Paul Pogba will not play again in February, with the Manchester United midfielder still needing a couple of weeks to recover from a thigh injury.

Pogba has not featured for United since sustaining the injury in their 3-3 draw with Everton on February 6.

He seemingly faces a race against time to be fit for the derby with Manchester City on March 6, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ruling him out of Premier League games against Newcastle United and Chelsea as well as the two legs of the Europa League last-32 tie versus Real Sociedad.

Speaking ahead of the first leg of that tie, Solskjaer told a media conference: "Paul, his recovery, he's starting the treatments, it'll still be a few weeks.

"He won't be playing in February that's for sure. Still a few weeks until we see Paul, definitely.

"Apart from that we have a couple of doubtful ones if they'll be fit enough [to face Sociedad].

"Anthony [Martial] and Scott [McTominay], we'll have to check them tomorrow and Donny [van de Beek] and Edinson [Cavani] definitely not travelling."

Muscle injuries will keep Van de Beek and Cavani out of the away leg against Sociedad on Thursday, which will take place in Turin rather than San Sebastian because of coronavirus concerns.

Though the away leg will be played at a neutral venue, Solskjaer still sees a side fifth in LaLiga as the toughest opponent they could have been given.

"You've got to be very, very good against Sociedad, it's probably the hardest you could pick from our unseeded group," he said.

"They were top of LaLiga for a while, now they're still in the hunt for the Champions League for next year, got some top players, some very experienced players, some quality players, some young very good ones.

"We have to play at a high level to get a result, of course we do, because the Spanish league is a quality one."

United are winless in their past nine meetings with Spanish opposition since beating Celta Vigo 1-0 in the semi-finals of the 2016-17 Europa League.

They have lost six of those matches, but Solskjaer is not concerned by the history that appears to be against them.

"It's probably down to the level of teams we've played against," Solskjaer said of that record. "Spanish teams are good, make no mistake about that, and we haven't performed well enough, that's for sure.

"We have to perform very well to beat a Sociedad team who are aggressive defensively, they're very good on the ball, good possession team, got good pace, got most of the ingredients of a top team.

"We don't go into games worrying [about that record], but we know we have to perform well to get a good result."

Mason Greenwood has signed a new contract at Manchester United that ties him to the Premier League giants until June 2025.

United said the deal includes the option for a further year, emphasising their belief that academy product Greenwood, 19, is poised to play a big part in their future.

The teenage forward has emerged among Europe's leading players in his age group, having made his debut as a 17-year-old and been a regular within the first-team squad ever since.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Greenwood, who joined United's youth system as a seven-year-old, is primed to be a big part of the team in years to come.

"Mason is a fantastic talent and yet another fine example of the type of player that our academy produces," Solskjaer said. 

"He has made great progress this season, showing real maturity and adaptability to his game, which has seen him develop into one of the best young players in the country."

Solskjaer believes Greenwood, who has scored just once in 18 Premier League appearances this season, has boundless scope for improvement in his game.

The United boss told the club's website: "Whilst it is easy for people outside of the club to forget that Mason is just 19, it is our job as coaches to ensure he reaches his phenomenal potential and every step we take is to help him along that path.

"Mason is naturally gifted and has a brilliant attitude; we know how important he is going to be for Manchester United over the coming seasons."

Greenwood's previous deal, signed in October 2019, would have taken him through to the end of the 2022-23 season.

Now, along with the likes of Marcus Rashford, he looks like being a long-term piece of United's first-team dressing room.

Greenwood, who has one England cap, said: "I've worked so hard to reach this level and the last two years have been amazing. 

"There is so much that I want to achieve in the game and I know that this is the perfect environment to play my football.

"With the support from the manager, his coaching staff and so many great players to learn from; I know that I am developing every single day. 

"There is a lot more to come from myself and this team and I am so committed to working hard week in, week out to help the group achieve success.

"I want to repay the club for the support that everyone has given me over the years and show everyone just what I am capable of."

Mason Greenwood has signed a new contract at Manchester United that ties him to the Premier League giants until June 2025.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted he was unconcerned about Anthony Martial's form.

Martial went without a shot at goal as United were held to a 1-1 draw by West Brom in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Frenchman has scored just four league goals in 19 games this season, but Solskjaer backed the forward, who was racially abused on social media after the draw.

"I know Anthony is working hard to get back to where he was. He'll score goals, his work and his attitude is very good," he told a news conference.

