Man Utd face ‘steep learning curve’, says manager


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Manchester United face a “steep learning curve” after they failed to hold on to another lead in their 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser means United have now failed to win three league games this season in which they have led 1-0 at half-time.

United are enduring their worst league start in 30 years. “I thought: How many times have we been 1-0 up and not got the second goal?” said United manager Solskjaer.

“This is a steep learning curve for us and we’ll keep working hard and with more experience, we’ll make the right decisions.”

Solskjaer, whose team led at half-time through Scott McTominay’s long-range strike, added: “I felt we could get a goal at the end and we sent men forward.

“I’ve been in that situation as a player when you come off and think you could have got more out of a game, but we’ll learn from this.”

Arsenal equalised after 58 minutes when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his seventh goal of the season. The strike was initially ruled out for offside, a decision overturned by the video assistant referee.

The draw means Solskjaer has amassed 49 points from 28 games in charge, two fewer than collected by predecessor Jose Mourinho in his final 28 matches – form which led to the Portuguese’s sacking.

But former Manchester United captain Roy Keane said Solskjaer needs to be given time to improve results.

“We’re all very impatient, we want success yesterday, but you have to give the man time,” Keane told Sky Sports. “He is frustrated, under pressure, but dealing with it. He’s a classy guy but no doubt he will be disappointed at not winning enough games.

“They have given him the job. Support him in a couple of transfer windows. Are there more tough days ahead? You bet your life, but you need to stick with it. Give these boys time.”

Keane added that “neither Manchester United nor Arsenal will be in the top four” and his former Old Trafford team-mate Darren Fletcher told BBC Radio 5 Live he was “trying to figure out what these teams are trying to do”.

“What pattern are they trying to play? It was almost destined to be a draw,” ex-United captain Fletcher said. “I don’t think either side did enough to win the game. There was just not enough quality, not enough cutting edge, they just couldn’t break each other down.

“It was a draw and probably a fair result.”

Former United striker Dion Dublin said there “wasn’t a spark” and claimed both teams “were lacking in ideas”.

“I’ve not seen an identity from Arsenal or Manchester United yet this season,” he added.

Despite recording more shots on target (five) than Manchester United (four) in a Premier League game at Old Trafford for the first time since May 2009, Arsenal manager Unai Emery insisted he “wanted more” from the result and the performance.

It is also the first time since January 2000 that Arsenal have avoided defeat in consecutive league games at Old Trafford.

“We are progressing. We were competitive but we can do better,” Emery told BBC Sport. “We can control moments with the ball better and take more chances in the box.

“We have young players who can take confidence. This is not the best in terms of points but one point can be good if we win next Sunday against Bournemouth.”


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