Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to blame Victor Lindelof for Man Utd’s defeat to Crystal Palace despite conceding his team defended poorly.
United were beaten convincingly in their opening game as Palace scored three times at Old Trafford with Donny van de Beek’s debut goal the only positive for Solskjaer.
Lindelof’s performance was particularly notable, as he was arguably at fault for all three goals.
He failed to stop the cross which set up Andros Townsend’s opener and allowed Wilfried Zaha to turn him too easy for the third.
In fairness to the Swede, Palace’s second came from a questionable penalty decision but it was Lindelof who inadvertently gave away the spot kick.
But Solskjaer defended the centre-back when quizzed on Lindelof’s display post-match, saying: “We all need games, we all need sharpness we all need time to get back to our best and I think we are going to get better.
“But we are playing catch-up. Today we didn’t defend as well as we could have done but I wouldn’t want to point fingers at individuals.”
Lindelof’s role in the team has been the subject of debate throughout the summer as it is, with various pundits calling on United to sign a replacement.
Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already brought in Donny van de Beek but Jadon Sancho remains Manchester United’s number one target.
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Solskjaer again fought Lindelof’s case when discussing the penalty.
“I feel it is not a penalty because I think the ball comes from so close to Vic, where can he put his hands?” he said.
Few could argue with the United boss as Lindelof was no more than a yard away from Andre Ayew when the striker scooped the ball up and into his arm.
David de Gea did save the subsequent penalty from Ayew but Palace were awarded a retake due to the goalkeeper stepping off his line, which Zaha duly converted.
Who should United consider to replace Lindelof? Have your say below.
Former United defender Gary Neville was in no two minds about Lindelof though.
Speaking after Zaha had sealed all three points, Neville said: “Well I think he [Zaha]’s had the beating of those two Manchester United centre-backs all day.
“He’s got them exactly where he wants them. He’s just not strong enough there Lindelof. It’s a 50/50. It’s weak!
“You can talk about Jadon Sancho all you like, but until they get a centre-back in who can run and defend one-on-one, you’re never going to win a league.”
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