Solskjaer and Neville slam Romeu for ‘nasty’ tackle on Greenwood
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feared Mason Greenwood would miss the rest of Manchester United’s season after a “nasty” challenge by Oriol Romeu that went unpunished by the video assistant referee.
The United manager felt Romeu could have been sent off for the first-half lunge at Greenwood’s ankle, although the 18-year-old was able to carry on during the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.
“My ankle would be gone and I would be out for a month,” said Solskjaer. “He’s got strong ankles. I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if there was a different outcome. I mentioned it to the fourth official. It was a nasty one.”
Former United captain Gary Neville, working as a Sky Sports pundit, felt Romeu was deliberately trying to target Greenwood, yet the Var did not ask the on-field official, Chris Kavanagh, to look at his pitchside monitor.
“He’s tried to do him there. The ball is gone. They can be leg-breakers, those ones,” Neville said.
United conceded a 96th-minute equaliser by Michael Obafemi to drop points for the first time since their opening Project Restart game. Earlier they had fallen behind to Stuart Armstrong’s opener but went ahead through Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Obafemi’s leveller came when United had 10 men on the pitch, after Brandon Williams suffered a cut to the head and could not see out of one eye. Despite only making four substitutions, rules state that changes can only be used three times during the match, which United had already done.
“I don’t know if you [should] look into those rules,” Solskjaer said. “It was a bad cut. We didn’t have too many minutes to see it out so we should have done better.”
Solskjaer is no stranger to stoppage-time goals, after his Champions League winner in 1999, and bemoaned his team not taking their chances. They would have moved into the Champions League places for the first time since September if they had held on.
“We defended well until that corner, so it is disappointing to get that in the 96th minute. I know the feeling the other way as well,” he said.
“It’s the worst time to concede a goal but that happens in football, you just have to be strong and take it because we won so many games ourselves that way. It’s all part of the learning of this team to be sat there really disappointed after you think you have the three points in the bag, but we didn’t deserve three points.”
United left-back Luke Shaw will need a scan after going off with an ankle injury.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl felt his team passed the test of coping with the pressure of playing at Old Trafford.
“Apart from 10 minutes in the first half when we weren’t on the front foot, it was good,” he said. “In possession it was one of our best games. I have learned that we are in a good way.”