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The new Special One? Mourinho salutes Man Utd successor Solskjaer for stunning PSG success

11:23 GMT 08/03/2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer PSG Manchester United UEFA Champions League 06032019
The former Red Devils boss has conceded that the man filling his shoes at Old Trafford oversaw a "phenomenal" performance in the Champions League

Jose Mourinho may be the self-anointed ‘Special One’, but he concedes that Manchester United successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer delivered a “phenomenal” showing against Paris Saint-Germain.

The Red Devils headed into the second leg of a Champions League last-16 encounter on Wednesday trailing 2-0 on aggregate and facing a seemingly impossible task.

With Paul Pogba suspended and the likes of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard injured, a continental mountain presented itself at Parc des Princes.

United were able to climb it and make their way down the other side and into the quarter-finals after securing a stunning 3-1 win on French soil courtesy of a Romelu Lukaku brace and Marcus Rashford penalty.

That success has enhanced Solskjaer’s claims to a permanent role at Old Trafford, having filled an interim post since stepping into Mourinho’s shoes, and his achievements continue to earn widespread praise.

Even the man who had to make way in order for him to take the United reins concedes that the Norwegian is doing a fine job, with Mourinho telling RT of his “special” picks in European action: “In terms of players I was immediately thinking about [Dusan] Tadic because I think he was a key player in that amazing match [between Real Madrid and Ajax].

“But then after United’s victory, and putting together the two matchdays, Tuesday, Wednesday, and also because normally when things go wrong, everybody goes in the direction of the guilty manager, let’s say that.

“I think independent of the performances, Ajax and Manchester United results are phenomenal results, and if the responsibility in the bad days is for the managers, the responsibility of the good days is then also for the managers.

“So for me, [Erik] ten Hag from Ajax and Solskjaer from Manchester United. Incredible results, so credit to them.

“I would say in relation to Ajax by the tactical perspective and also by the mental aspect of their game. For Manchester United I would say the mental side of it, the self-belief, so for me very special days for these two men.”

Mourinho added on United’s game plan, which saw them allow PSG to have plenty of the ball before punishing any mistakes: “You can go in the pragmatic way and say football is not about ‘ifs’, it’s about results.

“Manchester United had four shots during 95 minutes, and in four shots scored three goals, and PSG had almost 70 per cent of ball possession, had more than 10 shots, and they scored only one. That’s the pragmatic way of looking at football, Manchester United scores three, and they deserve to go through.”