Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that Manchester United did not get the pace of the game right in the opening 45 minutes against Tottenham.

United went in 1-0 down at the break, after getting caught out from an individual moment of inspiration from Steven Bergwijn, who capitalised on some seriously sloppy defending.

United picked up in the second half, especially after making changes and bringing on Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood after 62 minutes.

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Solskjaer revealed to the club website what he told his players at half-time, asking them to pick up the intensity.

He said: “The first half was too slow and it seemed like the players had some doubt in their heads about fitness, about quality, getting going again, playing in this atmosphere, but trust yourselves.

“Play quicker, one touch less, a split-second less on the ball, harder passes, harder runs, harder pressing and just trust yourselves and that was the message.”

Should have been three points

United had a tough task after 45 minutes, trailing to a Jose Mourinho side who were prepared to try and grind out a 1-0.

A stronger bench helped turn the match in United’s favour as both managers made changes in the second half.


Pogba and Greenwood were effective, and so was Nemanja Matic, who added a directness to United’s play.

United ended the game with 61 per cent of possession, and barely gave Tottenham a chance in the second half.

We had six shots on target to their three, and our players won more tackles, more aerial duels, and had more successful dribbles.

Marcus Rashford missed a chance in the first half and Anthony Martial had an effort saved in the second. Both players need to be more ruthless.

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United nearly won in in stoppage time when a penalty was awarded and then overturned (correctly), and there was still time for Mason Greenwood and then Bruno Fernandes to both narrowly shoot wide.

The players will be sharper for this game, as we head back to Old Trafford on Wednesday night to face Sheffield United.

The team will need to start faster, and score first, to open the game up against a strong defensive side.

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