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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recalls Alex Ferguson being ‘happy’ after Champions League defeat

“Surreal experience, really.”

Manchester United have reached another semi-final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Man United’s 2-0 win over Granada on Thursday lifted the Red Devils to a 4-0 aggregate win in the Europa League quarter-final.

Solskjaer’s side will face Roma in the last four after the Italians saw off Ajax in their last-eight encounter.

It will be the first time United have faced Roma since demolishing the Giallorossi in the Champions League in 2007.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

That tie was significant for Solskjaer as it marked his last involvement in Europe for United before hanging up his boots.

The Norwegian assisted Wayne Rooney’s away goal in the 2-1 first-leg defeat in Rome, and speaking after United’s win over Granada on Thursday, Solskjaer recalled how Alex Ferguson was surprisingly upbeat despite his players having been edged out in the Italian capital.

“Yeah, of course, I remember,” said Solskjaer. “We lost the away game but the odd thing was the manager was so happy after that defeat, I’ve never seen him as happy after losing because he was so confident of winning the home game. Surreal experience, really.

“We need to make the most of it, we’ve got a chance to go to a final. Today: well done, disciplined job, professional and not really under too much pressure.”

United will be hoping to go one better than last year after losing to eventual winners Sevilla in the Europa League semi-finals.

Solskjaer’s side will come up against a couple of familiar faces, too, in Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan with the latter having enjoyed an excellent season for the Giallorossi.

‘Roma is a fantastic club.’

“Roma is a fantastic club with a great history, great tradition and fantastic players through the years,” Solskjaer added. “They still have many, many good players. Players we know as well.

“When you get to a semi that’s the nature of the game, you play against some good teams. We’ve played against some good teams, relishing the chance again to go to a final.

“I’ve seen the determination, the attitude in every player that we wanna go one further because the disappointment of the defeats we’ve had give us the motivation to go one step further and end the season on a high.”


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