Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauds Man United character and confirms Raphael Varane hamstring problem

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauded the character of his Manchester United side after another late showing in the Champions League spared him a disastrous defeat against Atalanta.

Trailing 2-1 going into stoppage time, United were slipping out of the qualification places in Group F but Cristiano Ronaldo’s superb volley salvaged a 2-2 draw.

Even had they lost, United’s fate would still have been firmly in their own hands with two games to play, but Solskjaer could hardly afford to go into this weekend’s daunting Manchester derby on the back of a defeat, with last month’s 5-0 hammering at the hands of Liverpool still fresh in the memory.

Ronaldo’s late contribution was his third in this season’s group stage alone, the Portuguese having struck winners in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford and against Villarreal already.

“That’s football you know no one can question the character of these players, they don’t give up, they don’t give in,” Solskjaer told BT Sport. we had to make a few changes and they worked.

“We’re at a difficult place to come, the atmosphere was electric and they’re a physical, aggressive side.

“The character was spot on again, they kept going and never gave up.”

Solskjaer stuck with the back-three he had employed in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Tottenham, but was forced to shift away from it when Raphael Varane went off injured before half-time.

Afterwards, the Norwegian said the summer signing, who has only recently returned from injury, had “felt his hamstring”.

“Of course you can’t take any risks,” he added.

“Rafa has been such a calming influence when he’s on the pitch for us. We lost him, but that’s football.”

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