Manchester United weren’t at their blockbuster best against Granada on Thursday night.
But that didn’t matter, with Solskjaer’s side putting in some hard graft to emerge victorious and book their place in the semi-finals of the Europa League for a second season in a row.
United took the lead through Edinson Cavani, with the 33-year-old volleying home from inside the box after some good work from Paul Pogba.
And they grabbed their second goal of the game via a Jesus Vallejo own-goal in the closing stages.
It wasn’t a vintage display but Solskjaer won’t care and, speaking after the match, the 48-year-old hailed his side for getting the result they needed – while also warning rivals they were full of confidence.
“Granada do give you a game. It’s a physical game, they throw people forward. You have to defend in these kind of games,” he said.
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“2-0, clean sheet, some good individual performances. We’re full of confidence going into Sunday [against Burnley].”
On bringing Pogba off at half-time, he said: “Sometimes, Paul wants to win so much… he went into a couple of tackles after his yellow card but I thought I don’t want to risk that [him being sent off] even though he played so well.
“We missed three today [through suspension]. The season has been hard enough as it is.”
Next up for United in the competition is Roma.
And Solskjaer is anticipating that showdown, saying “I’ve not seen too much of them. I knew they played two good games against Roma. They defend well, as Italian teams always do. We all know Edin Dzeko so every ball into the box is a dangerous one.
“We are looking forward to it. We’re in the semis. It feels like a proper European tie because Roma is a club with lots of history. We’ve done well against Italian sides before.
“We’re going into it hoping to get to the final. If we can finish the season with a trophy that’d be great.”
Fernandes wasn’t able to get in on the act for United.
But he sent a message to his team-mates after the match, insisting they must learn from past mistakes to make the final.
“It was a good game. The Europa League is always difficult to play. It doesn’t matter who you play against,” he said.
“We know Granada have quality – they can create something.
“We did well. We controlled the game and had a lot of the ball. We kept the ball moving. The result shows that.
“Now is the time for the next step and win a semi-final. [Before then] it’s time to focus on the league.
“He [Edinson Cavani] is a proper striker, a proper number nine.”
On facing Roma in the semis, he added: “Every team will give you problems. They have a good organisation defensively, they can create problems offensively.
“Some of their players have played in England. We know what we have to do. If we do the right things, we will have our chances to win the game.”
Speaking to BT Sport before the game, meanwhile, Owen Hargreaves insisted United must do all they can to keep hold of Cavani.
The South American has been tipped to leave the Red Devils – with Boca Juniors eager to snap him up.
And Hargreaves said: “You’ve got to keep him, he’s fabulous.
“First of all he’s a great goalscorer. His minutes per goal show that, he’s the best United player for that.
“Scholesy made a good point, he probably hasn’t had the games he would have liked for different reasons. But in the box he’s one of the best, he’s proven that.
“I think just as a mentor for Marcus, Mason and Anthony, I would 100 per cent keep him and invest the money into other positions to help bridge that gap.
“Obviously everyone would love to have Harry Kane and Haaland, but I just think with Cavani there, you don’t have to go spend £100million on a player. If you spend it there… But there’s other positions they need.
“They need a right winger, they need a central midfielder, they need another centre back. With Cavani there, he’s almost an insurance policy and you can maybe go spend that money on three other players in important positions.
“Cavani, if he played next season the whole season, I think he easily get you 25 goals with the other boys.”