Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful Alexis Sanchez contribute Manchester
United’s top four challenge now he has returned from a knee injury.
Sanchez made his comeback from a six-week lay-off as an 80th
minute substitute for Jesse Lingard in United’s Champions League humbling
by Barcelona. Sanchez received a warm ovation back at the club he spent three
years with and came close to marking his cameo with a header that was superbly
clawed away by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Solskjaer had urged
United’s forwards to regain form in the build-up to the quarter-final second
leg at Barca yet Marcus Rashford squandered two excellent openings at 0-0
during United’s early onslaught. Rashford, who has been troubled by an ankle
injury recently, has scored just three goals in his last 12 for United, Anthony
Martial is without a goal in over two months and Jesse Lingard has not scored
in nearly three months.
Romelu Lukaku was
dropped for the return leg at Camp Nou and is enduring another drought, having
last struck in the round-of-16 triumph at Paris Saint-Germain. Solskjaer has
substituted Juan Mata in his last two starts and, amid a lack of form up front,
indicated Sanchez could help sharpen the attack.
“Alexis has been
injured now since March 1,” Solskjaer said. “So he’s been out for six
weeks and it was important he got 15 minutes on the pitch for his mentality so
he knows his knee is okay, and he was close to getting a goal and had a couple
of other instances that he showed his talent.
“Hopefully he can
give us a good push towards the end of the season to get in the top four.”
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