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Ole Gunnar Solskjær said Manchester United contributed to their own downfall after they were beaten by Wolves for the second time in less than three weeks. A 2-1 defeat at Molineux in which Ashley Young was sent off for two bookable offences means United have little margin for error if they are to finish in the top four.
Scott McTominay gave United an early lead but Diogo Jota equalised after a mistake by Fred, and Chris Smalling scored an own goal with 13 minutes remaining to inflict Solskjaer’s first defeat since he was appointed manager on a permanent basis. He had no complaints about Mike Dean’s decision to send off Young just before the hour mark but was frustrated that his players failed to convert more of their chances.
“A very good start, we should have been three up, and then we created our own downfall,” Solskjær said. “It was a very good performance until they scored the second goal. For 10 minutes after it was one each we seemed flustered but then we got back into it and but for their keeper we should have won this game.”
Asked whether the poor run means things are “resetting” at Old Trafford after the excellent initial impact he had at the club, Solskjær said: “We don’t look at it as that. You can’t control the result. We can control what we do on the pitch performance-wise, and we’ve played well enough tonight.
“So I don’t think there is any kickback or resetting. I was very pleased with the amount of chances and the intent in the way that we started the game.”
Young had already been booked when he lunged at Diogo Jota, his studs connecting with the ball but then dangerously following through on the Wolves forward. “When you are on a yellow before, you are always in danger if you go down, hit the ball first and follow through. It’s a yellow card again,” Solskjær said.
“Probably a bad decision [by Young] but in the heat of the moment he thought he could reach the ball. It was just a little bit too high. I think Ash would like to have stayed on his feet.”
The result means United remain fifth but have played a game more than their three rivals for a top-four berth. “I said we needed 18 points in the last eight games before the international break. We got three against Watford, now we need 15 from the last six, so we don’t have room for many more losses,” Solskjær added.
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