Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola after watching his side crash out of the Champions League.
Needing to draw away to RB Leipzig to secure qualification for the knockout rounds, Solskjaer and United paid the ultimate price for another slow start, falling two behind inside the opening 13 minutes.
United eventually lost 3-2 to complete an intensely stressful 48 hours for the Norwegian coach.
Already without strikers Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial, Solskjaer decided to start Pogba on the bench for Tuesday night’s clash at the Red Bull Arena following Raiola’s comments about the midfielder’s Old Trafford future.
Solskjaer told BT Sport prior to kick-off that his decision was ‘tactical’ and while Pogba made a difference after replacing Nemanja Matic on the hour-mark, his manager was clearly unimpressed with Raiola’s remarks.
“The squad is fine,” the United boss said during his post-match press conference.
“They’re a team and they stick together. As soon as Paul’s agent realises this is a team sport and we work together, the better.
“That’s probably maybe the last thing I’ll say about that. I don’t want to spend energy on that.”
On the game itself, Solskjaer admitted his side left themselves too much to do after conceding twice during a disastrous opening 13 minutes.
“We started too late,” he said.
“Great spirit and comeback again. It’s different to the Premier League, you can’t give a team a three-goal lead and expect to come back. We were unlucky towards the end and you almost thought it was in at the last minute there.
“Of course you can’t say we were good enough, we weren’t. In a difficult group of course, the big defeat for us was the one away to Istanbul – that’s where we lost the points we should have had.
“Today we were close but we knew we had to defend crosses and balls into the box and we just couldn’t clear them.
“As a footballer, you can’t feel sorry for yourself. You feel sorry for a few minutes tonight and then we focus on a massive game on Saturday.”