The Europa League is the only way into Champions League for Manchester United. They're not going to make the top four as they don't win enough games of football when it really matters. So the only way realistically that they can qualify for the Champions League is via the backdoor.

However, it won't be easy, having watched Rangers and Celtic. I tell you what, if everyone's talking about United winning the whole thing, both those sides will be saying it too because they were excellent. Arsenal are still left too and there is also serial winners Sevilla.

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It's not an easy competition to win but it is United's way to the Champions League.


I think Solskjaer knows he hasn't got creativity in his squad, but the only way this happens is continuity - people playing together more often. He hasn't allowed that to happen. Now Mason Greenwood's scored a goal, reward him by starting him on Saturday against Brighton. Brandon Williams will probably start because Ashley Young is injured, and he will prove how good he is, let him have a run and all of a sudden you'll see a difference.

The United boss needs to decide on his best 11 or 12 players, get consistency and get points on the board and try to play that 11 as often as possible. At the end of the day when you look at some of sides in the Premier League, we are not talking about five or six great players in each team, we talk about the whole team. With United, they don't have great individuals but they're not a team either, so they're playing games of football off the name of Man Utd.

Solskjaer needed a performances like last night against Partizan Belgrade, but, to be fair, I think he would expect a performance like that against a lesser team. You expect to beat them and more importantly you expect to beat them handsomely by playing well and being convincing. The only thing that let them down against Partizan was the fact that they were not clinical.

he Old Trafford scoreboard shows the full time score during the UEFA Europa League group L match between Manchester United and Partizan

Image credit: Getty Images


Solskjaer, however, has been here too many times with this United team - to the point of knowing that whatever happens in one game is not necessarily an indicator of what will happen in next. Nine times out of ten it hasn't been - that happened with the game against Bournemouth, United were on a three-game winning streak but played poorly and lost. So let's see what happens with Brighton at Old Trafford.

But the last four or five years suggest you've got to be realistic. It's not a banker like it should be.

He knows this kind if performance is better but they need to put that into the game at the weekend and a little bit more. They created a lot of opportunities against Partizan, but they haven't done that at Premier League level. That is now the test.

Regardless of the performances this weekend, the Europa League remain their only realistic route to Champions League.

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