Manchester United's Europa League bid - time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to deliver? - Pitch to Post podcast

Man Utd on course to seal second place in Premier League but Europa League glory closer; Can Solskjaer snap semi-final curse? Watch Man Utd vs Burnley on Super Sunday from 3.30pm - kick-off 4pm

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United are on song in the Premier League and the Europa League but it is now time to turn progress into trophies, according to the Pitch to Post panel.

United eased into the last four of the competition with a 4-0 aggregate win over Granada, with Solskjaer hoping to make it fifth time lucky in a semi-final.

The Old Trafford side have a seven-point cushion over third-placed Leicester in the Premier League but though they are on course to get closer in terms of points to the likely champions than in any season since Sir Alex Ferguson left, the Pitch to Post panellists believe tangible reward must be the next step.

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'Time to translate progress into silverware'

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his players are relishing the chance to finish the season by winning a trophy, after they cruised past Granada to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Sky Sports' Ben Grounds on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"As Ole said himself afterwards, it was a very professional and disciplined display against a Granada side who did well to get to this stage of the competition. It was really done and dusted in the first leg but Cavani showed his class again to extend United's lead before the own goal compounded Granada's misery. On the whole it was an easy night.

"The next step for these players now has to be to get into a final. We've seen them reach five semi-finals under Solskjaer's watch.

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"They face a Roma side now that are perhaps not as strong as they once were, though it's a mouthwatering clash given they'll be up against players they know all about like Mkhitaryan and Dzeko.

"It's all well and good finishing second and it certainly would represent progress domestically but it's getting to the point now with Solskjaer where they need to translate the progress into silverware, starting with the Europa League."

Can Man Utd handle the pressure?

Sky Sports' Adam Bate on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"Are United in the best shape since Fergie? They're certainly in the best position for a good few years.

"I think second place in the Premier League is highly likely at this point and they weren't favourites to be in the top two at the start of the season; you factor in Chelsea's spending as well.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says winning trophies is important, but could mask underlying problems if the culture and performances are not right

"To borrow a Mourinho line, second is an achievement. More importantly, it's progression. But a trophy would be the next step and they're favourites to do it. They're not there yet but I think they're the best team left in the tournament.

"It will be interesting to see whether they can handle the pressure of that. They've won big games under Solskjaer and they've got results against rival clubs but they need to show that they can do it. They've secured a top-four finish so there's an expectation around them now in Europe and I fancy them."

Pogba impresses, Cavani continues to show value

Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring for Man Utd vs Granada
Image: Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring for Man Utd vs Granada

Sky Sports' Ben Grounds on the Pitch to Post podcast:

"Against Tottenham we certainly saw the best of Pogba playing in a more advanced role on the left, with the 'McFred' combination alongside him and Fernandes in his usual role.

"Against Granada he played in an advanced position with Matic coming in for the suspended McTominay. He led by example, before he picked up a caution and Solskjaer substituted him at half-time as a precaution.

"It's one to look out for when all the cogs are in place and everyone's fit.

"Cavani showed his class again too. We've seen United make signings before like Sanchez and Ighalo, players coming towards the end of their careers, where you're wondering how much they can really offer.

"But his movement against Tottenham and Granada was impressive; he's a man full of confidence and Greenwood is certainly learning from him.

"If Man Utd miss out in the race for Erling Haaland, which is sure to hot up over the summer, trying to keep hold of Cavani for longer would be vital. It will ultimately come down to the player but it's vitally important they address that centre-forward position."

Must-watch: Paul Pogba exclusive

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In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Paul Pogba delivers a scathing verdict on Jose Mourinho's man-management and reacts to Man Utd’s victory at Tottenham. Watch an extended version on Super Sunday

Pogba has taken a swipe at Jose Mourinho's man-management in a candid exclusive interview with Sky Sports.

The Frenchman, who was stripped of the United captaincy in 2018, lifted the lid on the contrasting methods of the current United manager and his predecessor, suggesting Mourinho cast players aside.

"What I have now with Ole is different, he wouldn't go against the players," Pogba exclusively told Sky Sports in an interview that will run in full ahead of Manchester United's Super Sunday clash with Burnley. "He wouldn't go against the players.

"Maybe Ole wouldn't pick them, but it's not like he puts them on the side like they don't exist anymore. That's the difference between Mourinho and Ole."

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