Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was proud of Manchester United’s valiant comeback at Sheffield United on Sunday, telling reporters that last year’s team would not have produced such a strong response after going down 2-0 early on.
Quickfire strikes from Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford had United improbably in front, 3-2, with a little over 10 minutes to go but a stoppage-time Oliver McBurnie equaliser ensured a deserved point for the hosts in the end.
Asked what sparked his team’s fight after a dismal first half, Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “Sometimes football is beyond tactics. The energy compared to ours in the first half and then we get that goal and we start to believe. The difference in the team this year compared to last is huge. They never give in. Last year we would have gone four or five down instead of coming back. We would not have been able to come back.”
United looked listless in the opening 45 minutes and were lucky not to be down by more than two goals at half-time. But young academy products Williams, Greenwood and Rashford helped spark United back to life.
“Sheffield United looked like they wanted it more than us and believed in their game plan more than we did. We did not have a shot on target first half which is not acceptable,” Solskjaer said.
He added: “When you are 2-0 down you have to go for it, play with less fear and just go for it. The average ages of the goals is less than 20, it’s something we are proud of. It’s a great experience for our young players because it’s not easy to comeback at a place like this.”
“It shows the quality that you can score 2-0 in a match and we didn’t really perform. We were lacking in physicality in midfield today but the boys fought back and never gave in.”