Birmingham, England – Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted after a 3-1 win at Aston Villa mathematically kept his side in the title race and also secured a top-four finish in the Premier League.
A United loss would have allowed Manchester City to claim the title despite a 2-1 home loss against Chelsea on Saturday. United, however, erased a 1-0 first-half deficit as Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani struck after the break.
City has 80 points with three games left while second-place United has 70 and a game in hand, meaning only a monumental collapse by Pep Guardiola’s side and United winning all its matches can alter the title picture.
“That would be the biggest upset in football history but at least we don’t travel back to a party on the blue side tonight,” Solskjaer told the BBC.
“We’ll try to delay it as long as we can,” he added in an interview with Sky Sports.
United could put more pressure on City if it beats visiting Leicester City on Tuesday and Liverpool on Thursday. City travels to Newcastle United on Friday.
Winning the Europa League is a more realistic target for United. The club will face Spain’s Villarreal in the final on May 26 in Gdansk. The club is waiting to see what captain Harry Maguire’s status will be for that match. Maguire was injured during the win over Aston Villa.
Maguire will have a scan on Monday to determine the extent of what looks like an ankle injury after he landed awkwardly following a duel with Villa forward Anwar El Ghazi.
“We’ve got to check it,” Solskjaer told Manchester United’s official website.
“It might be a few weeks, might be a couple of days — who knows. I’m not a doctor and we’ve got to check him and scan him (on Monday). He twisted his ankle and got a knock.”
Maguire himself tweeted that he was hopeful the injury was not too serious and that he’d be “back playing soon.”
Solskjaer also pointed out he would inject some fresh blood into his starting linep against Leicester with United facing a congested schedule.
“I think everyone is capable of doing a Thursday-Sunday. But to put in Tuesday is more or less demanding too much of them,” he said.
“Adding Thursday is impossible — absolutely physically impossible. So I have to now make sure that I don’t run the risk of getting injuries. The boys who played Thursday night and today will not play 90 minutes on Tuesday, for sure.”
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