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Manchester United’s Solskjaer: Top four finish will be ‘difficult’

After another David De Gea blunder against Chelsea, Craig Burley examines the Man United keeper’s struggles and ponders his frame of mind.
Chelsea and Manchester United did little to lay claim to the 4th and final Champions League spot as the Blues cling to a 2-point lead over Arsenal for 4th.
English Premier League: Marcos Alonso (43′) Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

MANCHESTER, England — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted it will be “difficult” for Manchester United to finish in the top four after being held to a 1-1 draw by Chelsea.

Another David De Gea error meant United had to settle for a point at Old Trafford on Sunday, leaving Solskjaer’s side sixth in the table and three points off the Champions League places with just two games remaining.

“If you look at the league table it’s going to be difficult,” Solskjaer told a news conference.

– United ratings: De Gea 4/10 after howler costs Man United victory

“It’s one of those days and we must dust ourselves down and win the next two. You never know as points are being dropped left, right and centre.

“You never know, we felt we needed to win this game.”

Solskjaer watched Marcos Alonso score Chelsea’s equaliser after De Gea’s mistake to cancel out Juan Mata‘s opener after 11 minutes.

And there was further disappointment for the Norwegian, who saw Eric Bailly and Marcus Rashford go off injured in the second half.

Bailly left the stadium on crutches and wearing a leg brace and is unlikely to play again until next season.

“We strapped him [Rashford] up before the game and his shoulder got worse and worse,” said Solskjaer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will limp into the final two games of the season.

“Eric — it’s a bad injury but I’m sure we won’t see him again this season unfortunately.”

Rashford will be a doubt for the trip to Huddersfield on Sunday but Solskjaer insists De Gea is set to keep his place despite making a mistake leading to a goal for the fifth game in a row.

The United manager has Argentina No. 1 Sergio Romero to turn to but suggested De Gea would keep the gloves at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“No, I don’t have any worries about him,” said Solskjaer.

“He’s a strong character. There’s many different ways of getting back to your best performances and, of course, I’ll sit down and speak to David, as I’ve done when he’s played well, and he’s not the reason we’re sixth.

“David knows he could have done better with the goal, there’s no reason hiding that.

“But there’s no chance any of us will point fingers because he’s saved us so many times.”

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