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Solskjaer: Man Utd must strengthen to catch up to Man City

21:30 BST 11/05/2021
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 2020/21
The Red Devils boss admitted his squad isn't up to the level of the club's crosstown rivals

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that Manchester United will need to strengthen this summer if they are to have any hope of closing the gap to Manchester City.

United's 2-1 loss to Leicester on Tuesday was enough for City to claim the title with three games left to play in the Premier League season.

City have amassed a 10-point lead over their local rivals and, having now clinched the title, have finished ahead of Man Utd every season since Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford.

What was said?

"If you want to take up the challenge with them we need to strengthen our squad," Solskjaer told BT Sport.

"Congratulations to them. They have had a fantastic season. I am very pleased with my boys that have made it to the last 10 days with a Manchester City side ahead of us that are lauded as the best in Europe.

"We want to take the next step and it might be that we need a couple more to strengthen the squad."

A slow start

Manchester United's loss to Leicester was the club's third game in five days, with Solskjaer understandably having to rotate his squad.

The Red Devils emerged victorious from their two-legged tie with Roma despite a narrow loss on Thursday, booking their spot in the Europa League final, before taking down Aston Villa over the weekend back in the Premier League.

Due to the sudden rush of fixtures, Man Utd were not at their best on Tuesday, but Solskjaer was left impressed by what his squad did muster against a strong Leicester team.

“We started off slow as you might expect because they have not had any time to prepare for the game but after they scored we had nothing to lose. We played some very good stuff and I was pleased with it," he said.

“You see the leadership with Nemanja [Matic]. Mason [Greenwood] looked like a seasoned professional and he is only 19. We have not had too much time to prepare and we went into half-time pleased out didn’t get out of the traps and they got a goal from a corner that should have been a throw.

“It can’t be like this again. We can’t play like Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday, it is impossible that’s the reason we made the changes. It’s unheard of. It is impossible for the players to perform at this level going from Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday."

Up next

The run of fixtures doesn't end just yet as Man Utd are back in action on Thursday against rivals Liverpool, who know they need a strong run of results to have any hope of securing a Champions League spot.

After that, they'll have games against Fulham and Wolves within a 10-day period before taking on Villarreal in the Europa League final on May 26, three days after their Premier League finale.

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