"Form is sometimes temporary but class is permanent and the kid's got class.

"And we know that when he works hard, we're going to get a big performance out of him again."

Martial is converting just 33 per cent of his big chances in the Premier League this season, his lowest since arriving at United in 2015.

The draw against West Brom means United are seven points adrift of rivals and league leaders Manchester City, who also have a game in hand.

OIe Gunnar Solskjaer said "someone must have been asleep in the VAR office" and recommended they brew some coffee after Manchester United's draw with West Brom.

United were held 1-1 at The Hawthorns on Saturday, with West Brom taking the lead inside two minutes despite Mbaye Diagne appearing to put his hand on Victor Lindelof's face in the process of scoring.

Bruno Fernandes equalised before half-time with a fantastic volley, but Solskjaer's men were unable to avoid dropping points for the fourth time in their past five games.

Referee Craig Pawson awarded United a penalty in the 62nd minute for Semi Ajayi's foul on Harry Maguire; although the England international appeared to be in an illegal position, the decision was overturned despite there being no check for offside.

While he acknowledged the correct outcome was reached, Solskjaer was baffled by the VAR process in overturning the spot-kick.

"I think we all want consistency and a fair game but then again there is human error that we all expect, that's what happens. But the penalty we could have had it today is a clear foul," said Solskjaer.

"If you only look at the clash between their centre-back and Harry it is a foul, but I see Harry in an offside position.

"Someone must have been asleep in the VAR office. Someone needs to brew some coffee because it could have been easily avoided by saying, 'No, he's offside. Done, let's move on.'"

When asked about the decision to allow Diagne's goal, Solskjaer pointed to Maguire having a goal chalked off for a foul on Erik Pieters against Burnley in January.

"It is more of a foul than what Harry gave away against Burnley, put it that way," said the United boss.

"When that goal is taken away from us, if there is any consistency at all, this is a foul as well. Then again being a striker as I was, it would be harsh to lose a goal like this, so both should have stood for me.

"I've not really looked at it, I just saw it live. But consistency is what we need. It is definitely more of a foul than what Harry did against the Burnley kid."

The result left United seven points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

City have won their past 16 games in all competitions and are unbeaten in their last 15 top-flight matches, but Solskjaer does not believe the chasing pack are now in a battle for second place.

"No, I don't think so. No one will give it away this early. This season is so unpredictable, anything can happen. Of course we are not going to settle for second," he said.

He added: "It is disappointing of course. We have come away with two points less than we wanted to.

"The start was difficult. They put us under pressure as you expect when they get the kick-off, and we couldn't clear our lines. Then again, we got 90 minutes plus to score two goals.

"I would rather concede in the second minute than the 92nd. [We] just couldn't get enough big chances."

Harry Maguire and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were left confused as to why West Brom's opener in Manchester United's 1-1 draw on Sunday was allowed to stand after an apparent foul.

United dropped points for the fourth time in five Premier League games, as the Red Devils were unable to make the most of their dominance at The Hawthorns.

Bruno Fernandes got United's goal on the stroke of half-time, taking him to 38 goal involvements for the club in as many league games, a record bettered by only Andy Cole (46) in his first 38 Premier League games.

But United failed to build on that as they struggled to break West Brom's packed defence down, meaning Mbaye Diagne's early goal consigned them to another disappointing result.

But there was more than a hint of controversy around Diagne's goal, which stood despite the striker clearly catching Victor Lindelof in the face with his hand.

The situation left Maguire and Solskjaer baffled.

Maguire, who had a goal of a similar nature disallowed against Burnley, told Sky Sports: "We created a lot of chances - enough to win the game.

"It was tough for ourselves with the goal we conceded - for us it was a foul. We played the game in their half. We can do more and improve but it's disappointing. It was a tough job against a team that defends deep."

Speaking to beIN SPORTS, Solskjaer added: "I'm an ex-forward, so it's not as if I'm going to say it's a big foul against Victor, but why did Harry's goal against Burnley – and I know I'm going back a bit here – [get disallowed] … Where's the consistency here? There's absolutely no consistency in any of these decisions.

"If Harry's against Burnley is a foul, that is miles worse. As a striker you say well done, because if that had been taken away from me I would have been disappointed, so it's just the consistency we're looking for."

The draw put United second again but meant they were seven points adrift of leaders Manchester City, who also have a game in hand.

