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Man United boss Solskjaer remains defiant regarding major substitution during shock loss to Young Boys

Jesse Lingard has been at Manchester United for more than 20 years.
Jesse Lingard has been at Manchester United for more than 20 years.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defends his decision to take off Cristiano Ronaldo for Jesse Lingard

Eyebrows were raised when Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took off Cristiano Ronaldo for Jesse Lingard in the second half against Young Boys.

The 36-year-old gave the Red Devils a great start by putting them ahead in the 13th minute. It was the high point of what would evolve into an extremely disappointing night for the United faithful.

With the game poised at 1-1 and Young Boys laying siege to the United goal, Solskjaer curiously decided to swap out Ronaldo for Lingard. While the latter is a capable player, Ronaldo is by far the biggest match-winner the Norwegian had on the field.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defends his decision to take off Cristiano Ronaldo for Jesse Lingard
Ronaldo scored United’s opener on the night. (Twitter/@Squawka)

Lingard would go on to make a telling difference in the game, albeit on the wrong end. It was his poorly thought out backpass that saw Theoson Siebatcheu fire the stoppage-time winner past a helpless David de Gea.

According to The Express, Solskajer does not regret making the decision. The Norwegian goes on to add that the aim was to keep Ronaldo rested for upcoming games. We for one find it surprising that the manager is willing to throw away an ongoing game in order to focus on future ones.

“We have to look after him as well.”

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defends his decision to take off Cristiano Ronaldo for Jesse Lingard
Young Boys won it right at the death. (Twitter)

It was the most telling but not the lone decision that raised eyebrows on the night. He curiously chose to switch to a back five following Aaton Wan-Bissaka’s red card.

Solskjaer went on to add that the artificial turf played a role in the English right-back’s dismissal. Whatever the Norwegian may say, United was largely the second-best team for the majority of the night.

“That’s a little bit the astroturf. Aaron gets a touch that’s too far and he gets the all but he follows through. It’s hard to argue against the referee.”

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It can be argued that the game was not lost in stoppage time but when Solskjaer reverted to a back five. Whatever initiative United may have had was lost by that gesture, handing Young Boys an initiative to attack.

It was a truly abject performance that made a mockery of the players at our disposal. There is none but Solskjaer who must be held responsible for it.

Written by Pranav Nair

An Engineering postgraduate with a keen interest in statistics, pop culture and football.

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