Manchester United’s Champions League berth ‘massive achievement’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Manchester United's “massive achievement” after finishing third in the Premier League and securing a return to the Champions League.
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United won 2-0 at Leicester City on the final day of the season to earn a top-four finish and qualify for Europe's top club competition.
“It's been a massive achievement by players and staff,” Solskjaer said. “The staff are incredible. We did have a chat with everyone this morning that no matter what happens we've come so far as a team — built a culture. We're very proud of our efforts.”
Champions League qualification is vindication for Solskjaer, who was the target of criticism early in the season after a poor start to his first full campaign in charge.
“If I'm getting criticised it makes me stronger and believe more in what I'm doing,” Solskjaer said. “Please don't praise me too much. Third with this team has been a massive achievement by everyone.”
United's ascent up the table — inspired by 14 games unbeaten to end the season — has been aided by January signing Bruno Fernandes.
The midfielder got his 10th goal of the season with a penalty at the King Power Stadium before substitute Jesse Lingard sealed the victory with a second in stoppage time.
“We have to admit he [Fernandes] has come in and had a massive impact,” Solskjaer said. “Scoring goals, creating goals and his enthusiasm and mentality around the place has helped. He's stepped up and slotted away the penalty.”
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