Ole Gunnar Solakjaer has suggested the planned protests from Manchester United fans impacted the team’s preparations ahead of their 4-2 defeat to Liverpool.
Following demonstrations from supporters against the club’s owners the Glazers than resulted in the original fixture being postponed, United were forced to take steps to avoid another abandonment.
After protesters infiltrated Old Trafford and made their voices heard at the team’s hotel base before the first game, extra security measures were put in place and the players were required to get to the stadium earlier than normal.
Africa Cup of Nations
Equatorial Guinea stun defending champions Algeria at AFCON
"Once we were in it was all focus on the game,” Solakjaer told the BBC. “But it is a different preparation coming in at noon for a quarter-past eight kick-off, it's a long time to be here but I though the boys managed that well.
Of course it disrupted us a little bit so it's not been ideal but we had to deal with it.
- Liverpool bus blocked en route to Old Trafford as United fans protest again
- Liverpool keep Champions League hopes alive with win at United
- Klopp dismisses talk of rift with Mane
Up to 10,000 fans could be in attendance at Old Trafford for the club’s next fixture on Tuesday and despite the recent unrest, Solskjaer is pleased to see the return of supporters to the ground.
“Hopefully when we let the fans in on Tuesday it's a good atmosphere.
“We have waited a long time to let them in so we're looking forward to enjoying the game together."
United will hope to bounce back after a disappointing defeat to their rivals.
Solskjaer’s side took the lead in the first half through Bruno Fernandes but Diogo Jota equalised for the visitors before Roberto Firmino made it 2-1 in stoppage time before the break.
It was a disapoointing night for Solskjaer and his team
Image credit: Getty Images
Almost immediately after the restart, the Brazilian caught United napping to extend Liverpool’s lead and despite Marcus Rashford reducing the deficit, Mohamed Salah sealed the win in the last minute.
“When you play against good players and good teams you can’t give easy goals away, especially goals in the periods we did,” he added.
We had a good start to the game and we didn’t grab that momentum, we should have done more and just before half-time to concede from a set-play is disappointing.
“When you start the second half with a goal after 70 or 80 seconds it’s going to be hard. We let them off the hook. It is part of learning for this team. We should have capitalised when they struggled.”
Barclays FA WSL
West Ham salvage draw with Tottenham in injury time
Atalanta and Inter in entertaining goalless draw