Southampton striker and Ireland international, Micheal Obafemi, scored a very late equaliser when his side met Manchester United on Monday night, thereby keeping Chelsea’s hope of qualifying for next year’s Champions League alive.
Solskjaer’s side were on course to leapfrog top-four rivals Chelsea and Leicester – who both suffered defeats over the weekend – and move up to third but they remain fifth with three games left in the chase for Champions League qualification.
United led 2-1 for 73 minutes before substitute Michael Obafemi scored in the 96th minute, bundling in a set-piece at the back post after it had been flicked on by Jan Bednarek.
Stuart Armstrong had given Southampton a 12th-minute lead, but Anthony Martial set up Marcus Rashford to equalise before firing a superb second goal for United.
“The mentality has been brilliant. We have had a few setbacks this season. This is another challenge for us,” said Solskjaer.
“I am very confident in [the players’] mentality. I’m disappointed of course, but you have to take the disappointments as well as the positives. We have learned a hard lesson. We will put it right. I trust the boys in that respect.”
Armstrong had opened the scoring for Southampton, following Paul Pogba’s mistake, and after fighting back to draw, the visitors now sit five points outside of the top 10 and level on points with Everton.
Despite United’s setback, they will still qualify for the Champions League if they win their last three games, as they travel to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester on the final day of the season.
Solskjaer was unhappy with what he called a “nasty” first-half challenge by Oriol Romeu on Mason Greenwood, for which the Southampton midfielder went unpunished after a video assistant referee review.
“I know my ankle wouldn’t take that challenge,” Solskjaer said. “It was a nasty one but we have said enough about VAR.”