MX23RW : Thursday, January 21 02:30:20| >> :120:7176:7176:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lavishes praise on "top-class footballer" Edinson Cavani

Solskjaer lavishes praise on
© Reuters
Edinson Cavani set up Bruno Fernandes before scoring a brace to seal a 3-2 triumph at the death.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer heaped praise on super sub Edinson Cavani after the veteran striker spearheaded Manchester United’s stunning comeback win at Southampton.

Saints were on course for their first home league win against the Red Devils since 2003, with Jan Bednarek and James Ward-Prowse giving them a two-goal cushion heading into half-time.

But United boss Solskjaer’s decision to turn to summer signing Cavani at half-time proved inspired, with the veteran striker setting up Bruno Fernandes before scoring a brace to seal a 3-2 triumph at the death.

United have come from behind to win all of their away league matches this season, with this victory extending their winning run on the road to a club record eighth match in succession.

“I thought we played well all day,” Solskjaer said. “We created some big chances.

“Of course they have the quality of James Ward-Prowse, which is always difficult to defend against, so coming in at half-time we have to make changes and Edinson made a great impact.

“We know he is one of the cleverest and best movers in the box, he can peel off you, get in front of you. Sometimes it works for you and he certainly had an impact today.

Cavani celebrates levelling the scores
Cavani celebrates levelling the scores (Mike Hewitt/PA)

“(The never say die attitude) is very important and a trait that Man United always should have. Never give up, never give in.

“I don’t know how many times I was on the pitch and we came back and won games towards the end.

“We had a manager who never, ever allows anyone to give up and I have to say that’s one of my values.

“I have to say if you don’t play well at least work hard and never give in.

“Show that you give everything for your team and, even though I think we played really well today, I think we showed we had a character to dig in when the result looked to go against us.”

Solskjaer's side have won al of their away league games so far this season
Solskjaer’s side have won all of their away league games so far this season (Adam Davy/PA)

Solskjaer’s side showed great spirit at an empty St Mary’s, where Cavani was uncharacteristically unprepared before his stunning introduction.

“He’s got all the attributes of a top-class footballer and human being,” the United boss said.

“He’s had a great career, scored goals wherever he has been.

“He’s so professional, meticulous with his preparation, with his recovery, what he does at mealtimes, before the game, during the game, so I was surprised that he didn’t have his boots ready when the second half started!

“But also to have a focal point in the box is important for us because we’ve not really had that since Romelu (Lukaku) left.

“Anthony (Martial), Marcus (Rashford), Mason (Greenwood) they’re different types of forwards, so it gives us a great balance and a mix.

“We wanted to mix it up and Edinson had a great impact.”

Dean Henderson joined Cavani in coming on at half-time after David De Gea picked up a knock when trying to stop Ward-Prowse’s free-kick.

“It’s a knock just above the knee, so we’ll have a scan and a check on him tomorrow,” Solskjaer said.

“Hopefully he can be ready for Wednesday (against Paris St Germain in the Champions League) but I can’t promise you anything now.

“Dean came on, very assured, had a couple of half saves to make but he was tidy and safe with the ball at his feet as well.”

It was the 10th time United had come from behind to beat Southampton in the Premier League era, but pride rather than frustration was Ralph Hasenhuttl’s overriding feeling after full-time.

“I don’t want people’s head going down,” the Saints boss said.

“When you hear them celebrating in their dressing room then you know what you have done today and how tough an opponent you have been because they were celebrating like they’d won the Premier League.

“That’s the best thing for me because it’s definitely statement if they are celebrating like this because it was a tough game.

“They had to play the best they can to win against us and we can be proud of what we’ve done today, definitely.”


Click here for more stories about Edinson Cavani

Click here for more stories about Manchester United

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd19124336251140
2Manchester CityMan City18115231131838
3Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham199552722532
11Aston Villa1682629181126
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle185491830-1219
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1925121543-2811
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!