Dubai: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted his boys to be ‘‘more clincial and efficient’’ in front of the goal following their narrow 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen in the Europa League quarter-final.
In another Europa quarter-final match on Monday night, Inter Milan registered a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
United needed a penalty from Bruno Fernandes in the 95th minute to secure victory over a well-organised Copenhagen side, whose goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnson made an incredible 13 saves in the match.
“We had to be disciplined, we had to be patient and, in the end, that patience worked for us. We created enough chances to win the game,” Solksjaer told Uefa.com at the end of the match.
“We hit the post a few times and were unlucky with a couple of VAR (reviews). They were the right decisions, but we could have been better with the timing of our runs and stuff,” he added.
Solksjaer also admitted that players made it hard for themselves by not being more ruthless in front of the goal. He, however, also praised the opposition goalkeeper, who arguably had one of the best nights of his career.
“We need to improve on many aspects. But if you create as many chances as we did today, we’d like to be more clinical and efficient and score when we have them,” the Norwegian said.
“Even though we did create some fantastic opportunities, sometimes it looked like the boys wanted to walk the ball over the line. But there are always some defenders there and a keeper, who today was probably man of the match.”
Manchester United, who won the trophy in 2017, will next face either Wolverhampton Wanderers or Sevilla in the semi-final of the tournament.
Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte, meanwhile, said he is “really happy” with his club’s “excellent performance” against Bayer Leverkusen.
“Everybody is really happy because we put in an excellent performance. We prepared for the match in the right way and managed to stop Bayer Leverkusen from playing. Furthermore, while in possession, we implemented what we’d worked on,” the club’s official website quoted Conte as saying.
“We could have gone through in a more relaxed manner because, despite the fact that we never really had to dig in, the result was close. However, I can only compliment the guys because they wanted to show that we’re experiencing a big season,” he added.
Nicolo Barella scored the opening goal of the match in the 15th minute, handing Inter Milan a one-goal lead.
We could have gone through in a more relaxed manner because, despite the fact that we never really had to dig in, the result was close. However, I can only compliment the guys because they wanted to show that we’re experiencing a big season
Doubling the advantage, Romelu Lukaku then struck a brilliant goal in the 21st minute. However, three minutes later, Bayer Leverkusen managed to cut the deficit as Kai Havertz netted a goal, taking the scoreline to 2-1.
Conte said they now need to start thinking about their next game and ‘aim for the maximum’.
“We’ve now got the chance to play in a European semi-final and should be happy about this. From tomorrow, we need to start thinking about our next fixture, because we want to aim for the maximum without having any regrets,” he said.
In the semi-finals, Inter Milan will either compete against FC Basel or Shakhtar Donetsk on August 18.