Bruno Fernandes has urged Manchester United's emerging stars to seize their moment as they seek to make an impression at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed ahead of Sunday's trip to West Brom that teenage trio Shola Shoretire, Hannibal Mejbr and Amad Diallo would all be involved with the senior side.

Fernandes has been a leading light for United this season, helping to propel the Red Devils into possible Premier League title contention.

The Portuguese playmaker hopes the injection of youth into the United first-team fold will provide a boost, though he urged those making the step up to work hard and stay humble.

"They have to keep their heads clean, because it's easy to come in to the first team and your head goes a little bit, and it's also hard when you have to go back and train and play with the other teams again," he told the club's official website.

"I was in that position some years ago and I know it's hard, but if you work and are humble and you understand that every time you play is a chance, no matter where you are playing, every time is a chance to show you are ready or that you want to make that next step.

"For us as a team, it’s important that when they come [to train with us] that they come to help us and learn from everyone and also give the qualities they have to the team.

"If they come to the first team it's because they have something good and that is something that can help us."

We took a closer look at two of United's most promising prospects, in Mejbri and Shoretire.

 

HANNIBAL MEJBRI, 18 – ATTACKING MIDFIELDER

Many will have had an eye on Mejbri's development ever since he joined the club from Monaco in August 2019 in a deal that could potentially cost €10million (£8.75m).

A France youth international, Mejbri quickly progressed to United's Under-23s last term despite only being 17 and has become a regular.

A technically gifted attack-minded midfielder, Mejbri has impressed not only with his ability on the ball, but his knack of crafting opportunities for team-mates.

In Premier League 2 Division One, his 42 chances created in 13 games is more than any other player, while his six assists is a joint-best for the league.

He has combined his creativity and comfort in possession to good effect as well, as evidenced by the fact seven of his carries (a movement of more than five metres with the ball) have led to chances created, a figured bettered by only five.

Mejbri has also attempted 49 dribbles, the fourth-most in the division, and won a remarkable 94 fouls – almost three times as many as anyone else – two of which secured penalties in the recent 6-3 win over Liverpool's Under-23s.

In fact, Wood recently urged referees to do more to protect him from such rough treatment, concerned Mejbri will suffer a serious injury if it continues.

He can expect similar attention if he does get minutes in the top flight, though Wood is adamant Mejbri does not let it get to him, saying: "I think he's the type that he wants the ball all the time, he's not going to shy away from it and that's what we want, you don't want your top players being worried, he just needs a bit of protection or it could result in him being badly injured."

SHOLA SHORETIRE, 17 – FORWARD

Shoretire joined the United academy in 2014 having previously played for Newcastle United, and for several years now he has looked like one of the next high-potential kids to come off the Old Trafford production line.

He made his debut for the club's Under-18s in 2018, in doing so becoming the youngest player to ever feature in UEFA's Youth League at 14 years and 314 days.

Shoretire – whose name is pronounced 'Shor-ay-ti-reh' – is most-often used as a winger (on either flank) for the Under-23s, but given his excellent dribbling, vision and finishing abilities, he could potentially have a future as a more central striker.

He signed his first professional contract on Monday, just three days after netting a hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers' Under-23s.

That took him to five goals in 13 appearances this term, while he also has four assists from 22 chances created.

Where he comes out particularly well is with regards to goal-ending passing sequences, of which he has been involved in 13 – only Mejbri (14) has a better record here.

Like Mejbri, Shoretire also has a penchant for taking the game to his opponents, as showcased by the fact he has created eight chances at the end of ball carries, the fifth-most in the league.

Given United's packed schedule over the next few weeks, with their European campaign set to resume, it wouldn't be a surprise to see these two make their first-team bows.

Even if they don't this season, it is surely only a matter of time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed on Friday that teenagers Shola Shoretire and Hannibal Mejbri will be promoted to Manchester United's senior squad.

The young attackers have been playing for United's Under-23s this season and blossomed in Neil Wood's free-scoring team.

Still just 17 and 18, respectively, Shoretire and Mejbri are seemingly now considered a level above that which United's second team play, with both looking destined for big futures.

Shoretire was spotted training with the United first-team squad last week and Mejbri is set to join him, with Solskjaer confirming it is his plan to integrate both into the senior group.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Solskjaer said: "Yeah, we've moved Shola up with us, Hannibal will probably join us, and we'll keep them with us for a while.

