Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United possess plenty of predatory know-how inside the penalty area, having added Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo to the club’s armoury in the last 12 months.
The latter grabbed one of his easiest ever goals for the Reds when he pounced on a goalkeeping slip to open the scoring in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Newcastle United and reopen his Old Trafford account after 12 years away.
But Solskjaer insists that while the finish might have been straightforward, as the Portuguese prodded past Magpies stopper Freddie Woodman, the prowess that put him in the right place at the right time was anything but basic.
“I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Edinson and Cristiano are notorious goalscorers and they have that sense and feeling of when to arrive in the box and what can happen,” said the manager, when asked by a journalist if only Cavani and Ronaldo could find the net in such a fashion.
“They’ve played every single situation before, they’ve got that little knack as a striker where they know ‘I’ve got to arrive here’. People will say it’s a tap-in but there’s more to it than that. You’ve got defenders watching, but he’s anticipating that rebound so [for that it’s] a great goal.”
As a goalscoring connoisseur, who netted 126 times himself for the Reds, Ole enjoyed Jesse Lingard’s strike on Saturday for different reasons, as the approach play and execution featured several players who didn’t start the game.
“I think the last goal was a brilliant example of Cristiano going to the back stick and opening up that space for Anthony [Martial] and Jesse to combine in the middle,” said Solskjaer. “They came on and did really well in the build-up.
“I’m really pleased for everyone who came on. Donny [van de Beek] had his first taste of minutes with a crowd – what Man United [really] feels like. He keeps working hard, he’s such a professional and top lad and he’ll get his minutes. Let’s see what happens on Tuesday.”