Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged his Manchester United players to be more ruthless when inside the penalty area.
Rivals Manchester City have netted 49 goals from inside the six-yard box (the most in the league) since 2017/18, while United have notched just 27, leading Solskjaer to lament his side’s lack of clinical edge when trying to score “nasty little tap-ins”.
Man City’s close-range skill: Five things to know…
- Since the start of the 2017/18 Premier League season, Man City have scored the most goals from inside the six-yard box (49).
- Runs down the byline followed by cut backs have become the hallmark moves of Guardiola’s City.
- Man Utd meanwhile have struggled to find the back of the net from inside the box, netting just 27 since 2017/18.
- Solskjaer’s side have scored just once this season from inside the six-yard box.
- He has now called on his players to be more clinical in front of goal.
The Norwegian was giving his views after United once again dropped points, this time against 10-man Southampton as the Red Devils could only muster a 1-1 stalemate at St Mary’s on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s side meanwhile have become the masters of finding the back of the net from close range, and Solskjaer now wants his side to follow a similar blueprint and score more “scrappy goals” from near proximity.
“We do create chances, we do create pressure,” Solskjaer said post-match. “It’s about those scrappy goals now.
“We have young players and they’ve got to learn to score those nasty little tap-ins that I did. They count just as much.”
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Man Utd players “feel what we’re doing”
Despite losing considerable headway in the race for a top-four finish since their 4-0 trouncing over Chelsea on the opening weekend, Solskjaer still believes his players are understanding the direction he wants to take them.
“They can feel what we’re doing,” he said. “They feel the last two games [that] we’re a team that dominates games. At Wolverhampton we dominated.
“The first one was classic counter-attacking football against a very good Chelsea side. But the last three, we need to learn to win games like this, and the boys want to learn how.”