"Of course, it's a decision we have to make – are they going to train with us and travel by themselves and not be a part of the Under-23s group?

"We felt, with Shola, it was time for him to train with us. In the Under-23s games, he's just got to travel by himself; he can't be in the dressing room, but we felt it was the right thing to do for him.

"I think it's the next step in their development and we've just got to take the hit on them when they play in the Under-23s – that they've got to travel by themselves, because they're in our [first-team] bubble."

Shoretire and Mejbri have long been considered among the best prospects in United's academy, but what can they offer?

 

HANNIBAL MEJBRI, 18 – ATTACKING MIDFIELDER

Many will have had an eye on Mejbri's development ever since he joined the club from Monaco in August 2019 in a deal that could potentially cost €10million (£8.75m).

A France youth international, Mejbri quickly progressed to United's Under-23s last term despite only being 17 and has become a regular.

A technically gifted attack-minded midfielder, Mejbri has impressed not only with his ability on the ball, but his knack of crafting opportunities for team-mates.

In Premier League 2 Division One, his 42 chances created in 13 games is more than any other player, while his six assists is a joint-best for the league.

He has combined his creativity and comfort in possession to good effect as well, as evidenced by the fact seven of his carries (a movement of more than five metres with the ball) have led to chances created, a figured bettered by only five.

Mejbri has also attempted 49 dribbles, the fourth-most in the division, and won a remarkable 94 fouls – almost three times as many as anyone else – two of which secured penalties in the recent 6-3 win over Liverpool's Under-23s.

In fact, Wood recently urged referees to do more to protect him from such rough treatment, concerned Mejbri will suffer a serious injury if it continues.

He can expect similar attention if he does get minutes in the top flight, though Wood is adamant Mejbri does not let it get to him, saying: "I think he's the type that he wants the ball all the time, he's not going to shy away from it and that's what we want, you don't want your top players being worried, he just needs a bit of protection or it could result in him being badly injured."

SHOLA SHORETIRE, 17 – FORWARD

Shoretire joined the United academy in 2014 having previously played for Newcastle United, and for several years now he has looked like one of the next high-potential kids to come off the Old Trafford production line.

He made his debut for the club's Under-18s in 2018, in doing so becoming the youngest player to ever feature in UEFA's Youth League at 14 years and 314 days.

Shoretire – whose name is pronounced 'Shor-ay-ti-reh' – is most-often used as a winger (on either flank) for the Under-23s, but given his excellent dribbling, vision and finishing abilities, he could potentially have a future as a more central striker.

He signed his first professional contract on Monday, just three days after netting a hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers' Under-23s.

That took him to five goals in 13 appearances this term, while he also has four assists from 22 chances created.

Where he comes out particularly well is with regards to goal-ending passing sequences, of which he has been involved in 13 – only Mejbri (14) has a better record here.

Like Mejbri, Shoretire also has a penchant for taking the game to his opponents, as showcased by the fact he has created eight chances at the end of ball carries, the fifth-most in the league.

Given United's packed schedule over the next few weeks, with their European campaign set to resume, it wouldn't be a surprise to see these two make their first-team bows.

Even if they don't this season, it is surely only a matter of time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauded Fred for building a career for himself at Manchester United after a rocky start, with the midfielder preparing to make his 100th appearance for the club.

Fred joined United in 2018 for a reported £52million from Shakhtar Donetsk, the deal seen as a significant coup for the Red Devils after he had been heavily linked with bitter rivals Manchester City. 

Pep Guardiola was said to have seen Fred as the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho, but United fans were left underwhelmed by what they saw in his first season at Old Trafford, making just 17 Premier League appearances. 

But he showed signs of improvement last season and has become one of Solskjaer's go-to players for the biggest matches, highlighting the manager's trust. 

In 2019-20, Fred improved virtually across the board statistically, averaging more passes (66.4 to 69.5), interceptions (1.4 to 1.6) and touches (85.3 to 91.1) per game than he had in his first season. 

He has dropped off in some of those areas this term, but his increase in tackle attempts (3.2 from 2.5) and interceptions (at 1.9 this season) per game, coupled with the fact he is losing possession less often (11.5 occasions, down from 14.5 per 90 minutes) suggests he has become more comfortable with his defensive role and the speed of the English game. 

His 3.2 tackles attempted per 90 minutes is the seventh-most of all Premier League players to have featured at least 10 times this term, and Solskjaer has no doubt where the praise should lie. 

