United secured Champions League football with a breath of relief as they soared 2-0 past Leicester on Sunday.
The final scoreline didn’t reflect the largely unsure nature of the game as the Foxes were a constant threat to the Red Devils even after Bruno Fernandes was able to find a penalty. Things did look dusted as Jonny Evans picked up a second yellow card in added time and the home side were reduced to ten men.
In the end, it took a Kasper Schmeichel error for Jesse Lingard to score the winner in effectively the last kick of the game.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be exceptionally pleased with the result as United have now finished their first full season under him in third place and have Champions League football to look forward to for the next season.
Fans were particularly pleased with their gaffer and took to Twitter to react to this achievement, albeit with a variety of opinions.
What a turnaround for Solskjær, the staff and the players. Imagine thinking we’d see ourselfs finishing 3rd place at the beginning of the year, we were 14 points behind Leicester at the time. It’s time to build on this now, rebuild in some parts will see us competing next season.
— ManUnitedMedia – Josh (@ManUnitedMedia) July 26, 2020
No United fan can buzz off finishing third. We’re still way behind where we want to be. But we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve got a manager who loves the club, players who show up when it counts, youth team graduates making a difference, and playing in the CL again. pic.twitter.com/JGvvbFYy1Z
— Scott Patterson (@R_o_M) July 26, 2020
Huge moment for Solskjaer. So many doubted him, some still do, but he’s guided #mufc into 3rd, he’s got them playing good, attacking football, he’s given youth a chance, he’s got Fernandes in. Still much work to do but the direction of travel under Solskjaer is clear: upwards.
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) July 26, 2020
3rd – Manchester United
4th – Chelsea
Nuff said. 🖕 pic.twitter.com/frA8sej3Pt
— Karthik Shyamsundar (@MrKartShyam) July 26, 2020
Now over to you Utd board, Solskjaer has done what looked impossible in January, now back him, no excuses.
— Pilib De Brún (Phil Brown) (@Malachians) July 26, 2020
Most compared the depths from which Solskjær was able to redeem himself given that his job looked seriously in threat when the side made a woeful start to life and at one point were closer to the relegation zone than the top-four.
Likewise, comparisons were drawn to Frank Lampard, two player-turned-gaffers of their beloved clubs who have now managed to sneak their way into the Champions League.
Incidentally, of all the rookie gaffers back at their old clubs, Solskjær was still denied silverware as either of Mikel Arteta or Lampard will still certainly lift the FA Cup.
As such, the Europa League has to be the full focus of the Norwegian boss who now looks to raise silverware and stamp his proper reign at the club, months after seemingly having lost the job with Mauricio Pochettino thought to be in waiting.