Solskjaer reacts to change of venue for Manchester United’s Europa League clash against Real Sociedad

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted the club have actually been handed an advantage in our Europa League round of 32 clash against Real Sociedad.

The Spanish government have placed strict coronavirus travel restrictions on those entering the country from the United Kingdom which will see the games played at a neutral venue.

In a short statement this week, UEFA confirmed that United’s second leg versus Sociedad will go ahead as planned at Old Trafford on February 25.

While the date and kick-off time for the first leg will remain the same, the game will be played at the Juventus Stadium, which means the La Liga side will miss out on home advantage.

“We would like to thank Real Sociedad and Manchester United for their close cooperation and assistance in finding a solution to the issue at hand, as well as the Italian Football Federation and Juventus for their support and agreeing to host the match in question,” the statement said.

Addressing the media ahead of United’s trip to West Brom, Solskjaer said he ‘wouldn’t stand in the way’ if UEFA decided European ties should be changed to one-off knockout games at neutral venues to make it fairer for both teams.

“That’s what we did last season, we met somewhere neutral and we made it a tournament,” the United head coach said.

“So of course, home and away, if we’re going to keep that going… we do have a little advantage.

“It’s a disadvantage for Sociedad, of course, to have their home game in Turin so to me I wouldn’t stand in the way of that.

“But there’s probably other reasons why we don’t.”

The Norwegian added: “The travel in Europe is difficult at the moment as we all know and it’s not the decision that we’ve made.

“But when one game is at a neutral venue, it’s a disadvantage for the team that doesn’t have the home game.

“But that’s out of our hands. We can say, “Okay, we’ll just meet in Turin for one game”, I wouldn’t mind that at all. It would be one game less.”