Ole Gunnar Solskjaerhas defended Tahith Chong after his shocking miss inManchester United‘s 2-1 defeat at Astana and reassured the youngster that such incidents are just part of ‘growing up’.
United had already secured qualification for theEuropa Leagueknockout stages before Thursday’s Group L clash so Solskjaer gave chances to three debutants and seven teenagers in a hugely inexperienced starting XI.
Jesse Lingard wore the captain’s armband and opened the scoring with a calm finish in the 10 th minute as United dominated possession in the opening stages of the clash.
The Red Devils appeared on course for a comfortable victory as Luke Shaw put the ball on a plate for Chong just after half-time at the Astana Arena, but the 19 – year-old Dutchman skied his shot over the bar with the goalmouth gaping.
To make matters worse for Chong, Astana immediately raced up the other end of the pitch and found an equaliser as Dmitri Shomko beat Lee Grant with a powerful drive from a tight angle.
Di’Shon Bernard’s unfortunate own goal gave Astana the lead just seven minutes later and the Kazakhstan outfit held on for a narrow win.
Asked about Chong’s chance in the 54 th minute, Solskjaer replied: ‘No forward or striker should worry about missing chances.
‘That’s about growing up, I think I did as well!’
Robbie Savage was not so forgiving about Chong’s horror miss, criticizing the attacker’s ‘lazy’ technique on (BT Sport) ‘s commentary of the match.
‘Gomes and Shaw do every so well. Shaw with the one-two, good cut back and then Chong, open net, I don’t know how he’s missed that! ’Savage said.
‘It was a great opportunity for him to get on the scoresheet for Manchester United. Lazy!
‘Football is all about those fine margins. Chong should have put United 2-0 up and 38 seconds later [Dmitri] Shomko hits a strike into that far corner past [Lee] Grant. ‘
Owen Hargreaves added: ‘It’s a lovely one-two from Gomes and Shaw. Chong has just got to score.
‘Chong knows better than anyone there. He’s leaning back. If he gets his body over the ball it’s a tap in. ’
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