Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thrilled as match-winner Mason Greenwood shows no fear on main stage

Greenwood was the hero as United edged past Astana (REUTERS/Andrew Yates)
Greenwood was the hero as United edged past Astana (REUTERS/Andrew Yates)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not surprised to see Mason Greenwood get his first Manchester United goal in the 1-0 victory over Astana.

Greenwood spared United’s blushes against the Kazakhstan champions, firing in a low finish with 16 minutes of the Europa League opener left - his first senior goal on just his second start

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Solskjaer hailed the 17-year-old’s finishing before the clash and thinks his youngsters - Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes also started - will only get better with more games.

“We always know that in and around the box he’s one of the best finishers we have got,” Solskjaer said.

“I’m happy he got his goal. I’m sure he’ll go home tonight and be happy he got that.

“We think today was a great opportunity for them. We wouldn’t thrown them in if we didn’t feel they were ready. You can still see they need game-time. You get that rhythm if you do play every week. Some of them will feature again next week against Rochdale.

He added: "If you want to make it as a Man Utd player you need to handle the fans. Mason won the game for us. Angel [Gomes] did well and [Tahith] Chong showed glimpses.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left impressed by the youngster (Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left impressed by the youngster (Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)

Nemanja Matic hailed the club for giving youngsters a chance, something that is likely to continue with a smaller squad than in previous years and a manager desperate for academy products to succeed.

"It is good for the young players to have the opportunity to play these games. They have to use that, work hard and get more chances,” Matic explained.

"It is great the club give them the chance. I am happy for them. They are young and want to prove they deserve to wear the shirt. They are the future of the club."

Solskjaer did concede that United made it hard for themselves though, adding: “We made it hard for ourselves. Games like these, you want to make sure you win the game in the first 20 minutes and you can enjoy it.

"You could see some of our lads needed games but it's pleasing we got the three points.”

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