Jamie Carragher has warned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he was ‘silly’ to take a swipe at Manchester United’s fans after some jeered the team off at half-time before their thrilling comeback against Atalanta.
Solskjaer said post-match that the fans ‘know they’re better than that’ after what he described as ‘grumbling’ with his team trailing the Italian side by two goals.
United stormed back to claim a crucial Champions League win at Old Trafford thanks to second-half goals from Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo to move top of Group F.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Manchester United’s fans ‘should know better’ than to ‘grumble’ after some jeered his team off at half-time when trailing Atalanta 2-0 on Tuesday night
Jamie Carragher believes Solskjaer was ‘silly’ to criticise United’s supporters in such a way
Cristiano Ronaldo was United’s saviour once again as his late header completed the fightback
Speaking to CBS after the comeback win, Solskjaer said: ‘This crowd should never stop believing in these players.
‘You do hear a little bit of grumbling. I’ve been here at this club for 18 years, more or less, and that hasn’t happened often. They know they’re better than that.’
Manchester United fans get behind their team at Old Trafford during Tuesday night’s match
Back in the CBS studio, former Liverpool defender turned pundit Carragher was astonished that Solskjaer would be critical of the fans.
‘I thought it was a strange interview that. The comment he made about the fans was a silly thing to say,’ he said.
‘The fans I think won them that game in the second-half.
‘Man United, coming in at half-time 2-0 down to Atalanta and I don’t think they were that poor but you’re going to get grumblings, people who are unhappy.
‘It’s not just that game, it’s a poor run of games and the performance they had at Leicester. When that ground is rocking, it is difficult to stop.
‘I have been there as a player and it’s difficult to stop, teams get deeper and deeper.
‘The supporters are as important as Cristiano Ronaldo, or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, or the changes he made in the second half.
Ronaldo rose highest to meet a Luke Shaw cross to head the Red Devils into the lead
Rashford celebrates after pulling a goal back early in the second-half to launch the fightback
‘It was a really silly thing to say that the supporters should know better when they played such a huge part in winning them the game.’
Carragher also pointed out that Solskjaer will need a similarly raucous backing for his team if they are to beat Liverpool in a Premier League showdown on Sunday.
He added: ‘If Man United beat Liverpool on Sunday, it will again be as much because of the supporters than any player on the pitch because as you know, United haven’t got the players or the team as good as Liverpool, so they’re going to need that support.’
United were level on 75 minutes when Harry Maguire volleyed home the equaliser
The United captain celebrates with the home supporters as they went in search for the winner
Solskjaer was at pains to acknowledge that much of the United support were behind his team throughout the game, even when they trailed.
He said: ‘This section here, the singing section, they were brilliant all through the game, that’s what we have to remember.
‘Some supporters maybe felt that they wanted to wake up the players but I didn’t feel they needed waking up, they needed support.
‘It is easy then when the crowd is on your back, maybe you will start blaming others. You have to keep believing.’
Solskjaer salutes the Stretford End at the final whistle after another United late show
Having lost 4-2 to Leicester on Saturday, United were on course for another chastening defeat as Mario Pasalic and Merih Demiral put Atalanta two goals ahead inside 28 minutes.
United had seen plenty of chances pass them by but finally made them count in the second half. Rashford sparked the comeback before captain Harry Maguire thumped home the equaliser.
Ronaldo then soared above the Atalanta defence to head home Luke Shaw’s cross with nine minutes remaining to win it.
The win offers some respite for under-pressure Solskjaer but the fixture list isn’t kind for United with Sunday’s home game with Liverpool, followed by trips to Tottenham and Atalanta, then a home game with Manchester City.