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OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER said that Champions League scheduling forced changes to his starting line-up for Manchester United’s win over West Ham on Saturday.
A below par United rode their luck for large parts of the game but came away with all three points against the Hammers.
Paul Pogba scored twice from the penalty spot either side of a Felipe Anderson goal for the visitors, who had seen a goal for the Brazilian wrongly chalked off for offside with the score at 0-0.
But with the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona to come on Tuesday, Solskjaer made five changes to his side with Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Victor Lindelof all dropping to the bench, while Ashley Young and Luke Shaw were suspended.
And Solskjaer said that he and his staff had Googled why, having played Barcelona last Wednesday night, his side were then playing the return leg on Tuesday night.
“I don’t understand that,” said the Norwegian. “Someone needs to explain to me why Wednesday night then becomes a Tuesday night in the Champions League the next week.
“The other teams played Tuesday night and then have Wednesday night, one day extra before and one day extra after.
“That’s a strange one. We tried to Google it but we couldn’t. That’s a strange decision and of course that would have made it different for us, I wouldn’t have made so many changes.”
But despite the win Solskjaer admitted West Ham were better on the day and his side got lucky.
He said: “Sometimes you get more than what you deserve and today was one of those nights.
“We were lucky it wasn’t Barcelona on the other side, but West Ham played well, played better than us, created chances.”
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini was philosophical in his appraisal of the game having seen his side on the wrong side of some poor refereeing decisions.
He said: “For me it was a pleasure to see the way the team played here, against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
“Unfortunately there were difficult decisions for the referee to make so I don’t want to complain about him. But with VAR, I am sure we would win the game 1-0.”
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