Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemed prepared, if just for a moment, to keep his cool after Manchester United stammered its way to a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace at a foggy, rain-soaked Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
But the Norwegian manager let his frustration out within just a few breaths of his first answer to a post-match question.
It was visible on the screen.
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“Disappointing,” he said on NBCSN after United’s scoreless drought hit 285 minutes. “Just a little bit off and if you’re not spot-on, you’re not gonna win games in the Premier League.
“Sometimes it’s human nature that sometimes you don’t work at your best. Today we didn’t. It’s been a long season. Everyone’s got the same season, so that’s part of it. You’re playing against a good team that make you play the way they want when you don’t have quality and tempo.”
A good team? Maybe. Certainly disciplined, but Palace were without Wilfried Zaha, Mamadoua Sakho, James McArthur, and James Tomkins just to name a few.
The match saw two big saves and three total. Vicente Guaita robbed Nemanja Matic’s deflected rocket and United’s Dean Henderson made a terrific late stop on Patrick van Aanholt in the match’s final moments.
Henderson was starting due to a personal issue for longtime keeper David De Gea, who has no timetable for a return as Solskjaer says it’s “a prrivate matter, so it’ll take the time it’ll take.”
Henderson waited 90 minutes to play his part.
“That’s a Man United goalkeeper sometimes,” Solskjaer said. “You have to keep your concentration. Great save, so I thank him for one point and not zero.”
Solskjaer said he knows he has the players to beat Man City on Sunday if the play at their best, calling it “a different challenge” to Palace.
He was also asked whether United will allow their players to go on international break if they are forced to quarantine upon return. He seemed to lean toward no, but said he would speak to the players soon.
“It doesn’t make sense to travel when we’re paying them if they have to come back and be away for 10 days,” he said.