Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United were “lucky” to not be playing Barcelona after a stuttering display against West Ham at Old Trafford.
United moved up to fifth in the Premier League table with a 2-1 win, thanks to two penalties from Paul Pogba, but West Ham had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside, hit the bar and saw a Michail Antonio header expertly saved by DavidDe Gea.
His side’s display prompted Solskjaer to say they “had got away with it” against at home, before suggesting that the good fortune offset recent undeserving away defeats.
“Sometimes you get more than you deserve and today is one of those nights,” said Solskjaer. “Watford was one of them as well but then Wolves and Arsenal, we should have won, so it evens itself out in the long run.
“We were lucky today to get away with three points. Even a draw at one point I would have taken. We’re lucky it wasn’t Barcelona but West Ham played well and played better than us but we have one of the best goalkeepers in the world.”
De Gea’s save, diving to his right to push Antonio’s goalbound header wide of the post, came one minute before Anthony Martial was fouled for the spot kick that Pogba converted to win the game.
“That save is unbelievable,” Solskjaer said of De Gea. “He won us the game because at 2-1 we would have struggled to create enough.”
Solskjaer, who takes his team to Barcelona on Tuesday looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal, rested Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof and Scott McTominay ahead of the Camp Nou clash and it looked like the move might backfire until Pogba sealed victory 10 minutes from time.