Solskjaer hints Lindelof could pay price for defensive lapses

London (AFP) –


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted that Victor Lindelof could be the fall guy after Manchester United's 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in their first Premier League match of the season.

Solskjaer's men travel to Brighton on Saturday badly in need of a win to kickstart their campaign, with hopes the Red Devils could challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for the title having suffered an early blow.

Centre-back Lindelof conceded a penalty and was easily brushed aside by Wilfried Zaha in the lead-up to Palace's third goal at Old Trafford last weekend and Solskjaer suggested Eric Bailly's return to fitness could see him start alongside Harry Maguire.

"Last week wasn't fantastic, we conceded sloppy goals, but our defensive record shows that with Eric and Harry how good a partnership they were, but also the whole team defending as a team," said Solskjaer on Friday.

Bailly started just once in the Premier League last season, in a 2-0 win away to Chelsea.

"Eric now is fit again and that's a big, big bonus. I'm looking forward to seeing him develop and playing more games this season because we've been waiting for him to first be fit and then to play more regularly."

United's lack of new signings has also attracted criticism from fans with Dutch international midfielder Donny van de Beek the only arrival.

The transfer window closes next week but United seem no closer to agreeing a fee with Borussia Dortmund in their prolonged pursuit of Jadon Sancho.

"If and when something happens, both ins and outs, we'll update you," said Solskjaer. "In football you can't predict too much.

"For me, I'm just working on getting better. My focus is solely on the game, I can't be thinking any other way. We need points and then we can talk again."