Manchester United’s destiny is in their own hands going into the final match of the season after last night’s 1-1 draw against West Ham.
There were more negatives than positives but United knocked the Foxes out of the top four for the first time since September and that means a draw at the King Power Stadium on Sunday would seal Champions League qualification.
After a performance which would have given Brendan Rodgers encouragement, there are questions for Solskjaer to answer if United are to get over the line.
Why isn’t Solskjaer’s message getting across?
United haven’t played well in the period before the first drinks break since the 3-0 win at Brighton on June 30.
That is allowing opponents to settle into the match, with Southampton and now West Ham taking the lead at Old Trafford.
The importance of starting the game quickly clear isn’t getting across, and little changed across 90 minutes last night, with no reaction after half time or either drinks break.
Solskjaer likes to remain passive on the touchline, but Mike Phelan’s presence in the technical area did nothing to inspire a response.
The boss must inspire a reaction from his side, starting from the first whistle on Sunday.
Are United burned out?
Solskjaer’s team selection for the FA Cup semi-final raised eyebrows, but the logic was clear; he wanted to keep the likes of Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood fresh for the Premier League run-in.
But United looked exhausted last night. Bearing in mind Leicester have a full week to recover ahead of Sunday’s game, that could be a real concern.
Solskjaer told Sky Sports United would be ‘100 per cent fresh’ for Sunday, but we look to be stumbling towards the line rather than powering past it.
Where has the tempo gone?
When United were getting people excited again, the tempo of their passing and movement was pulling teams apart.
Last night, the ball moved at walking pace between the central defenders and the midfield duo, which made it a comfortable night for West Ham.
Leicester know that only a win is good enough at the weekend and will likely fly out of the blocks in search of it.
United must show themselves capable of responding to that by playing at speed in order to book a spot in next season’s Champions League.
- Solskjaer says Rashford is not fit enough for 90 minutes yet
- Daley Blind scores, assists and gets MOTM in the Champions League
- Predicted Manchester United XI v Atalanta
- Manchester United need Marcus Rashford to electrify Old Trafford again
- Atalanta boss Gasperini on what scares him most about Manchester United
- A look at Ronaldo, Pogba and Cavani’s record against Atalanta
- Three takeaways from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pre-Atalanta press conference
- What channel is the Man Utd v Atalanta Champions League match on? Kick off time, live stream and latest team news
- Solskjaer pleased with Amad’s development despite injury
- Neville expects United to finish above Liverpool