Solskjaer: Manchester derby the best game after Champions League exit


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says there is no need to hit the "panic button" and claims a derby with Manchester City is probably the best game Manchester United could wish for following their UEFA Champions League exit.

The Red Devils crashed out of Europe's premier club competition with a 3-2 defeat at RB Leipzig on Wednesday (AEDT) and will be back in Europa League action in February.

United have no time to feel sorry for themselves, as they face City at Old Trafford on Sunday looking for a fifth consecutive Premier League victory.

Solskjaer expects United to show a positive response to a painful midweek defeat in Germany as they bid to get the better of their neighbours for a third time in a row in the top flight for the first time since a run of four victories from 2008 to 2010.

The United boss, who will welcome back Anthony Martial but has a doubt over Edinson Cavani, said: "I think every player is the same. Any player that plays football should be disappointed when you lose a game.

"They want to bounce back and win the next one. We've handled setbacks well, during games and before the next game. You need to analyse what went wrong.

"It's important not to press the panic button because you can't win every game. Some games will hurt more than others and have more consequences than others.

"We're facing the reality of no Champions League and we move on. We need to get back into the Champions League by improving."

Martial and Cavani missed the costly loss to Leipzig due to knocks, but the France forward will be fit to face a City side he has scored against in three of his last four Premier League games.

City have won seven Premier League matches at Old Trafford - more than any other visiting side - and although six of those have come in the previous nine seasons, Solskjaer thinks the derby has come at a good time.

"Of course, we were disappointed on Tuesday night, it's natural, we really wanted to go through. We've got to move on. It was a tight group decided by fine margins, you can see that in most games," Solskjaer said in a news conference on Saturday.

"It was a long travel back [from Leipzig], so we had a day of recovery on Wednesday and after that the focus has been good, focus on this game, the Manchester derby, probably the best game you can ask for after such a disappointment because it does stick in your system."

Source Omnisport