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Solskjaer worried ‘outmuscled’ Man Utd still struggling with key tactical flaw; talks major statistic

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted that his side must learn how to defend better against counter-attacking teams, following the draw with Everton.

The Red Devils took the lead at Old Trafford on Saturday through Anthony Martial’s first goal in eight months. However, the opener came after the visitors had grown into the contest.

In the second half, Andros Townsend made sure the Toffees got a deserved point, finishing off a quick break.

Still, Everton could have taken all three points had Yerry Mina not strayed offside before netting home late on.

Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Solskjaer admitted that counter-attacking teams are causing his side problems.

“We gave them a few counter-attacks, I don’t know the stats. I know that we had the ball most of the time, they didn’t play through us at all really, they counter-attacked,” the manager said.

“That was the same on Wednesday night [against Villarreal].

“We need to be better at [knowing] when to risk it, how not to be counter-attacked.

“That’s the key lesson today because they do create big chances on the quick breaks.”

Solskjaer praised France forward Martial, who could have opened the scoring after only six minutes.

“Anthony did well, he could have had one or two more,” the Norwegian said. “Very good goal, by the way, how we switched the play and that was the intention in the second half as well.

“But we just couldn’t get the cutting edge.”

United’s draw means they have now conceded at least one goal in each of their last nine league games at Old Trafford. Their only worse barren run of clean sheets at home – which stretched to 10 games – came in February 1971.

But Solskjaer insisted that all the training in the world can help a team defend – until it comes to the heat of the moment.

Solskjaer talks Man Utd statistic

“We don’t concede many chances today, but we conceded a goal. So sometimes we had to deal with one or two moments and we didn’t in that counter-attack and we got outmuscled,” the manager added.

“We should have cleared it, but that’s in every game in the Premier League.

“You can work all day long on system and defending, but it has to be dealt with there and then.”

Man Utd‘s first assignment after the international break sees them face Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

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