Solskjaer gives huge compliment to star described as ‘killer in the box’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke in glowing terms about a forward who enjoyed a breakthrough night, while Juan Mata described the star as a ‘killer in the box’.

Man Utd came into the night already secure in the knowledge that qualification to the round-of-32 was already achieved, but with top spot still to play for, there was no room for complacency.

After a fairly benign first half, Mason Greenwood sparked Utd into life with two goals and the winning of a penalty that was the catalyst behind a remarkable 11 minutes of attacking play from the hosts.

Speaking to BT Sport immediately following the 4-0 victory, manager Solskjaer said of his blossoming young forward: “Yeah, different class as a finisher. When he is in and around the box we expect him to get a shot off and on target because he is so precise in his finishing.

“It’s just natural for him to score goals, doesn’t matter what level he’s at.

“He is good in the way he creates space for himself – very pleased with his performance.”

“He’s a different type to Wazza [Wayne Rooney] and the good thing about Mason is he is just going to look forward to Sunday.

“It’s natural for him to score goals it doesn’t matter what level it is.”

Topping the group now means Utd will avoid the four seeded teams dropping into the competition from the Champions League.

The importance of avoiding Inter Milan, Benfica, Red Bull Salzburg and Ajax – at least for one round – was not lost on the Norwegian.

“It was vital for us (to top the group),” said Solskjaer.

“You can have the second game at home and a team that is lower seeded. But the important thing was that we got game minutes for many players.”

See how all the action unfolded at Old Trafford with our match report here.

Mata and Andreas Pereira praised United’s youngsters for stepping up and helping the club secure top spot in Group L.

Greenwood’s brace took his tally to seven goals in all competitions this season and Mata reserved special praise for the 18-year-old forward.

The Spaniard told BT Sport: “Every time he plays he scores. In training and in games, he might not touch the ball a lot but when he’s in the box, he’s a proper finisher. He’s a killer in the box.

“We are very happy for him and he is developing very well. Nice kid and two goals in Europe.”

Pereira added: “They have been playing very well so hopefully they can keep it up.”

 

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