"He's really done well. I've enjoyed working with him these past couple of seasons," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Sunday's trip to West Brom. 

"When I came in, he was a boy who was struggling a little bit. I got numerous questions about Fred in press conferences early on. As I said then, players coming into a new country, it takes time to settle - and it took some time for Fred to settle. 

"He has settled now, he's grown in confidence. There's less time in the Premier League than what he was used to. He's quickened up his game, he's not getting caught on the ball.

"I'm not going to take any credit for that, of course. It's the coaches - I think Michael Carrick and Kieran [McKenna], they've been brilliant with him, but it's Fred himself who has had the hunger and humility to learn and want to improve, stick at it and keep working. 

"There are not a lot of people who can say they've played 100 games for Manchester United. Hopefully there will be many more [games] to come - and hopefully he will score from outside the box soon, but I'm not sure it’s going to be with his right [foot]! I've tried to tell him." 

With Solskjaer confirming Paul Pogba remains sidelined with a thigh injury, Fred looks likely to play again this weekend and his most-likely partner behind Bruno Fernandes will be another United midfielder who has attracted praise this season. 

Scott McTominay scored the extra-time winner as United beat West Ham 1-0 on Tuesday to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals, taking the Scotland international's tally for the season to seven goals. 

Only Bruno Fernandes (18) and Marcus Rashford (16) have more than McTominay across all competitions in 2020-21, with Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani also on seven each, and Solskjaer is urging the midfielder to reach double figures. 

"Of course, to add goals from midfield is vital," Solskjaer continued. "Last season our three forwards were brilliant and really efficient and scored goals - 60 odd - and Bruno came in and scored goals. 

"We need more goals from midfield and Scott does have that ability to go box-to-box. He's a threat inside the box and he used to be a striker. 

"I think for us to move up the league and be successful in the cups, we need our forwards to keep on firing - getting more goals - and I wouldn't mind some midfielders adding a few.

"If Scott can get into double figures then that would be a very good season for a so-called defensive midfielder."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the pain of the late collapse against Everton inspired Manchester United to edge past West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round.

Scott McTominay's goal, seven minutes into extra-time, earned United a 1-0 win over the Hammers in a match the Red Devils dominated, leading the shot count 17-3.

Three days earlier, Solskjaer's side let a 2-0 lead slip and then conceded a stoppage-time equaliser in a 3-3 draw against Everton that dented their Premier League title bid.

Following some soul-searching after dropping the precious points at Old Trafford, Solskjaer believes United responded in the best way possible to advance to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

"We needed to have a good result and a good feeling today because we were low after the Everton game. It's hard to take but they were really focused and did the job," Solskjaer said.

"Of course you want to win every game. We want to challenge and we want to go to the final. That's what we're here at Manchester United for.

"Sometimes you're lucky with draws in the cup – we haven't been that lucky – but obviously we move another step closer to the final."

Paul Pogba will miss "a few weeks" for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed in concerning news ahead of a key month.

World Cup-winning midfielder Pogba returned to United's starting line-up to face Everton at the weekend but lasted just 39 minutes of the 3-3 draw.

The 27-year-old appeared to suffer a thigh injury and was quickly deemed a doubt for Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round clash with West Ham on Tuesday.

Solskjaer has since revealed the extent of the issue, which could keen Pogba out of a series of big matches.

United play Real Sociedad home and away in the Europa League in February, before visiting Chelsea in the Premier League at the end of the month and Manchester City on March 6.

"It's an injury that will take a few weeks to heal," Solskjaer told MUTV. "He's just started his recovery, working with the medical staff and we'll get him back as soon and safely as we can.

"Of course, Paul has been very important for us and we're not going to take any risks. [It will be] a few weeks, definitely.

"You never want to be injured and, especially, now Paul was really finding his form and enjoying his football. For us, we just have to take as many points and wins as possible, when you lose players.

"We've been very healthy and strong for a long period so we can't moan too much."

Pogba scored winning goals at Burnley and Fulham in January, although United's form has since suffered a little, allowing City to build a five-point gap at the summit with a game in hand.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer suggested that captain Harry Maguire could be given a rest against West Ham, having sat out just two games since the campaign started.

"Of course I think about if he needs a rest, if he physically can keep going and going," said the United boss.

"The nature of a centre-back position is a different position compared to full-backs and wide men or even central midfielders, or any other position on the pitch. The centre-backs are the ones who are protected mostly from the real fatigue because you're working less.

