Claudio Ranieri was frustrated after watching Fulham get punished by Manchester United in Saturday’s early kick-off.

The Whites started in a positive fashion and could have gone in front, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men responded clinically and claimed a comfortable win through Paul Pogba’s brace and Anthony Martial’s solo effort.

“We started very well,” Ranieri said. “We created two great chances to score a goal. But suddenly Pogba scored the first goal. I wanted us to stay calm and then we could still get the opportunity to play and find the solution to draw the match, but my players were very, not anxious, but they wanted to score immediately to draw the match.

“But against big teams it’s difficult, and we conceded on the counter attack. And at that point it is more difficult because Manchester has champions in the squad, they slowed down the tempo, kept possession of the ball. When you play against Manchester United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool, you can lose, but the experience is important, you understand where you made mistakes. That’s important.

In his pre-match press conference, Ranieri called on his players to be soldiers, and he believes their desire to keep attacking until the final whistle demonstrated their fighting spirit.

“I have soldiers, because until the end we wanted to score the goal,” he stated. “Even at 3-0 we wanted to score the goals. When you play against champions you have to stay calm, don’t lose your composure. That’s the real problem. They willed to do something, but you have to stay calm and think. I understand the fans want to see the players fight until the end.

Of course we lost 3-0, it’s not an easy result, we are in a very dangerous situation, I understand. I told my players it’s important to show to our fans that we are alive, and that we will try to do our best until the end.”