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‘It’s two mistakes by the referee’ – Solskjaer insists referee made two big errors in United’s defeat by Sheffield

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted that referee Peter Bankes made two big errors in Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat by Sheffield United.

The United boss criticised the officials for allowing Kean Bryan’s opening goal to stand at Old Trafford, while they ruled out an effort by Anthony Martial minutes later.

Both situations involved potential fouls on the two goalkeepers, though there appeared to be more contact on David de Gea by Blades captain Billy Sharp for Bryan’s goal than on Aaron Ramsdale at the other end.

That gave the visitors a precious lead and although Harry Maguire levelled for United in the second half, Oliver Burke’s deflected strike secured a shock win for the visitors.

“Foul,” was Solskjaer’s one-word verdict when asked by BT Sport reporter Des Kelly about Bryan’s opener.

“It’s a foul. Billy Sharp just runs into him so he can’t get up, so it’s a foul.”

And when asked about Martial’s disallowed effort, Solskjaer said, “No foul… but it’s this kind of season, inconsistencies, so it’s going to be unpredictable. But it’s two mistakes by the referee.”

Adding to his comments while speaking to BBC Sport, Solskjaer said, “Two wrong decisions, that’s how it is, it’s that kind of season, inconsistent and the referee missed those two.”

Solskjaer was pragmatic in analysing the defeat, which dents United’s ambitions of winning the title this season.

They are now a point behind leaders Manchester City, who also have a game in hand.

The Norwegian said United lacked the extra dimension needed to beat Chris Wilder’s side on a frustration night.

“When you concede two bad goals, it’s going to be difficult,” he added.

“We didn’t create enough, we couldn’t penetrate in behind and create big enough chances to score.

“That little bit of extra magic was missing. They defended well, take nothing away from their performance. But we didn’t have the solutions, they just weren’t there.

“The second goal we conceded was just so poor, so sloppy. We just stopped getting out to the ball, three or four decisions there that were completely out of character.

“No big inquest. We’ve seen so many results this season that are out of character. Surprised, of course, but we’ve been the most consistent team the last few months. Sad feeling, but we go again.”

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