"Then again, he's never injured, Harry. He's never been really badly hurt, touch wood, and hopefully he'll be able to carry on. But I'm not sure if he'll play on Tuesday or not. I've not decided yet."

United have scored 12 goals across their past two games and although Mason Greenwood did not find the net in the 9-0 win over Southampton or the draw with Everton, Solskjaer has been impressed by his recent displays.

Greenwood created two chances – one of which ended in an assist – and had two efforts on target against Southampton, while he also completed three dribbles. Versus Everton he failed to hit the target or supply a key pass, but was again successful with three of his five attempted dribbles.

"Mason was different class [against Everton]. I thought he was the standout performer on the pitch - he just didn't get the goal that his performance deserved," said Solskjaer.

"I think the last few games, if you look at him closely - yeah, I know we scored nine against Southampton - but if you look at his performance, I thought his performance was top.

"He's improved and matured immensely, and he's working with some of the top forwards in the country, of course. He's learning off them, and it's exciting to see that he's come over his blip and is playing really well."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is awaiting the results of a scan to determine the severity of Paul Pogba's thigh injury after the star midfielder was substituted in the first half of a last-gasp 3-3 draw against Everton.

Pogba hobbled off the field with six minutes remaining prior to half-time as United capitulated at Old Trafford, where Everton sensationally salvaged a point in the 95th minute on Saturday.

United were in control when Pogba succumbed to injury – leading 2-0 at the interval thanks to Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes – before two goals in the space of three minutes to start the second half restored parity for Everton.

Scott McTominay put United ahead again with 20 minutes remaining, but just as the Red Devils looked like securing maximum points, Dominic Calvert-Lewin silenced the hosts in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Asked about Pogba post-match, Solskjaer told reporters: "It seemed like a muscle injury, his thigh.

"We will check him tomorrow, give him treatment and a scan, see how bad it is. We hope it's not too bad.

"He couldn't carry on, we had to take him off."

United's collapse dented their Premier League title hopes, with rivals and neighbours Manchester City – who have played two matches less – two points clear atop the table ahead of Sunday's showdown against champions Liverpool.

Saturday's result was just the fourth time in Premier League history United failed to win a fixture in which they led by two-plus goals at half-time, and just the second time at Old Trafford – 2-2 at Tottenham in December 1998, 2-2 at home to West Brom in October 2010 and 5-5 away to WBA in May 2013.

It was also just the fourth time United led a Premier League home game by at least two goals and failed to win, with Everton responsible for the last two occasions (also 4-4 in April 2012).

Fernandes scored a memorable long-range goal on the stroke of half-time to put United 2-0 ahead of Everton, following Cavani's opener.

Since his debut in the Premier League, only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (22) has scored more Premier League goals than Fernandes (21). Meanwhile, only Southampton star James Ward-Prowse (five) has scored more outside the box than the Portuguese (four).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismissed the suggestion Manchester United's defending is hindering a Premier League push as he claimed they should not even be in the title picture.

United missed the chance to move level with rivals Manchester City at the top of the table on Saturday when they drew 3-3 at home to Everton.

Solskjaer's side led 2-0 and 3-2 before Dominic Calvert-Lewin coolly slotted in a 95th-minute equaliser that will allow City to pull five points clear if they beat Liverpool on Sunday in the first of their two games in hand.

The United manager was critical of his team's defending, although they allowed only six shots and three on target, having 14 attempts at the other end.

But mention of sloppiness at the back impeding their hopes this season brought a swift response from Solskjaer, who feels his team are overperforming.

"We're not talking about winning titles," he told Sky Sports. "We've come a long way this team. We shouldn't even be considered as title chasers.

"That's one for you. We've got to be better as a team, then let's see how we end up. Going forward, very good. Let's stop conceding easy goals."

It is just the second time in Premier League history United have led by two goals at home at half-time and failed to win, also drawing 2-2 with West Brom in 2010.


Solskjaer was largely encouraged by United's attacking play, fluent again four days on from the crushing 9-0 win over Southampton, but was frustrated not to be able to celebrate another victory.

"The second half we played some good football, but we conceded three goals from three shots on target," he said.

"When they have three shots between the posts and you concede three, that's disappointing, of course. We played some very, very good stuff.

"They're poor goals, definitely. During the game, we expect one or two good moments from the opponents, but they had three shots between the posts and you concede goals.

