year-old had made a slow start at the club.

"I think you're wrong, I don't think he has had a slow start. I think he has done really well, he's been excellent," the United manager told a news conference.

"He's obviously been injured, anyone can be injured. He came late [in the transfer window] so I'm really pleased with his influence. In the dressing room, his habits that he brings to training, his attitude to the game. You can see how well he looks after himself.

"He's scored some very important goals for us and it gives us experience, he gives a lot. He's just going to be here, better and better of course because he was out for seven months. We've been patient with him and I think he's made a big impact."

As Cavani and Martial fired United into a semi-final against Manchester City, Paul Pogba also produced a fine performance from the middle of the park.

No player on the pitch had more key passes (three) or gained possession more often (eight) than the France midfielder.

"Paul is getting fitter and fitter and that's the biggest thing with Paul because his last year and a half have been marred with injuries, and Covid, another injury in the international break," Solskjaer said.

"I'm very pleased with his performance, very pleased with his contribution to the team. He's playing better and better and probably will just improve and improve."

Currently sitting third in the Premier League table, United make the trip to Leicester City on Saturday with the Foxes one point clear of the Red Devils in second.