Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to blame Paul Pogba after the Manchester United star missed a penalty in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Wolves after taking spot-kick duties from Marcus Rashford.
Pogba wasted a chance to give United their second successive Premier League win when his penalty was saved by Wolves keeper Rui Patricio.
It was the fourth missed penalty by Pogba since the start of last season. The France midfielder appeared to tell Rashford that he wanted to take it, even though his United team-mate had scored from the spot against Chelsea last weekend.
United manager Solskjaer said he allows both Pogba and Rashford to take spot kicks.
“The two of them are designated the penalty shooters and it’s up to them there and then who feels ‘this is mine’,” he said.
Watch the clip above to hear more from Solskjaer
Gary Neville described the apparent confusion over the missed penalty that cost Manchester United three points against Wolves as “embarrassing”.
Paul Pogba saw his second half spot-kick saved by Rui Patricio after an apparent debate with Marcus Rashford over who should step up to take it.
Former United defender Neville told Sky Sports: “They should decide in the dressing room who is the penalty taker – it’s embarrassing.
“This is a Manchester United penalty, this not a tombola, this is not under-fives on the school field.
“Rashford scored last week – take the penalty. But there wasn’t a leader out there. Something wasn’t right.”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismissed the penalty confusion, insisting both Pogba and Rashford are designated to take spot-kicks for the club.
Solskjaer said: “The two of them are designated the penalty shooters and it’s up to them there and then who feels ‘this is mine’.
“Sometimes players just feel they are confident enough to score – Paul has scored so many penalties for us and today Rui Patricio made a good save.
“The two of them have been very confident. I like players with confidence and the feeling that ‘I can do this’.”
Rashford added: “Paul wanted to take it – it’s that simple.
“Everybody can miss a penalty. He’s scored countless penalties for us so it’s normal to miss one.
“I took one last week so for me it’s no problem for him to take one this week. It’s unfortunate he didn’t score but it’s not on him, it’s as a team and we take it forward to the next game.”
Paul Pogba missed a penalty as Manchester United had to settle for a point at Molineux in a 1-1 draw with Wolves.
United started with hunger and a snarl against a Wolves side that bit them hard last season, unbeaten in three encounters. They were bossing possession but hadn’t really tested Rui Patricio until they took the lead. A beautiful passage of play was topped off by Marcus Rashford sliding in Anthony Martial and he rifled a left-footed finish high past Patricio.
Wolves, timid in the opening 45, bit back in the second as they roared out of the traps. United were rattled and conceded a brilliant equaliser when Ruben Neves fired in a fierce shot off the underside of David De Gea’s crossbar after the Red Devils failed to clear a corner.
The game was an open spectacle from then on with both sides showing intent. United could have won it when Pogba was felled by Conor Coady inside the box, but his resultant penalty was brilliant kept out by Patricio.
Here’s how the United players rated.
MAN UNITED (4-2-3-1)
David De Gea 6: A bystander until Jimenez’s header unwittingly hit him when crashing off the post. Not so lucky minutes later as Neves’ brilliant shot crashed in off the underside of the bar.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 7: Seems impossible to escape, making an incredible nine tackles. Continued fine start to United career. Even as Wolves pressed after the break he was sharp and alert and wasn’t afraid to venture forward either.
Victor Lindelof 6: Quiet and unassuming alongside Maguire, didn’t put a foot wrong. Passing crisp (92.8 per cent was best on the pitch).
Harry Maguire 6: Dived in on Jimenez early but afterwards commanding as United were comfortable. Had test with marauding Traore and increasingly confident hosts, but stuck to task well.
Luke Shaw 7: Still suspect defensively but settled and was a lively outlet down the left. Impressive pace and could have won it late but saw his shot collected by Patricio. Two key passes.
Paul Pogba 7: Shaky start with several errant passes but found his range and showed off repertoire. One searching ball to Rashford was resplendent. So hard to shake off the ball. Won but then failed to convert penalty.
Scott McTominay 6: His energy and hunger in midfield is why United fans love him. Much-needed in second half as Wolves came to life. Rolled sleeves up and got stuck in.
Daniel James 7: Earned first United start then earned a booking for diving. Kept head and looked a threat before fading, but United have a talent on their hands.
Jesse Lingard 7: Lively link up with Rashford and Martial. Bundle of energy as he chased and harried Wolves’ defenders and also tracked back diligently.
Marcus Rashford 7: Looked lively from the left, growing understanding with Martial continued to blossom. Needs a big season and has started with a bang. Go-to player when United look to counter.
Anthony Martial 7: Finally fulfilling his potential? Too early to say but a second goal in as many games has him brimming with confidence, which is dangerous. Rasping left foot drive was unstoppable.
Juan Mata N/A: Brought on to impose calm but looked hurried in possession and made no telling contribution.
Andreas Pereira N/A: One lovely pass sprayed out to Wan-Bissaka, otherwise too little time to impress.
Mason Greenwood N/A: Brought on with little time to make an impact, more minutes for the 17-year-old.