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Manchester United shocked by Wolves in FA Cup quarterfinals

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed a stunning start to his Manchester United tenure. Now, he might just be facing his first period of adversity.

A quickfire double for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final 20 minutes doomed the Red Devils to a 2-1 defeat at Monlieux as Raul Jiminez and Diogo Jota each found the back of the net.

Manchester United held 61% of the possession throughout the match, but they struggled mightily up front, creating just two shots on target out of their 11 total efforts. Wolves, meanwhile, generated 17 total shots with seven on target despite the significant possessional disadvantage.

Wolves opened the scoring with a fabulous turn-and-fire from Jiminez who picked up the ball atop the penalty spot after United failed to clear and found a way past David De Gea.

Manchester United could not find a response, and instead Wolves put the game to bed with 14 minutes to go as Jota caught the Red Devils way too far out in front. Jota on the fast break shook Luke Shaw aside and found himself free on goal, finishing expertly with the left foot to double the lead.

While Manchester United got a consolation from Marcus Rashford deep into stoppage time, it was too little too late for the Red Devils. It’s the first losing streak of Solskjaer’s career as Manchester United boss, having lost last time out against Arsenal in Premier League play.

They next take on Watford in Premier League play after the international break, followed by another meeting with Wolves, this time in league play.

Solskjaer positive in defeat; makes prediction for top four battle

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LONDON — Manchester United’s luck under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally ran out on Sunday, as the Red Devils lost 2-0 at Arsenal in a game they could have easily won.

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They had to lose at some point, and doing so in a week where they had beaten Paris Saint-Germain against all the odds to the reach the last eight of the UEFA Champions League softened the blow.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Solskjaer was extremely positive with the display as his side hit the woodwork twice, forced Bernd Leno into fine saves and conceded a “soft” penalty kick in the defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

“You have to be disappointed with the result, but the performance was a good one,” Solskjaer said. “We created miles more chances today compared to the cup game when we played them. The first goal always determines the way the game will go. Maybe after they scored the first goal they let us have the ball more than they wanted to. We created chances, big chances, hit the woodwork twice, Leno played well. In terms of what you can control, as in our own performance, we can’t be too disappointed.”

Solskjaer pointed to the “four or five big chances” United had and Arsenal not really creating chances, as his injury-hit side seemed to run out of steam after a gruelling period in the FA Cup, league and Europe. All things considered, United’s caretaker boss has steered them into a very good position.

With United sitting in fifth in the table, two points off Arsenal in fourth and three points off third-place Tottenham, the Red Devils are embroiled in a massive battle for Champions League qualification with Chelsea also lurking in sixth with a game in hand.

How does Solskjaer think the top four battle will play out in the final eight games of the season?

“I don’t think nerves go into it yet,” Solskjaer said. “Spurs lose, we lose, Chelsea draw. It is going to be down to the wire. Down to the last few games. Definitely. We’ve given ourselves a great chance to be in that fight. Two points behind fourth, three points behind third. A good position to be in.”

Even in defeat, Solskjaer was as positive as he always is. He is right. United’s run of 10 wins, two draws and one defeat in his first 13 PL games in charge has put them in a sensational position to finish in the top four.

On another day Romelu Lukaku would have buried his chances, Leno would have failed to save United’s shots and David De Gea would have done better on Granit Xhaka‘s opening goal.

Solskjaer is keeping the positive vibes as long as he can, and it will now be intriguing to see how United respond in their FA Cup quarterfinal at Wolves next weekend.

Ole is at the wheel and is still guiding United brilliantly.

Arsenal sinks sloppy Manchester United

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  • Solskjaer’s first league loss as Utd manager
  • Xhaka scores from distance
  • Arsenal back into Top Four
  • Shots 14-14

Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on either side of halftime as Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal rises fourth on 60 points, one point behind rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United just didn’t have it on the day, and sinks fifth with 58 points following manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s second loss as Red Devils boss.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Early danger arrived at David De Gea‘s doorstep when Sead Kolasinac swept a cross into the box, with Alexandre Lacazette flicking across frame and wide.

The visitors snapped to life in the ninth minute, as Romelu Lukaku popped a Luke Shaw cross off the bar and a sliding Fred unable to meet the Belgian’s rebound pass.

Xhaka then scored on an odd-looking effort from distance, the Swiss midfielder knuckling a powerful shot to wrong foot De Gea.

The Spanish keeper couldn’t ponder what went wrong because Alexandre Lacazette dribbled into the 18 to put an effort toward goal.

Lacazette then worked Victor Lindelof over to lash into a left-footed shot which careened off Chris Smalling‘s back and out for a corner.

Lukaku twice just missed combining with Diogo Dalot in bids to set-up an equalizer.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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United’s second half started brightly enough, Lukaku missing a chance off a Rashford set-up thanks to a Bernd Leno save.

And Rashford missed with a 30-yard free kick bid that just missed the upper 90.

Xhaka zipped a shot wide in the 66th minute, but Lacazette was taken down by Fred moments later to win a penalty.

Aubameyang rolled the ensuing attempt down the center of the goal to make it 2-0, a week after missing a penalty in last week’s North London Derby.

Lacazette just missed a chance to drive home a goal of his own when Lindelof let a ball bounce over his head in the 72nd minute.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

WATCH: Xhaka fools De Gea with knuckler from distance

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Granit Xhaka fooled one of the best goalkeepers in the game.

Big time.

Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder lashed an effort from distance and David De Gea thought he had a read on a curling shot.

[ MORE: Stream Arsenal-Man Utd ]

But the ball knuckled outward, away from the Spanish backstop, and into the goal as Arsenal built a 1-0 lead on Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

It’s the 26-year-old’s 11th Arsenal goal.

Lukaku leads Manchester United in thrilling comeback win

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  • Lukaku scores twice in 2nd half
  • Saints lead twice on two beauties
  • Pereira, Valery score 1st PL goals

An absolute classic at Old Trafford saw Manchester United comeback twice against visiting Southampton, as the sides only scored thrilling goals in a 3-2 match on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku scored twice including the last of the stunners, taking a Fred flick and ripping past a flying Angus Gunn.

Andreas Pereira also scored for United, while James Ward-Prowse and Yan Valery are on the score sheet for Southampton.

Four of the five goals were Goal of the Week contenders, with Lukaku’s first quite lovely but not in that category. Gunn stopped Pogba’s penalty late, as Lukaku did not get a chance at his hat trick.

United moves fourth, three points behind Tottenham, while Saints remain 17th with 27 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Brilliant goals were the name of the game, the first being Valery’s absolute terror from better than 20 yards away from goal.

The Southampton youngster laced a right-footed shot which beat David De Gea to the near post; The gorgeous would’ve been stopped by De Gea at his best.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Saints continued to work for a surprise three points at Old Trafford, but that notion was spoiled by Pereira and Lukaku.

Pereira’s goal, like Valery’s his first in the Premier League, was sensational. The Brazilian cut in from the left and took a step before curling a pearler around Angus Gunn and into the goal.

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Gunn had been sensational himself over the course of the match, making numerous first half stops for Saints.

He wasn’t able to get to Lukaku’s 10-yards low drive inside the far post, as United took the lead with about a half-hour remaining in the game.

Ward-Prowse got his free kick in the 75th minute, and boy did he get full body on his strike. De Gea was left flying through the air as the ball tore into the upper 90. 2-2.

Lukaku then took Fred’s feed to score a stunner of a winner, and Stuart Armstrong fouled Marcus Rashford to allow Pogba his chance to score from the spot. The French star was saved by Gunn.