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Rio Ferdinand defends Solskjaer’s tactics vs Young Boys and rejects Chelsea comparison

Former England international Rio Ferdinand has leaped to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defense after his substitutions against Young Boys in the Champions League backfired.

Man United started off their European competition with a shock 2-1 defeat to Young Boys on Tuesday night in Bern.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opening goal in the 13th minute but a red card from Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the 35th minute would turn the game around for the home side.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was forced to take off Jadon Sancho for Diogo Dalot in a bid to maintain balance in his backline.

Solskjaer saw his side were getting dominated by Young Boys, he tried to keep balance in the midfield by removing Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo for Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard respectively.

Many slammed the Norwegian boss for removing Ronaldo when United were hoping to restore their league but the manager claimed that he needed pace in the attack and also because Ronaldo was alone in the attack.

Despite the criticism, Ferdinand doesn’t think Solskjaer made mistakes in his substitutions, insisting that if United had held on to the 1-1 draw, the criticism wouldn’t be there.

Rio Ferdinand leaps to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defense for his subs vs Young Boys “In the 72nd minute, they’re talking about needing a goal,” said Ferdinad. “Ole’s not thinking like that.

“As a manager I understand what he is probably thinking at that time, 1-1, away in Europe, always difficult no matter where you go, in Europe it’s always difficult to go away, on an artificial pitch, we’re down to 10 men, we’ll take a point.

“And that’s what he was thinking. He wasn’t thinking about bringing players on or keeping players on to score goals, it was about seeing the game out. And listen, if he sees that game out, no-one is talking about substitutions.”

But when asked of the fact that United did not see out of the match, Ferdinand argued: ‘It’s the fact it wasn’t based on the team shape or the team performance, it was based on a single person’s error of judgement. That’s the difference.

‘If it was a tactical situation, where you go, “That’s the reason they’ve lost today, because tactically they got that wrong”. They didn’t play well today, when they had 11 men or 10 men, but I wouldn’t say the substitutions were the reasons they didn’t get a draw.’

Chelsea were in a similar situation as Manchester United when they were reduced to 10 men against Liverpool in the Premier League before the international break.

Manchester United were beaten by Young Boys and Rio Ferdinand defends Ole Gunnar Solskjaer The Blues were leading 1-0 when Reece James blocked a certain goal with his hand. A red card was shown to him and Liverpool scored from the resulting penalty.

While many thought the Merseyside Reds would go on to win the game at half-time, Thomas Tuchel’s side held on to the 1-1 draw.

Chelsea are a side that play five players at the back, unlike Manchester United, and Rio Ferdinand refuses to use Chelsea’s case to give light to what United encountered in Switzerland.

Ferdinand said ‘Chelsea look very confident, they understand how to navigate their way through difficult situations in matches. They went down to 10 men at Anfield and looked very comfortable.

‘Man United, on the other hand, looked like a team that were hoping to get a result tonight when they went down to 10 men. And that comes down to experience, that comes down to Chelsea winning something that brings confidence throughout that squad.

‘Confidence is streaming through that squad. It’s a very different place and time, where they are in their development and Man United, are trying to get to that point.’

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