Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his players to be more ruthless in open play, saying they are better in penalty shootouts than in games at the moment.

Despite recording 31 attempts on goal, United needed penalties to avoid a League Cup embarrassment against third-tier outfit Rochdale at Old Trafford lastnight.

Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Mason Greenwood and Daniel James all converted penalties in a 5-3 shootout win but United left the pitch rather sheepishly, with their progress to the fourth round masking another disappointing performance.

“We go 1-0 up in many games and, today again, we go 1-0 up and you think go on then, get the second, which is the key now,” Solskjaer told reporters.

“We handled it (the shootout) really well. Everyone wanted to take penalties as they did against AC Milan in Cardiff (during pre-season).

“I’m very pleased with the confidence. You know we’re better in penalty shootouts than in proper games.”

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