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'It's not embarrassing' - Neville defends Solskjaer after first league defeat as Man Utd boss

12:52 EAT 11/03/2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United
The Red Devils were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal on Sunday but should not lose faith in the Norwegian, according to their former defender

Manchester United should not be too disheartened by their first league defeat under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, insists club legend Gary Neville.

After the jubilation of a dramatic late victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, the Red Devils were brought back down to earth with a 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Sunday.

A first half goal from Granit Xhaka put the Gunners in front at the Emirates Stadium, before a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty made sure of a vital three points for Unai Emery’s side.

The victory saw Arsenal leapfrog United into the Premier League top four with eight games remaining, but Neville believes Solskjaer is still in line to land a permanent role as manager at Old Trafford.

"United have it all to play for,” Neville said on the Gary Neville Podcast.

“I do think Solskjaer will get the job because what he has done in these three months deserves a shot at it.

"The board at United have tried everything - they've tried one of the best manager in the world in Jose Mourinho, the experienced guy in Louis van Gaal, who had been at all the biggest clubs in Europe and then you think about giving it to David Moyes, which is the approach the club had always taken about the British manager who deserves a chance.

"The only thing they've not done is given it to one of their own who understands the club. Solskjaer has connected the club, the results have been incredible and there was always going to be a defeat. But it's not been a defeat that's embarrassing, Manchester United could easily have drawn or won that match today, it's just gone against them in the big moments.”

Ex-United full-back Neville believes there is every chance that the Old Trafford outfit will bounce back straight away, with an FA Cup quarter-final against Wolves next on the agenda for Solskjaer’s side.

Having won ten and lost just one of his first 13 league matches since taking over at the end of last year, Neville believes that Solskjaer is likely to have already done enough to be given a permanent role as manager.

"I think ultimately, what Solskjaer has done already when they drew with Burnley or lost in the Champions League to PSG, is got them to respond straight away.

"One defeat is a blip. Two defeats, people start to ask questions. Three defeats is a bit of a crisis and four defeats, you're in trouble - that's the way it works in modern football.

"But he has built up too much favour, he's done too much in the last three months not to have a shot at this and today, Arsenal just shaded it a little bit more."

United are still to host the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea before the end of the Premier League season and will be part of Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw after their win over PSG.