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Solskjaer blasts Manchester United’s tight schedule after reaching Europa League final

Dubai: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer criticised football authorities for Manchester United’s punishing schedule after his side advanced to the Europa League final on Thursday, calling it “physically impossible” for his team.

United advanced to the May 26 showdown with Villarreal in Gdansk 8-5 on aggregate despite losing 3-2 to Roma in their semi-final second leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

And now his players have to face the prospect of four Premier League fixtures in 10 days after Edinson Cavani’s brace staved off a valiant attempt at a comeback from their Italian opposition.

On Sunday they travel to Aston Villa and by next Thursday they will have hosted Liverpool and Leicester, the visit of Fulham coming the following Tuesday.

“It’s unheard of. It’s made by people who have never played football at this level,” Solskjaer said. “It’s physically impossible for the players. We have not been dealt a good hand. We are going to need everyone for these four games. It’s a short turnaround but we have to be ready.”

The Norwegian coach was also angry about his side’s display on Thursday, admitting that had it not been for a sensational second half in the first leg which gave them 6-2 lead they could very well have been dumped out by a spirited Roma team who created, and wasted a hosted of opportunities in Rome.

“The second half today was disappointing, very, very poor, but we’re in the final,” he said. “We played one very, very good half at Old Trafford which has taken us through. I’m disappointed we lost, especially the way we played in the second half. It could easily have been 8-6 to them. It was a strange game. We kept giving them the ball but luckily we have one of the best keepers in the world. We are in the final and are looking forward to 26 May.”

Clinical Cavani

Cavani’s goals in the 39th and 68th minutes ensured United’s place in the final, the Uruguayan having also struck a double at Old Trafford.

Roma had gone ahead on the night midway through the second half with goals from Edin Dzeko and Bryan Cristante in a three-minute spell, and Alex Telles’ own goal gave the hosts a second-leg win with seven minutes to go.