"It's disappointing. Of course, when it's in the last minute, added time, that's very disappointing."

De Gea spilled Calvert-Lewin's tame shot for Everton's first goal, scored by Abdoulaye Doucoure, before hesitating to come off his line in the final seconds as the England striker levelled.

It was the fourth time in De Gea's Premier League career he has conceded three or more goals while failing to make a save.

Solskjaer was not looking to apportion blame, though, adding: "I wouldn't blame anyone for the goals, but we know we could have done better as a team to defend all of them."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his Manchester United side dismantle Southampton 9-0 on Tuesday and will hope to be celebrating again on a personal landmark occasion against Everton.

The Norwegian, once a fan favourite as a striker at Old Trafford, will rack up his 100th game as a manager in the Premier League – including his spell as Cardiff City boss in 2014 – when the Toffees make the short hop to Manchester on Saturday.

At United, there have been some highs, some lows and more than a smattering of mediocrity, but the record-equalling hammering of Saints was further proof of the improvement made under Solskjaer's leadership this season.

Ahead of the meeting against Carlo Ancelotti's side, we took a quick look at how Solskjaer ranks against United's other Premier League managers.


Fergie in a league of his own, but Jose within sight

It should come as little surprise that legendary Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson, who oversaw a trophy-laden 27-year spell, is far and away the most successful boss in the Premier League era for United.

In total, he took charge of 810 games in the competition, triumphing in 528 of those for a win percentage of 65.2 and an average of 2.16 points per game. There were 114 defeats in this time and a whopping 1,627 goals.

At United, Solskjaer has overseen 81 Premier League matches, with 41 wins and 17 defeats – a win percentage of 53.1 and 1.85 points per game.

That record trails Jose Mourinho slightly. The Portuguese, who was in the dugout for 93 top-flight matches, won 50 of his games. He accumulated an average of 1.89 points per game and his win percentage was 53.8.

Solskjaer, though, is performing better than two of his predecessors in Louis van Gaal (51.3 win percentage, 1.79 points per game) and David Moyes (50 win percentage, 1.68 points per game).


Comparisons to Fergie's first hundred

There was once a time when even the great Ferguson saw his position under threat at Old Trafford, but boy was there a monumental payoff for the patience shown by United's hierarchy.

During the Scot's first 100 hundred matches as a manager in the Premier League, he won 62, drew 25 and lost only 13.

He had a win percentage of 62 and an average of 2.11 points per game, while there were 178 goals scored and only 79 conceded.

Some of Solskjaer's 99 Premier League matches of course include that short and unsuccessful stint in south Wales.

Thus far he has been victorious 46 times for a win percentage of 46.5, while there have been 24 draws and 29 defeats.

Solskjaer has an average of 1.64 points per game, while his teams have scored 165 and shipped in 130.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Paul Pogba is happy at Manchester United and said an "open dialogue" remained over a possible extension.

The France international's future has been a constant talking point amid links with Real Madrid and a possible return to Juventus.

Pogba, 27, is contracted at United until 2022, but his agent Mino Raiola said late last year the midfielder was unhappy at Old Trafford and had to leave.

United manager Solskjaer said Pogba was happy at United and suggested a fresh deal was possible.

"We've got a good open dialogue with Paul so what we talk about and how we see that situation remains between us," he told reporters.

"I'm just happy he's focused and playing really well. He's happy within himself and that's important. You can see Paul enjoying football himself with a red shirt on.

"Our conversations remain private, of course. But for example, Paul is a Manchester United player through and through. He's been here in two spells. He came as a kid, he's learnt about the history of the club, the passion of the club.

"He wants to do the best for United when he's here and I think we've seen that – that he really cares for his team and he's trying to be as successful as everyone else."

While some of Pogba's passing numbers are down, his possession won in final third (0.8 per 90 minutes) and interceptions (1.2) in the Premier League are at their highest since he returned to United in 2016.

Pogba also scored match-winners against Burnley and Fulham last month and Solskjaer praised the midfielder's recent performances.

"The answer is Paul has really knuckled down, he's worked hard, he's got his fitness," he said.

"I have said this many a time he had a bad season last season with injuries and he had COVID this season and an injury, but he really works hard and is playing in a team that plays well and he's a big inspiration for everyone."

United can move level on points with Premier League leaders and rivals Manchester City with a win over Everton on Saturday.

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