City’s third title in four seasons was confirmed on Tuesday with Leicester’s first victory at Old Trafford since 1998, sealed by goals from Luke Thomas and Caglar Soyuncu.
Solskjaer admitted playing a role in City’s crowning was far from ideal, but praised United’s efforts to push rivals as far as they have and set his sights on recruiting this summer ahead. to mount a stronger title challenge next season.
“First of all congratulations to Manchester City for winning the championship, very worthy champions, we have to raise our hands,” said the United boss. “They were praised, and rightly so, as one of the best teams in the Premier League, they showed where the bar is.
“This is where we want to be. We are not there yet; they’ve set the bar where it is and it’s up to us now to take the next step. It’s a long process, what do we know what we want to do.
6 – The @ premier league The title has now been decided at Old Trafford for a record-breaking sixth time, three of which awarded the trophy to a team other than Manchester United (Arsenal in 2001-02 and Manchester City in 2017-18 and 2020-21). Dreams. pic.twitter.com/A0th3Y5qf9
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 11, 2021
“Of course, that’s not the position we want to be in. But the sensible answer is that we pushed City to the last 10, 12 days of the season.
“We have to be big enough to raise our hands, I don’t mind doing that, but we know we want to get there and this is the next step we have to take. Hopefully we can come together as a team. and club and push next season. “
Talk to BT Sport after the loss, Solskjaer added: “If you want to take up the challenge with them, of course we have to strengthen our team. “
Solskjaer made 10 pre-match changes thinking of Thursday’s revamped clash with rivals Liverpool, and despite the equalizer by Mason Greenwood after Thomas’ exquisite first volley, United couldn’t avoid fall to a first league loss in 15 matches.
However, Solskjaer was pleased with the performance of his very changed side, 19-year-old Anthony Elanga, making his senior debut on a night when 18-year-old Amad Diallo made his first start at United.
“It took a while to start but after scoring it seemed like we put our shoulders down, the nerves sunk and we started playing,” said the United manager.
“We scored a fantastic goal and I’m very happy with the performance. Amad, very good. Elanga will remember it, so very happy with them. “
Rodgers: Win “huge” for the top four
Brendan Rodgers hailed a “huge” three points for his team, who clocked eight clears in the top four with two games to go.
Leicester missed out on Champions League qualification on the last day of last season, losing to United in this game to see them beat them in the top four, but this win at Old Trafford means four points from their last two games will be enough to ensure lightning does not strike twice.
After moving three points over their total from the previous campaign, Rodgers said, “It’s huge. We are now at 66 points, two of the teams in third and fourth last season qualified with 66 points, so we take a big step forward, but there are still two games to go, there are still teams that we continue, and there is still work to be done.
“It’s a huge challenge for us, you think of the best teams in this country, and everything that goes with that, for us to be there and to be there constantly, it’s a huge testament to the players and everyone in the club.
“It’s not a club used to being at the top, yes there was a season where they won the league, unbelievable, but other than that it’s not that type of club. That’s why it’s so difficult, but for these players to have that. level of mindset and consistency, and there’s still a long way to go to maintain that.
“But hopefully what we’ve shown over the past couple of years is that we’re ready to fight for the results, and when we have a blip we can watch it calmly, be honest and divide. That’s what we did tonight. ”