Ole Gunnar Solskjær brushed off the half-time boos as Manchester United came from 2-0 behind to beat Atalanta thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s late winner.
Jeers were clearly heard around the stadium as the teams walked off at the break with United’s support unhappy at a poor first-half display in the third Champions League Group F game.
Asked about the fans’ reaction, however, Solskjær said: “The crowd here are the best in the world and of course there are times when you think you’re a bit down as a supporter but they keep going.”
Solskjær also cut off a question regarding his players performing for him following a poor run that had featured only two wins in the previous seven games. “Don’t even start, don’t disrespect the players,” he said.
“They play for Man United and they know they’re the luckiest men in the world. I said that to them tonight. They’re the luckiest men in the world, the 11 [who start] and the subs are the ones who can also play for Man United and that’s what so many millions of boys and girls want to do.”
Solskjær did admit, however, that United have to stop allowing easy goals as they were again guilty of lax defending for Mario Pasalic’s and Merih Demiral’s first‑half strikes. Yet after the break United rallied, with Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire scoring before Ronaldo’s 81st-minute winner, which echoed his added-time clincher against Villarreal in the previous Group F game at Old Trafford.
“I thought we played well in the first half but two chances for them, two goals and that has to stop,” Solskjær said. “We’ve got a habit of doing this at this club but in the first half I thought we played well – they never stopped believing and kept going. We need to defend better – I know that – because we are playing against very good teams in the next few weeks.”
Of the comeback he said: “At half‑time I said: ‘Make sure we get the next goal, because then we win the game.’ As long as we don’t concede I was pretty sure we would win the game. It was just about taking chances.”
Solskjær also defended Ronaldo, who has been criticised for not pressing enough. “If anyone wants to criticise Ronaldo for attitude and work rate just watch the game today. He was even down in his own box making a block at the end – and the goal is just what he does better than most.”
Rashford is a doubt for Liverpool’s visit on Sunday. “It’s a dead leg and I don’t know – if we treat it well hopefully he will be OK,” Solskjær said. “Rashford will be very important for us and it was instinctive finish from Maguire when we didn’t expect him to score that one.”