Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes a Europa League place is what Manchester United deserve after their poor season.
United’s hopes of securing a Champions League place were dashed after Sunday’s 1-1 draw at relegated Huddersfield.
Isaac Mbenza cancelled out Scott McTominay’s first-half opener for United, who twice hit the crossbar through Paul Pogba.
‘We gave ourselves a chance to be in the Champions League, something we didn’t think was possible,’ Solskjaer said.
‘You could say we lost the opportunity [on Sunday], but that’s not the case — it’s been all through the season. It’s not been good enough.
‘We had so many opportunities to grab third or fourth. We weren’t able to. So it’s probably the right place for us, the Europa League, next year.’
The point left Solskjaer’s side four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with one game left, and a sixth-place finish behind Arsenal appearing likely.
“You could say we lost the opportunity today, but that’s not the case — it’s been all through the season. It’s not been good enough.” #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 5, 2019
‘Effort and attitude was not the problem,’ Solskjaer said. ‘The players were running and trying. We just weren’t good enough. That is the problem.’
Solskjaer is aware it could get worse for his side, as he referred to the possibility of them having to play in a Europa League qualifier should Watford beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
A Watford win at Wembley would send them straight into the Europa League group stage and leave United facing a qualifying match on July 25, the same day they are scheduled to play Tottenham in a pre-season friendly in Shanghai.
Pogba’s first-half header was pushed on to the crossbar by Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl after McTominay had given United an eighth-minute lead.
But Huddersfield were allowed to force their way into the game in the second period, and Mbenza hauled them level on the hour-mark before Pogba hit the crossbar again in the closing stages with a shot from outside the area.
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