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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defends Jesse Lingard’s reaction to being substituted against LASK on Wednesday

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended Jesse Lingard for his reaction to being substituted after scoring against LASK in the Europa League on Wednesday night.

The English midfielder, who has struggled with form and fitness this season, scored the equaliser on the night as the Red Devils came from behind to win 2-1 and 7-1 on aggregate. 

United were lacklustre early on but after their smooth progression to the quarter-finals, Solskjaer insists he has no problem with Lingard’s obvious frustration at being taken off just six minutes after scoring. 

‘I’ve known Jesse since he was a little kid and I know there’s a good player and a great personality to have around,’ Solskjaer told BT Sport after the match. 

‘He knows what we want from him and he knows he has to stand by the manager whatever decision he makes. I would be disappointed if he was happy coming off.

‘He’s growing in confidence. He’s worked really hard on his finishing, especially lately, and I’m happy for him to score.’

Solskjaer also divulged what was behind the celebration of Anthony Martial, after the substitute bagged a late winner. 

The Frenchman pointed straight to the substitutes bench and smiled at his manager, who had a wry smile etched on his face too. 

‘We wanted to win and Anto (Martial) was begging to come on. He promised a goal as well so well done,’ Solskjaer added. 

‘We learned that the players need to play to keep their sharpness. They haven’t played for a while, some of these lads, and it showed.

‘So we win, again, make another debut one of the kids. It’s been a good night.

‘It was that sharpness that you lack when you don’t play regularly. These haven’t really played since the lockdown, played last time against Norwich, that’s more than a month ago. 

‘For me it’s a good exercise, job done, good minutes under the belt and ready to travel.’ 

Despite a deal reportedly being close, United’s pursuit of Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho also received no update from Solskjaer at his post-match press conference.  

‘I’m not going to speak about individuals that are not our players. I’ve got no news, no update. We’ll update you if something happens.’

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