The match turned when Paul Pogba had a penalty saved by Bernd Leno and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who only took charge on a temporary basis, threw his arms up, screaming at referee Martin Atkinson. It is a sign of his frustration at having so little backing from players that will certainly raise new questions about the coaching performances.
Solskjaer was superb as the club manager, assuming the role after Jose Mourinho was sacked on 19 December, and raising hopes the team might mount a serious title challenge. But from a 3-1 lead on Monday he could not find another win for his team.
Watching United manager OYSKJAER gets absolutely livid after turning down the opportunity to argue with the officials that cost United the game. pic.twitter.com/uzOWOD0OBy — Goal.com (@Goal) April 17, 2018
To be fair, United were forced to defend for large parts and could even have conceded more goals had the keeper not made three crucial saves in the second half. But in the main, it was United’s defending that made the difference, at least in Arsenal’s favour.
By the end, Solskjaer had looked defeated and disheveled, notably when he talked about Arsenal’s “play-acting” and once again how another point would have been enough for United to be the league leaders. What was needed, from the United team, was an awful lack of the domestic elation to match the joy that Solskjaer brought to the team last season.
Instead, he will now, surely, be replaced by a more likely candidate for the full-time job, Mourinho’s permanent replacement.