EPL

Solskjaer unwilling to compare 'specialist finisher' Greenwood with Rooney and Ronaldo

By Sports Desk July 04, 2020

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted it is too early to compare Mason Greenwood to Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo following the teenage forward's brace in Manchester United's 5-2 win over Bournemouth.

Greenwood further enhanced his reputation with clinical finishes in either half in Saturday's clash at Old Trafford to take him to eight league goals for United this term and 15 in all competitions.

He is the youngest player to reach that tally for the club since Rooney but Solskjaer was unwilling to put the 18-year-old in the same category as United's all-time leading scorer and fellow star Ronaldo.

"I have seen Wayne Rooney at the same age and Mason is a specialist finisher and specialist goalscorer," Solskjaer said at his post-match news conference. "He knows exactly what to do with the ball when he's on the pitch.

"If he shoots, he will score. He is going to get better and his general play has improved. But I don't want to compare Mason to Rooney or Cristiano – I don't think that's fair.

"The boy will create his own career and he is doing it his own way and they've had fantastic careers, both of them, and I'm sure if Mason keeps on doing the right things, making good decisions, he will have a fantastic career as well."

Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were also on target against Bournemouth, with the latter scoring from the penalty spot.

United's front three of Greenwood, Martial and Rashford now have 55 goals in all competitions this term – four more than Liverpool's triumvirate of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

But Solskjaer warned United's Premier League rivals that his side – fourth in the table ahead of Chelsea's game in hand against Watford later on Saturday – are only going to get better over time.

"Every day and every game and every session is a chance to improve," he said.

"We've seen improvement in Marcus, Mason and Anthony all season, so we will keep on improving the ones we've got but we will never stand still – we are always on the lookout for anything that is possible.

"You cannot think we've cracked it, as Gary [Neville] said, and the emphasis is just on improving the team all the time.

"They will improve, and we've seen that all season they have improved a lot this season, different parts of their game, maturity. We will work with these.

"Marcus is on course for his best season, Anthony the same but they can still improve and there are things they know I want them to keep improving on.

"Mason is in his first season, fantastic, but we've always known that there's a special kid there."

Solskjaer named the same starting line-up for the third league game running on Saturday, United winning each of those matches to make it their best-such run since January 2019.

But the Norwegian talked up the importance of his entire squad during their 15-game unbeaten streak in all competitions that stretches back to January.

"I wouldn't say that you could call it a first XI," he said. "We know we have to use the squad; we've had players who've played and really contributed.

"I can't say this is like the XI that's always going to play, no. Because Eric [Bailly] came on today, he's important for us; Scott [McTominay] and Fred have been exceptional all season. It's not easy leaving Dan James out either but we have started doing well."

Related items

  • Areola returns to PSG from Madrid amid Premier League rumours Areola returns to PSG from Madrid amid Premier League rumours

    Alphonse Areola has returned to Paris Saint-Germain from Real Madrid amid reports he is set for a Premier League move.

    The goalkeeper joined Los Blancos on a season-long loan last September to provide cover for number one Thibaut Courtois, with Keylor Navas having moved in the opposite direction in a permanent deal.

    Areola made just nine appearances for LaLiga's champions, though, and the Frenchman has been tipped to move on again with game time unlikely at PSG.

    "Real Madrid confirmed they have brought Alphonse Areola's loan spell to an end," a team statement read.

    "The club would like to thank Areola for his dedication, professionalism and exemplary conduct this season and wishes him the best of luck in this new chapter.

    "Real Madrid also thanks PSG for the chance to have had Alphonse Areola as part of our squad."

    Reports in the English media said 27-year-old Areola has bought a house in London ahead of a potential move to the Premier League.

    Chelsea have been credited with an interest as the Blues appear keen to find a buyer for Kepa Arrizabalaga.

    Arsenal were also touted as a potential destination to provide extra cover after Emiliano Martinez deputised when Bernd Leno sustained a knee injury in June, although the Argentinian's brilliant performances mean such a scenario may be unlikely.

  • Melbourne City 2-2 Adelaide United: Noone red card sparks comeback Melbourne City 2-2 Adelaide United: Noone red card sparks comeback

    Melbourne City had Craig Noone sent off as they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Adelaide United in the A-League.

    The former Cardiff City and Bolton Wanderers winger received a straight red card after wiping out Adelaide defender Michael Jakobsen near the touchline with a rash sliding challenge.

    That 67th-minute incident proved to be a turning point, with Adelaide soon pulling one goal back before Ben Halloran snatched a stoppage-time equaliser.

    Adrian Luna had nudged Melbourne in front after 34 minutes, nodding in a cross from Noone, and Jamie Maclaren headed in a second six minutes later.

    Kristian Opseth cut the deficit with a 78th-minute penalty after Pacifique Niyongabire was chopped down by Luna when entering the right side of the penalty area.

    Halloran then struck in the first added minute, firing low and powerfully beyond Tom Glover after cutting in from the left, to deny second-placed Melbourne the victory.

  • Celtic blast Bolingoli's 'stupidity' after quarantine breach Celtic blast Bolingoli's 'stupidity' after quarantine breach

    Celtic have blasted Boli Bolingoli's "stupidity" and apologised to the SPFL for his "irresponsible action" after the player breached quarantine restrictions. 

    Bolingoli travelled to Spain without the club's knowledge and did not follow quarantine rules when returning from the country. 

    He then featured in Celtic's 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock on Sunday, with his indiscretion coming after two Aberdeen players had tested positive for coronavirus. 

    Eight Aberdeen players issued an apology having broken guidelines by visiting a bar in the aftermath of their opening-weekend defeat to Rangers. 

    The Scottish government threatened to pause the Scottish Premiership season and Celtic did not hold back in their condemnation of Bolingoli, who the club said has tested negative for COVID-19. 

    "Celtic Football Club unreservedly condemns and apologises for the behaviour of the player Boli Bolingoli in travelling to Spain without informing the club and in failing to observe quarantine restrictions," a statement from the club read. 

    "It is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action in current circumstances and we find it beyond explanation. The club will take immediate action through our own disciplinary procedures. 

    "Celtic are in touch with every SPFL club, and with all relevant authorities, to apologise for the fact that one of our employees has created so much additional difficulty through his actions. 

    "All of our playing and backroom staff have been tested twice for COVID-19 since this incident and all, including the player in question, have tested negative. While this comes as a relief to all concerned, it in no way diminishes the seriousness or stupidity of the player's actions. 

    "Since the COVID -19 crisis began, we have had a safe and healthy squad of players, recording not one positive test. As a club, we have worked tirelessly to ensure a sustained, safe environment for all.    

    "We have led the way in working with the football authorities and Scottish Government to establish the most rigorous, effective protocols and working practices, which ultimately led to the resumption of football. We could have done no more in this area. 

    "It is a matter of the deepest regret to us that the behaviour of one individual has jeopardised that reputation and reflected discredit on football more generally." 

    Bolingoli apologised for his error, saying: "I have made a huge mistake. I want to apologise to my manager, my team-mates, the supporters, everyone at Celtic and so many others for letting them down so badly. 

    "I am guilty of a major error of judgement. I know what I did was wrong and I know that I must now deal with the consequences." 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.